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Living in modern society has a number of quirks we could live without, and one of them is that, at some point, you will definitely step in chewing gum. Whether you’re at home, the office, or anywhere in between, having gum stuck to your shoes can be both unsightly and tricky to remove without knowing the right steps. Depending on what’s available to you, there are a handful of easy ways to restore your shoes fast. Read on to see how to remove gum from shoes with three super-simple hacks.
Try Peanut Butter
Using a spoon or dull-edged knife, smear a large amount of peanut butter (enough to fully saturate the area) over the gum. Once the gum has softened, gently scrape off all the residue—the peanut butter and gum should now be a single substance—with a second spoon or knife. Once the gum has been removed, thoroughly wash the affected area to remove any remaining gunk. Peanut butter is also a surprisingly easy hack for removing gum from hair.
Freeze the Gum
Much like the peanut butter method, freezing your shoes will depend on the type and quality of the material. However, if it’s anything designed to hold up to extreme temperatures, this hack works like a charm.
Seal your shoes inside a plastic Ziploc bag, making sure the gum is pressed against the interior of the bag, and then place it in the freezer for one to two hours. When the gum has fully hardened, you should be able to pull back the plastic bag and the gum along with it. If you’re away from home but have access to ice, rub an ice cube over the gum for 15 to 20 minutes before gently removing the hardened gum with a dull knife or the edge of a credit card.
Use Compressed Air
Another way to remove gum from shoes is to spray the area with compressed air. Depending on the type of material (or as long as the gum is simply stuck to the sole), you can also use WD-40 for this hack. Spray the compressed air directly onto the gum, causing it to harden. Next, use a dull knife or credit card to carefully scrape the gum off the shoe. If the soles of your shoes are textured, you can also use a toothpick or tweezer to remove any lingering residue.
Now that you know how to remove gum from shoes, here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your leather shoes.