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How to remove gum from clothes

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Kids will be kids! Even though mine are not allowed to chew gum, that did not stop my not-quite-youngest from getting gum on his NEW karate uniform!! Actually, we do not know who got the gum on his pants, but that is not important for this Instructable (anyone want to tackle "How to find out who really did it?")

This Instructable will show you how to remove bubble gum from clothes. It is simple, easy, and involves no chemicals.

Tools Required
Ice
Flat-edged butter knife
Sink or bowl
Clothes soap

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Step 1: Prepare

Take your tools and the garment to a sink, or use some other bowl or container of appropriate size.

Take out two ice cubes. I like to use the old-fashioned ice cube trays because they produce ice with a flat top and a flat bottom, but any ice will do if you can stack them.

Place one cube under the gummed area, with as few layers of fabric as possible (ie - in the pant leg).

Situate the gum spot in the center of the cube, and carefully balance the second cube on top.

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Step 2: Wait

Picture of Wait
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Wait for at least 30 minutes. You want the gum to get good and cold, through and through.

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Step 3: Scrape

Picture of Scrape
You have waited long enough. Take the ice cubes off the fabric and find a flat surface. Grab the butter-knife and, using a non-serrated edge, scrape the frozen gum off. It should come right off in one big chunk. You may have to scrape off some small bits too; make sure there are none left on the fabric.

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Step 4: Wash

For best results, pre-treat the area with an enzyme detergent, or just regular clothes soap. Treat for as song as you see fit, then wash per garment instructions.

That is all! I hope you have found the answer to the Burning Question, "How do I get this gum off my pants!"

-kqrpnb

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My daughters LOVE chewing gum and get it on there clothes all the time
Very nice instructions.
Why would you have Chewing Gum in your clothes? Lol
once i bought a clothing and it came with gum in it
ac1D6 years ago
now we need a how-to remove gum from hair!
Scissors
peanut butter!
bruc33ef ac1D6 years ago
See WD-40 comment, above.
who wants their hair to smell like WD-40
Depends on your priorities. Nevertheless, you can think of it as a two-step process if you want -- use the WD-40, then rinse it off. A little baking soda is also very effective.
To save some time, I would suggest picking up a can of computer air duster. Invert the can and spray the gum. It'll go rock hard and cold in about 20 seconds worth of cold blast. I've used this to get gum out of a carpet where I work. It's also great for getting gum off the underside of a table. Spray, Freeze, Whack with putty knife...and it drops right off.
I've used this method several times. It takes some patience, but works well (probably not as much patience as waiting for the freezer to work).
Peanut Butter works very well works for other places where gum can get stuck...hair, sister's hair, brother's hair, you know, and it doesn't smell like WD-40. Don't use if you have a peanut allergy.
arandy2 years ago
Just stumbled upon this, have to say this seems like a pretty good tip. Always hated having gum on my clothes.
where do you live, in Singapore? Why do you deny the simple childhood pleasure of gum chewing? My friends had moms like this, and I never quite understood the military approach to gum control. Just make them watch the oompa-looma song: "keeps you from smoking, and brightens your smile!"
kqrpnb (author)  dianneiyisan6 years ago
I said why: I have spent a lot of money on their teeth. They have plenty of childhood pleasures, and can chew gum as soon as they can afford to fix their own teeth. I have dental work and don't chew gum either. And no, I don't live in Singapore. Is that a particularly anti-gum country? :-)
There's an import ban on gum in Singapore. Aside from that, great instructable! I have gum stuck in a pocket x_x
Isn't it because there's gum practically coating the street or am I getting something else confused?
JerseyACT5 years ago
Does Goo-Be-Gone work on this too? I just discovered Goo-Be-Gone this weekend - it was the only thing that could clean the hair spray buildup on my laminate floor.


San Diego House Cleaning
janito5 years ago
My son's school trousers had a massive stain on them left by chewing gum. I'd scraped off the worst and had tried everything else to get the stain out, but nothing worked. Was about to throw them out when I found bruc33ef's tip and as I had nothing to lose, I tried the WD-40. I sprayed it on the stain, gave a little scrub with an old toothbrush and hey presto it instantly disappeared! I immediately washed the trousers in a bowl of soapy water and they've dried perfectly clean, no stain left by the WD-40 or the chewing gum. By the way, the trousers are made of Polyester 100%. Thanks, bruc33ef.
bruc33ef6 years ago
Unnecessary. Spray stuck gum with WD-40, let sit awhile, brush off. Next problem.
Next problem:

clothes smell like WD-40
kqrpnb (author)  bruc33ef6 years ago
Hmmm. But what happens when you get a fabric you don't want to stain with WD40? The ice is a pretty fabric-safe method. I'd test the WD40 on an inconspicuous spot first if you choose that method.
bruc33ef kqrpnb6 years ago
WD-40 is 50% dry-cleaning solvent (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WD-40) and is unlikely to stain, but yes, a test certainly is a good idea.
wow, funny though, cause ur right.
tyty1005 years ago
Just put some dry ice on it then let it sit. dry ice is much cooler than ice(-5 farenheit).
Domindude36 years ago
Good instructable. Does it work with silly putty? By the way, who did get the gum on his pants?
kqrpnb (author)  Domindude36 years ago
Well, we think it was Alyssa; found out she came to karate class with gum in her mouth, and left without it... :)
Does anyone have tips for removing gum from clothes that have already gone through the dryer?
actually, another really good way for getting rid of gum from clothes AND hair is just rubbing some peanut butter on the gum, and then just wiping it off.
theque6 years ago
high-5 jo!
theque6 years ago
How Dare you not let you kids chew gum! Why btw? Im guessing this instructable is one reason, but otherwise. Gum has some upsides
i agree to my standards, thats a servere form of child abuse! i mean come on! gum was invented by a dentist trying to strengthen the muscles in his jaws!
kqrpnb (author)  theque6 years ago
Between dental appliances (spacers, etc) and some fillings, we don't want anything being pulled out. They get non-sticky gum for Christmas and birthdays and stuff. It makes it that much sweeter. I wish my parents had help me back from the candy a little; then it would be a treat instead of a food group!! :-)
Visitor6 years ago
You could also put the pants into the freezer for half an hour.
microman1716 years ago
actually.... you have used solid bihydroxide in this... you said no chemicals...

haha :D bihydroxide = H2O = water :D:D
It's dihydrogen monoxide; at least, that was what the "hoax" was all about. "bi-" is a shortcut instead of saying "hydrogen", and "di-" means "two". Hydroxide is a hydrogen/water anion. No need to reply, this is just me being picky.
rerat6 years ago
goo-gone + q-tip is all you need. :)
kqrpnb (author)  rerat6 years ago
True, I know that works, but Goo-Gone = $$$

:-)
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