Introduction: Cleaning Chewing Gum Stains on Clothes.

by tonytran2015 (Melbourne, Australia).

Chewing gums help cleaning teeth. However, with thoughtless or vandalish disposals, spent chewing gums can stick to clothes and floorings causing expensive write-offs. The following is a precise description of a verified, successful method of removing chewing gum stains from clothes.

Step 1: Identifying Stains.

In my case the gum sticks from the package in the picture melted (probably due to being in my shirt pocket). The resulting clear , sticky solution permeated my cotton shirt pocket. After 2 hours, the clear, sticky liquid permeating my shirt pocket dried up and the stain appeared as if a spent chewing gum had been spread and squeezed on the pocket. My shirt looked terrible !

Step 2: Required Tools and Materials.

1. Shellite petroleum spirit (first picture) as a solution.. This is a cheap household liquid, sold in supermarkets.

Shellite petroleum spirit in Astralia is also known as white gas (in North America), white spirit (outside the UK) or Coleman fuel. It is a colourless, transparent, petroleum derived, flammable liquid with a hydrocarbon odour. It is used as a liquid lighter fluid and a liquid fuel for some camping stoves. Shellite has a freeze point lower than -30 °C, and a boiling point of 47 °C.

Shellite petroleum spirit is totally different from methylated spirit. Do not get confused between them.

2. A metalic shallow pan (pictured).

3. Liquid laundry detergent (I used Dynamo brand).

4. 60 degree hot water.

Step 3: Cleaning Steps

I used the Shellite petroleum spirit as a solution. 20cc of the Shellite liquid was placed in the aluminium shallow pan. The shirt pocket (made of cotton) was soaked in that Shellite for 20 minutes. After that the stain had been totally dissolved.

The shirt pocket was then washed in 2 litres of hot water (60 degrees) mixed with 20 cc of concentrated Dynamo washing detergent.

Rinsing of the whole shirt with hot water was carried out 3 times so that the shirt has no trace of Shellite.

Step 4: Results

The chewing gum stain has been completely removed from the blue coloured cotton shirt.

Shellite is a much better solvent than Citrus Oil in this cleaning operation. I used Citrus Oil in the past but it becomes harder and harder to buy Citrus Oil.

Recently, I can find Citrus Oil again from camping and 2 dollars shops but the list of ingredients shows that is is mostly petroleum spirit with the addition of citrus cense. So I would stick to Shellite (petroleum spirit).

If you have problems buying Shellite, the following reference may help you find an equivalent product.

Please leave a comment here if you have success with these instructions.


[1]. tonytran2015, Identifying petroleum spirits as liquid fuel for lighters, Instructables, Aug 2015.