A sticky glob of chewing gum stuck to a sock is enough to make anyone want to toss out the sock. The ingredients that make gum chewy, providing prolonged chewing pleasure, cause it to bind to fabric surfaces. Although it might look like a hopeless stain, the removal of chewing gum isn't difficult when the proper removal techniques and supplies are enlisted. Treat a gooey gum stain as quickly as possible before it turns into a dirt magnet, making more of a mess on your sock.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic zip bag
- Ice cubes
- Table knife
- Aerosol pre-wash stain remover
- Laundry detergent
- Oxygen bleach
- Dry-cleaning solvent
Place ice cubes in a plastic zip bag large enough to cover the gum stain on your sock. Close the bag to prevent melting ice from leaking out onto the sock. Set the bag of ice on the gum stuck to your sock. Leave it in place until the gum becomes hard.
Tap at the hardened gum with the handle of a table knife until the gum cracks. Pick pieces off the sock until the gum substance has been completely removed.
Spray the sock with an aerosol pre-wash stain remover. The petroleum in the stain remover helps remove the greasy residue in a gum stain. Allow the pre-wash stain remover to absorb into the sock for a couple of minutes.
Wash the sock with laundry detergent and oxygen bleach to remove any color stain left by the gum. Check the sock before placing it in the dryer to ensure the stain has been removed.
Treat remaining color stain from the gum by sponging it with dry-cleaning solvent. Work from the outside of the stain toward the middle until the stain is removed. Wash the sock again, then air-dry or place in the dryer.
Tips & Warnings
- Substitute heavy duty laundry detergent for aerosol pre-wash stain remover to tackle stubborn chewing gum stains.
- If garments are washed with any gum residue left on the fabric, the gum is likely to transfer to other clothes or the inside of the washing machine.
- University of Illinois Extension: Stain Solutions: Chewing Gum
- University of Missouri; Stain Removal From Washable Fabrics: Greasy, Non-Food Stains: Chewing Gum; Sharon Stevens; June 2009
- Good Housekeeping: Stain Buster-- Chewing Gum
- Ohio State University: Quick 'n Easy Stain Removal: Stains Needing Unique Treatment Methods
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images