How to Get Gum Off Silk

Exercise caution when removing gum from silk.
Exercise caution when removing gum from silk. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Luxurious silk clothing gives an air of elegance and sophistication, but that effect can be quickly ruined if your garment accidentally comes into contact with sticky chewing gum. Gum can be difficult to remove from durable fabrics, but it is especially tricky to safely take it off of silk. If you're careful and defer to a professional if it becomes necessary, a gum accident won't necessarily mean the end of your favorite piece of silk clothing.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic freezer bag
  • Dry cleaning fluid

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Fold the silk garment carefully so that the gum is facing up. Be careful not to fold the fabric into the gum, as you do not want the gum to spread to other parts of the fabric.

Place the garment into a large plastic freezer bag. Make sure that there is enough room in the bag so that the gum is not pressed too firmly against the plastic. Put the bag in the freezer for about an hour, or until the gum has completely hardened.

Remove the bag from the freezer, and take the silk garment out of the bag. Gently fold the affected area back and forth, trying to crack the frozen gum off of the shirt. With any luck, the gum should simply break cleanly from the fabric. Do not try to aggressively pull or scrape the gum off of the garment if it is still firmly adhered to it -- you may damage the silk.

Apply a small amount of dry cleaning fluid on the soiled area to remove any excess gum. Test the fluid first by rubbing it on a small inconspicuous area of the garment to make sure it doesn't stain or discolor the fabric. If the fluid doesn't affect the test area, gently rub the soiled area with a cotton swab or pad until the gum comes off. Do not vigorously scrub the fabric. Consult a professional cleaner if any trace of gum remains on the garment.


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