How to Remove Gum From a Pocket

Chewing gum can leave a sticky mess on clothing.
Chewing gum can leave a sticky mess on clothing. (Image: man with gum image by Alexander Zhiltsov from Fotolia.com)

Chewing gum can make a sticky mess anywhere it lands. You might put a piece of chewing gum wrapped in paper or a tissue in your pocket that glues itself to the interior of your pocket. You might think you carefully tossed your gum into the waste bin only to discover it is stuck on the outside of your pocket, or perhaps your toddler got tired of hers and deposited it there. Don’t despair; there are ways to remove gum from clothing on even the most delicate fabrics.

Things You'll Need

  • Ice cube
  • Strapping tape or electrical tape
  • Credit card or butter knife
  • Liquid laundry detergent or enzyme pre-treatment solution
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Clean, soft towel

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Most Popular Method

Harden the gum by freezing the area. If it is in the interior of your pocket, pull the cloth to the outside of the garment, if possible. You can freeze the gum by putting an ice cube in a plastic bag and holding it over the gum or by freezing the item of clothing.

Pull as much of the gum as possible away from the area with your fingers. If you are left with minuscule pieces, you can apply a bit of strong tape, such as strapping tape for shipping packages or electrical tape, to the area to remove the remaining residue.

Scrape the gum away from the fabric with the dull edge of a credit card or a butter knife.

Launder the item as usual, after pre-treating it with liquid laundry detergent or an enzyme pre-treatment solution, according to the website Remedies at Home.

Vinegar Method

Heat about 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar in the microwave for a few seconds.

Grab a clean towel and place it in the heated vinegar.

Dab the gum with the vinegar-soaked towel, trying to thoroughly saturate it. The gum will start to dissolve, according to the Tipking website.

Scrape away any remaining residue with the dull edge of a credit card or butter knife, and launder the item in the usual manner.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid using oily substances to remove gum from clothing. Although it may remove the gum, it is more likely to leave a greasy stain, thus increasing the problem. Only attempt this as a last resort and if you know the clothing item is probably going to be discarded anyway.

References

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