How to Get Gum off a Shirt

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Gum stuck on your favorite shirt makes for an unpleasant cleaning job.
Gum stuck on your favorite shirt makes for an unpleasant cleaning job. (Image: bubble gum image by Tomasz Plawski from Fotolia.com)

Chewing gum contains a synthetic rubber that gives gum its chewy texture. That same attribute is what makes chewing gum stick to the fibers in your shirt. While it's possible to remove chewing gum from your shirt, gum's sticky consistency makes removing it a time-consuming and unpleasant task. Chewing gum cannot be removed from your shirt in the washing machine, as this will serve only to transfer the gum to other garments. But you can successfully remove chewing gum from your shirt using supplies found in your home and garage.

Things You'll Need

  • Butter knife
  • Plastic zip-top bag
  • Ice cubes
  • Kerosene
  • Bowl
  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent

Remove as much of the chewing gum substance from your shirt using the dull side of a table knife or butter knife.

Lay ice cubes on the chewing gum residue that remains on your shirt. Leave the ice cubes on, placing fresh ice on the shirt if needed, until the chewing gum residue hardens.

Ice cubes harden chewing gum, making it easier to remove.
Ice cubes harden chewing gum, making it easier to remove. (Image: ice cubes image by Adkok from Fotolia.com)

Scrape the remaining gum residue from your shirt. Apply ice cubes to your shirt again if the gum begins to soften.

Fill a bowl with kerosene. Soak the chewing-gum-stained portion of your shirt in the kerosene for 30 minutes to loosen and lift the chewing gum stain.

Wash your garment in a washing machine with a heavy-duty laundry detergent.

Tips & Warnings

  • Place a chewing-gum-stained shirt in a plastic zip bag, then put it in the freezer for a couple of hours. This will harden the gum and keep it hard until you have time to remove the chewing gum stain.
  • Test kerosene on an inconspicuous place on your shirt if it's made of a delicate fabric such as silk.

References

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