It’s not a nice feeling: you’re taking off your jumper after a long day, when your hand brushes something odd … and sticky … in the fuzzy fibres. To your horror, it turns out to be chewing gum. Luckily, gum stain removal can be very simple, even if your clothing is made from a delicate fabric. Here’s how to get chewing gum out of clothes gently, so that you can get out of this sticky situation quickly!
How to remove gum stains from clothes
Getting chewing gum out of clothes – delicate or not – can be pretty simple. As long as you follow the steps below, the gum should go quietly.
Top tip: Delicate clothes need delicate treatment, so be gentle! Read your garment’s care label for washing advice, and look out for the ‘dry clean only’ symbol. If you find it, bring the item to a professional.
Ready to start? Here’s how to get gum stains out of clothes:
- Wait until the chewing gum is dry and hard. This can take a while, but you can speed up the process by putting the stained piece of clothing in a plastic bag and stashing it in the freezer for a couple of hours. Pressing ice cubes on either side of the gum can also help.
- Peel it off. Start carefully peeling the hardened gum off the fabric. Be patient, and try not to pull too hard – you don’t want to damage the fabric in the process.
Top tip: Finding it difficult to peel off the gum with your fingers? Try using a spoon for that extra bit of leverage. Just remember to be gentle!
- Heat it up. If you haven’t been able to peel off all the gum, a good gum stain removal trick is to apply some heat. Just put your hair dryer on a low heat setting and turn it towards the gum stain to warm it up, then pick those last few gum fragments off. Be careful not to overheat the material here, especially if you’re trying to get chewing gum out of a delicate material like silk or wool.
- Apply a pre-treatment, if needed. Dab the area with white vinegar, lemon juice or hairspray, before gently rubbing any remaining gum away. Be careful, though: these stain removal treatments aren’t suitable for all types of fabric, so test them out on an inconspicuous area of the garment first.
- Wash at the normal temperature. Once you’ve gotten rid of the sticky chewing gum, just follow the instructions on your garment’s care label to machine or hand wash it as normal.
That’s it: gum stain removal in just five steps. So next time you find a splodge of gum on a much-loved jumper, there’s no need to panic. Trust us: with a little patience, and your trusty freezer, your clothes will be gum-free and ready to wear in no time.