How to Get Gum Out of Carpet, Clothing & Other Fabric

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Step 1: Rub an ice cube
Remove gum from clothes, carpeting, and fabric by rubbing an ice cube or an ice pack on the gum to freeze it. Then use a dull knife or spoon to remove as much as possible.

Tip
You can also put clothing in a plastic bag and put the bag in your freezer to freeze the gum.

Step 2: Remove residual gum
Rub a few drops of liquid dish soap or carpet cleaning solution into the fabric before washing to remove any leftover stains. Wash as directed on the care label or, if the gum is on carpet, rinse with clean water and blot dry.

Step 3: Try gasoline
Dab gasoline on the gum. The gas will dissolve the gum, but use as little as possible — gasoline is flammable and hazardous.

Tip
Alcohol, such as vodka or gin, also works to loosen gum.

Step 4: Use an iron
Use an iron. Place a garment with gum on it on a piece of cardboard, with the gum against the cardboard. Set your iron to a medium setting and pass it over the gum until the gum melts and transfers from the fabric to the cardboard.

Step 5: Use peanut butter
Spread peanut butter on the gum and work it around to cover as much of the gum as possible. The gum will become soft and lose its stickiness, and then you can scrape it away with a dull knife.

Tip
Peanut butter is very oily and may leave a stain. A liquid stain remover may be necessary to get the oil out.

Step 6: Use hairspray
Spray a small amount of hairspray onto the gum. The gum will harden and you will be able to scrape it away.

Step 7: Use laundry soap
Pour liquid laundry soap on the gum. Then work the soap into the gum with a toothbrush to break it up. Scrape away the gum and launder the garment to get the soap out. And be thankful the gum didn’t end up in your hair.

Did You Know?
The first commercial chewing gum — State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum — was introduced in 1848 by John B. Curtis.