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How to get gum off shoes (Shoe Surface, Laces and Shoe Sole)

In this article, we will go through several hacks that can be used to get gum off shoes that are not all interchangeable. The choice of methods depends on the material, type of shoe as well as the part of shoe affected by the gum. The different hacks used to get rid of gum on shoes are easily manageable as they entail the use of simple home-found materials or ingredients such as ice or peanut butter.

How to get gum off Leather shoes

Chewing gum remains to be one of the most favourite candies for most people, young and old. Accidentally stepping on gum is however one of the most irritating feelings, especially when wearing your most treasured shoes.

Spray with WD40 – while many people may know this as a spray for the bicycle chain, it could help you easily get off that sticky gum on your favourite shoes. Just like ice, this spray freezes the gum, making it easy to remove. It is a more convenient method as the gum hardens really quickly and you do not have to wait as in the use of ice option.

WD-40 Spray effectively removes gum from Leather shoes without causing any damage

Scrapping off – if the chewing gum is already hardened, you can easily scrape it off using a hard tool such as a spatula. This method might not work if the gum is still soft.

Use of ice – this is effective because cold helps the gum to harden. You can compress gum with an ice block for about 10-20 minutes; you can then easily remove the frozen/ hardened gum with a spatula. Alternatively, you can wrap the entire shoe in a plastic bag before freezing it for about 2 hours. The gum should then be easily scraped off after you remove the plastic.

Using peanut butter– instead of making it hard as ice does above, peanut butter makes the gum soften, making it easy to pull off. If you choose this method, start by putting two spoonfuls of peanut butter over the gum for not more than 20 minutes. At this point, the gum should be flexible enough to scrape off. 

Use sand and a stick – this is a convenient and effective method that you can use when outdoor. Suppose you happen to step on a gum that is soft and malleable. You will need to sprinkle sand or dirt over the gum, continuously add sand and keep on scrubbing. The gum should start coming off in small chunks. The sand acts as an exfoliator for your shoe’s surface or sole. Keep adding sand as you scrub until all the gum comes off. Although this hack takes time, it is much better than leaving the gum unattended.

How to get gum off Shoe fabric

Removing gum from your shoe fabric should be easy with just a few steps, from any of hacks below.

Solvents – WD40 is the most common product used to dissolve gum, but if unavailable, Acetone can be used. Acetone is an active ingredient used in nail polish removers. Simply wet a piece of fabric with Acetone and rub on the gum continuously. Acetone is, however flammable and produces fumes hence not safe for indoor use. It may also ruin suede and patent (coated leather) shoes.

Freezing – wrap the shoe in a plastic bag and freeze it for like an hour when the gum hardens. Use a spatula, plastic or stick to scrape off the gum from your shoe fabric. Take note that scraping too hard may damage the shoe. Any remaining pieces of gum can be removed with liquid dishwashing soap or vinegar. Sponge the area with the soap or vinegar solution and wait for 10 minutes then wipe off with a clean cloth. You can repeat this if necessary to acquire a clean gum-free shoe surface, then finally air-dry the shoes.

Cleaning Gum off Shoe Fabric

How to get gum off Bottom of shoes

Compressed Air -spray WD-40 directly on the sole of the shoe, on and around the gum and leave it for at least one minute. This will loosen the gums adhesive bond. Use a piece of cloth to wipe off the gum and clean the shoe.

Peanut butter – Rub two tablespoons of peanut butter over the gum. Wait for about 10 minutes for the gum to soften and mix with the peanut butter. You can then scrape the whole mixture and clean up the shoe sole using a bristle brush with soap and water.

Freezing – Wrap the shoe in a plastic bag with the gum pressed tightly against the plastic. Place it in the freezer and leave the gum to harden for about 2 hours. When the gum is well dried, pulling the plastic from the shoe peels off the gum. Any pieces of remnant gum can be easily removed with a stick or spoon.

Melting – use a hairdryer or heat gun to heat the gun until it melts. Once the gum melts and softens, use a spoon or butter knife to scrape the gum off. Take note not to use too much heat that can damage or burn the shoe soles.

How to get gum off shoelaces

Peanut-butter and Laundry Detergent – rub some peanut butter on the shoelaces and let it soak into the fibres. Let the laces soak for about 15 minutes for the gum to soften. You can then scrape off the gum and soak the shoelaces in warm water with laundry detergent. Use a soft brush to scrub the laces then rinse off with clean water.

Laundry detergent removes gums off shoe laces and leaves them sparingly clean

WD-40 – dissolve the gum by spraying it with WD-40. Leave it for at least 10 minutes before wiping off the excess WD-40 together with the gum with a piece of cloth or paper towel. You could also freeze the gum with compressed Air which hardens it making it easy to pull off.

Freezing – wrap your shoelaces in a plastic bag and press the stained area against the bag. Put the bag in the freezer for one to two hours to harden the gum. The gum will then be easily left on the plastic bag as you remove the laces. Scrap off any remaining particles.

Icecubes – if you are in a rush, rub some ice over the gum for at least 10 minutes to harden it then quickly scrape it off with a blunt tool.

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