Dentists recommend sugar-free gum after meals, but the knowledge that it’s good for your teeth doesn’t make you feel any better when you’ve just stood in it. Gum is generally very sticky, it can be difficult to remove when it’s still soft, and much harder when it’s hardened.
The good news is that you don’t need to throw your shoes away, you just need to discover how to get gum off shoes. Despite the depth of the tread on your best shoes, it’s not as difficult as you may think.
How To Get Gum Off Shoes
Here are several techniques you can try:
One of your favorite foods can be useful in a non-food application, such as this, and you don’t even need to use too much of it.
Simply take a generous dollop of peanut butter and smear it across the gum, then leave it in place for 10-15 minutes. The exact amount of time will depend on how hard the gum already is.
The gum and the peanut butter will become one compound, simply scrape the excess off your shoe and then you can wash the affected area with soap and water.
This really works! It’s because there are plenty of oils in peanut butter and these attract the gum base in your chewing gum. The result is the stickiness of the gum is reduced, allowing you to scrape it off.
If you take a look in your garage you’ll probably find a can of WD40, it is very effective at eliminating squeaks and lubricating parts.
Now you can also use it to get gum off shoes. Simply spray the affected area on your shoe for several seconds, the gum should harden. If it doesn’t, spray it again for a few moments.
Once the gum has hardened you can scrap the gum off with a butter knife or something similar. The WD40 makes it brittle by destroying the stickiness, allowing you to almost effortlessly remove it.
Freeze It: Ice or Compressed Air
Freezing your shoe is only an option if they are not too expensive, the coldness of your freezer can actually damage the material on your shoe. But, if you’ve tried the other methods without success this is one of the best methods of how to get gum off shoes.
Put your shoe or shoes inside a plastic bag and make sure the bag is pushed firmly against the gum. The plastic bag will protect the material of your shoe a little. But, as it freezes, it will also stick to the gum because it contains moisture.
Leave your shoe in the freezer for at least an hour to ensure the gum has frozen properly. You can then remove it and remove the plastic bag, the gum should remain stuck to the bag. Any small pieces left on your shoe should be easy to scrape off with a knife or something similar.
If you don’t have enough time to leave your shoe in the freezer for an hour then you can try rubbing an ice cube over the gum repeatedly for 10-20 minutes. This should have a similar effect to the freezer and loosen it enough that you can scrape it off with a knife.
Another option for how to get gum off shoes is to use compressed air. This works on the same principle as the compressed air is extremely cold. Spray it directly onto the gum for several minutes, it should harden it, again allowing you to scrape it off.
This is surprisingly powerful stuff and can be used for many chores around the home. Because it is acetone-based it can actually dissolve the gum, helping it to lose its stickiness and for you to pull it off your shoe.
Simply soak a cloth in nail polish remover and rub the gum repeatedly, after several minutes the gum will actually disappear.
In fact, you can adopt the same approach with lighter fluid, just be careful that you do this in a well-ventilated area.
Another option is to use sand and a stick. This process simply requires you to cover the gum in sand and then use the stick to rub the sand into the gum, gently pushing at the base of the gum as you do this.
It will take a few minutes but eventually, the gum will lift off your shoe and adhere to the stick. Of course, you don’t mind throwing that away.
Consider Your Shoes
The real trick to successfully discovering how to get gum off your shoes is to consider what type of material you’re dealing with and where the gum is. You’ll be more likely to accept a little damage to the material of your shoe if it’s on the sole than you will if it’s on the leather or suede.
That’s why your first step should be to use a knife to scrape the gum off, without running the knife across the material off the shoe. If you can’t find a knife, a credit card is an acceptable alternative.
This is one of the most difficult materials to remove gum from because the moisture from freezing or ice cubes will stain the suede, the oils in peanut butter will stain your shoe, and even WD40 will stain it!
The safest approach when dealing with suede is to use a knife slowly and very carefully. You’ll then need to invest in a special eraser to restore the original look of the material.
It’s worth noting that you’ll need to take the same approach if you have gum on your leather shoes. A knife or the edge of a credit card can be used to scrape the excess gum off, you’ll then need to use a leather cleaning kit to brush the leather and restore it properly.
Getting gum on your shoe is never a pleasant experience. But, with these tips for how to get gum off shoes, and quick reactions it should be no more than a temporary inconvenience.