How to remove gum from shoes

Imagine one morning you are out for a walk. While you are jogging, you find something just stuck in your favorite jogging shoe. As disturbing as it might sound, getting rid of it is much more difficult. After some fail attempts to remove the sticky gum from it, you would find your favorite shoe ruined.

Kids and as well as Adults sometimes unintentionally spits their gum here and there. They don’t realize how tough it is to remove the gum once it stuck in the shoe. Removing chewing gum from the sole is not a piece of cake. If you don’t know how to handle the matter, you would be most likely to start scrubbing it from the shoe which may eventually lead the sole to be damaged, and the whole gum won’t come out of it as well. To make this task easy, here we have listed six great ways to get rid of the gum from your shoe that might come handy in these critical conditions.

1. Freeze the Gum:

remove gum from shoes

Arguably the easiest and effective technique to remove gum from shoes is to freeze the gum itself. Wrap the shoe in a Plastic bag or a plastic sheet. Slowly press the part of the bag or sheet where the gum to stick it with the Plastic too. Then keep the shoe wrapped in the bag into a deep freezer for 3-4 hours until it gets frosty. Once the gum gets cold, it will start to stick to the plastic bag firmly and release the shoe. After bringing out the shoe from the freezer, hold the part tightly where the gum is and squeeze it with the plastic bag. It will easily come out without any effort.

2. WD-40:

remove gum from shoes

WD-40 cans could be found in any supermarket or grocery shop. It can be used to get rid of the gum. Though it will cost you a little money, it is very effective way to save your Shoe. First, you need to Spray the solution of WD-40 all around the gum and give it a little time to loosen the adhesive bond. Use a tissue, or a cloth rag to wipe the gum beneath the shoe. It should come away very easily and quickly. If the whole gum doesn’t come out at first try, give the gum a second spray and try again. When the gum is completely removed, use a towel, paper towel or a rag to wipe the shoe to remove the remaining gum.

3. With Sand and Stick:

remove gum from shoes

What if you are stranded in the countryside or went on hiking? Freezing the shoe or the solution of WD-40 won’t be able to help you. This method will only work if you're out for work or camping in the woods and accidentally step on a pliable and soft gum. You need to have Dry sand or very small pieces of wood and a small wooden stick. Remove the shoe and sprinkle the sand around the gum. With the stick, start scrubbing the sand to the gum. It would start coming out in tiny chunks. Continue it unless it comes off totally. The sand works as an exfoliator to the bottom of the shoe. It might take some time, but it's good to act swiftly instead of letting the gum to dry. If it dries in the outsole, you might find difficulty removing it.

4. Dissolve the gum with Naptha/ Acetone-based nail polish:

remove gum from shoes

Take Naphtha or Acetone-based nail polish in a bowl. Get an old piece of cloth and let it soak the solution for some time. Gently start to rub it over the chewing gum. The gum would begin to dissolve gradually. Naphtha and Acetone-based nail polishes are extremely flammable. So don’t forget to keep it away from extreme heats. Keep rubbing it onto the gum till it disappears.

5. Use Ice to freeze:

remove gum from shoes

It is quite similar to the freezing method, but you can use it when you are away from home. Place your shoe on top of the ice cubes with the gum-side down. Don’t let the ice cubes go inside or around the shoe, as it would make the shoe wet. You would be able to remove the gum after it has been frozen solid. It may take a little while. Then slowly and carefully use a rounded butter knife to scrape the frozen, hard gum off the sole.

6. Peanut Butter/ Butter/ Olive Oil:

remove gum from shoes

 If you have peanut butter or regular butter or even Olive oil, you can do the rest on your own. Apply a thick layer of creamy regular butter, peanut butter or oil (about two tablespoons) to the gum. Leave it on top of the gum for 15 minutes. After some time, use a wire brush (the one you use to clean dishes) to scrub away both the butter and the gum. It may take a little elbow grease, but this might help the gum to wash off. Then hold the shoe upside down underneath some cold stream of water and rub with a sponge to get rid of any excessive butter residue.

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  • Updated June 10, 2017
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