Child blowing a bubblegum

No one knows how it got there, but there it is: chewing gum on your favourite jumper. Carefully, you try to brush it off, but – ah – it’s stuck. You’re in a sticky situation, but there’s no need to panic. With a little luck and the right technique, removing chewing gum can actually be fairly easy.

How to remove chewing gum from clothes

The steps below should help you remove chewing gum from clothes, even if they are delicate and require gentle handling. Just remember to read the labels on your clothes and any cleaning products before you start.

  1. First, make sure that the gum has hardened. To speed things up, you could try using two ice cubes to harden both sides of the gum. You may want to wear gloves while holding the ice in place (it will be cold!) or put the garment in a plastic bag in the freezer for a couple of hours.

  2. Now that the gum has hardened, the chewing gum removal process will be a bit easier. Start to gently peel it away from the material. Extra care is needed here if you’re dealing with a delicate fabric – avoid catching any of the fibres, especially on knitted or embroidered items, and don’t pull too hard.

    Top tip: If you’re struggling to peel the gum away with your fingers, use a spoon to ease the gum from the fabric, taking care not to damage the material beneath.

  3. Heat can help you lift off any small pieces of gum that are still stuck to tiny threads or fibres. Use a hair dryer on a medium heat to warm up the gum. Take care not to overheat the fabric, especially if you are dealing with a delicate material like silk.

  4. If the chewing gum is still there, try soaking the area in some lemon juice or vinegar, or spraying it with hairspray, before wiping away any gum remnants. These chewing gum removal methods should be used with caution on delicate fabrics, so it’s best to test your chosen chewing gum remover on a small area of the fabric first.

  5. Finish by washing the garment as you usually would. If you are dealing with a delicate fabric, use a non-bio detergent that is specially designed for washing delicates, like Persil Silk & Wool. Always follow the washing instructions on the garment care tag. 


Chewing gum removal can be as easy as that – no specialist or expensive chewing gum removers required!