Pop it in the freezer
Surprisingly, it's a lot easier to pull the tacky substance from clothes when frozen solid. Attempting to remove a freshly chewed piece of gum only creates and spreads it around the fabric. Here are a few easy steps to follow:
1. Fold the piece of clothing with the gum facing upwards before placing into a ziplock bag. Make a conscious effort to stop the gum from sticking to the bag before sealing shut.
2. Place in the freezer for roughly 3-4 hours, or until the gum is solidified. Remember, the harder the gum is, the easier it will be to remove.
3. For the removal process, you have to work quickly before the gum starts to melt and soften. Using a butter knife, gently lift the gum and avoid scraping motions which can damage the clothing item.
4. Finally spray fabric stain remover over the area and give it a few gentle rubs before throwing it in the wash on a hot water cycle and the stain will lift right off!
Soak in vinegar
Although there are so many ways to use this household staple to clean the home, did it ever cross your mind that it could remove gum as well.
1. Vinegar is more effective when heated. Warm a small amount on the stove but make sure it's not boiling.
2. Spoon a small amount of vinegar over the gum and allow it to soak into the fabric for a minute.
3. Using an old toothbrush scrub at the edges. Keep in mind that you are trying to detach the gum from the cloth.
4. Repeat the process a few times and reheat the vinegar if it cools.
6. After the gum has been removed, machine-wash the clothing item and use a softener if any unpleasant odours linger.
Spritz some hair spray
That bottle of hair spray in your bathroom isn't only reserved styling your mane. If you don't have a freezer, hair spray works similarly to the freezing method and hardens the gum.
Here are a few things to keep in mind before you get spritzing:
1. Firstly, you will need a thick piece of cardboard to place over your gum-ridden items. Make a small cutout in the cardboard to expose the gum. The incision should be made with the aim to avoid getting any hairspray on the fabric while allowing it to make contact with some parts of the chewing gum.
2. Hold the can about 15cm away from the gum and spray for 30 – 60 seconds.
3. Using a butter knife gently remove the gum by lifting it upward. Typically it will break off piece by piece, therefore, you will most likely need to respray the gum as you come across sticky bits that haven't hardened.
4. Once the gum has been removed, apply a stain removal liquid to the area and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Lightly rub the garment together to tackle the stain before putting it in the washer.
For stubborn pieces that just won't budge, try using more than one of these methods. However, the rule of thumb for gum removal is to act quickly to make the entire process easier.
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