Your kids love chewing gum and blowing bubbles, and even when you remind them to keep in their mouths, it always ends up in the most unexpected places. Like their hair, the carpet or even their clothes. Knowing how to remove gum from shirts, pants and other types of fabric is important if you’re going to save their clothes.
Overview of Gum Stains
There are many different types of gum, from the Indian flavored gutka to regular chewing gum and bubble gum. Each kind is sticky, which makes it difficult to get out of clothes with the traditional stain methods. Before you toss gum-stained clothing into the washing machine, follow these instructions.
Getting Gum Stains Out: Step by Step
- Choose Your Detergent and Stain Remover- ice or heat works best
- Pretreat- freeze or blast the stain with heat
- Wash and Rinse
- Check to see if the stain is gone
Choose a Detergent and Stain Remover
Gum removal from clothes typically involves either freezing the gum or blasting it with heat. If you have ice cubes or a freezer, you can freeze the gum, making it hard and much easier to remove. You can also use heat, either ironing the garment or blasting the gum with heat from a hair dryer.
To pre-treat the stain and leftover residue after removing the gum, apply Persil Color Megaperls® or Persil Color Gel to stains on colored clothing and Persil Universal Megaperls® or Persil Universal Gel to stains on white clothing. For delicate fabrics, Perwoll Care may be used.
Pretreat the Area
To freeze the gum, take an ice cube and rub it on the gum until it is completely frozen. Once it is hard, scrape it off the garment with a paint scraper, blunt knife or spoon. You can also place it in the freezer to harden. To do this, first fold the clothing so the gum is facing up and away from other parts of the clothing. Then, place the clothes in a plastic bag and stick it in the freezer. After about an hour, the gum should be frozen solid, making it easy to remove.
If you’d rather remove the gum with heat, use a hair dryer to melt the gum. When the gum is softened, but not completely melted, use a spoon to scrape it away. You can also use an iron to do this. Place a piece of cardboard on your ironing board, the arrange the clothing so the gum is in direct contact with the cardboard. Set the item to a medium heat and iron the back of the clothing. After a few minutes of ironing, the gum should be soft enough to stick to the cardboard. Simply peel the clothes away and the gum will be left behind.
To make sure all of the residue is gone, pre-treat with your detergent after removing the gum.
Wash and Rinse
Wash the garment as usual to get rid of any remaining residue.
Check the Stain
Before you toss the clothing in the dryer, check to see if the gum stain is completely gone. If it isn’t, air dry the clothing and repeat the pre-treatment steps.
How to Get Gum Stains out of Special Laundry Types and Fabrics
Take care when removing gum from certain laundry types and fabric, especially if you’re using the freeze remedy. If the fabric is knitted or embroidered, use tweezers to carefully grab pieces of the hardened gum instead of scraping the fabric with a spoon or blunt knife. This will make it easier for you to avoid tugging on delicate threads as you get rid of the gum.
In addition, always pay attention to the garment label before washing. Certain fine fabrics may require hand washing after gum stain removal with Perwoll Care.
Removing Gum Stains From White Clothing
On white clothing, some types of gum, especially those that are high in sugar or have food dyes in them, additional stains to your clothing can occur. If your child’s white shirt has a pink stain from her bubble gum, even after you’ve removed the gum, pre-treat it like a normal stain before washing with a stain remover like Sil 1-for-All Stain Gel or Sil 1-for All Stain Salt.
Found gum on your child’s shoes or jeans? Use these tips to get the gum out quickly and restore the look of their clothes.