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How to Remove Gum from Shoes: Step-by-Step Guide

As someone who often enjoys exploring the city on foot, I've had my fair share of chewing gum mishaps where suddenly, I feel the dreaded stickiness on the bottom of my shoe. To make it worse, your shoes might become wet or damaged after trying to scrape off the chewing gum or rubbing it with some water. But what if, apart from getting chewing gum off your shoes, you didn't have to deal with the wetness? This would take a large load off your back.

Say goodbye to the hassle of removing gum from your shoes with a pair of our Vessi shoes! We recommend slipping on a pair of these 100% waterproof wonders for an effortless solution to the gum-on-shoe crisis. Not only will they keep your feet bone dry, but our Vessi shoes are also a perfect blend of style and comfort, with plenty of cushioning and support.

Vessi shoes

But that's not all; our eco-friendly Vessi shoes are versatile enough to take you from a casual stroll to a fast-paced run without skipping a beat. Whether you're dodging city chewing gum or just need a reliable pair of shoes for everyday wear, Vessi's got you covered!

However, if you already have another pair of shoes needing gum removal, you will need some tried and tested ways to remove chewing gum from your shoes. So, we've got you covered whether you're dealing with a fresh wad of chewing gum or something stuck on for a while. Dive in!

How to Remove Gum from Shoes

Chewing gum is sticky by design, meaning it can be a nightmare to get it off when it gets stuck on a shoe. You can choose several options when you decide to remove gum stuck on your shoes. However, depending on your shoe design, a method might cause more problems, so you must use the right technique.

1. Freeze the Gum

 shoe with gum on it in a plastic bag

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One of the simplest methods of removing chewing gum from shoes is freezing it. It is a straightforward DIY method, and you will only need a freezer and a plastic bag. Once you have these common household items, follow this step-by-step guide:

  1. Place the entire shoe in the plastic bag. You don't need a new plastic bag, but it should be clean. If you don't have a large plastic bag, ensure the gum-ridden part is in the bag and pressed against the outside bag.

  2. Press the bag against the sticky gum part firmly for a few seconds, which is important since it will directly impact the results.

  3. Put your bag-covered shoe in the freezer for one to two hours. The cold temperature will help to freeze the chewing gum, and instead, stick it to the plastic bag.

  4. After the time passes, remove your shoe from the freezer and get the frozen gum off your shoe.

  5. Give the plastic bag enough time in the freezer since the longer you freeze it, the easier it will be to get gum off the shoes.

2. Ice Cube

Use ice cubes

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Using an ice cube is another easy method; you will only need ice cubes, a plastic bag, and a putty knife.

  1. Fill a plastic bag with some ice cubes.

  2. Place your ice bag on the stubborn gum and ensure no ice cubes get inside or around your shoe to prevent wetting it.

  3. Press the ice cubes on the sticky mess until it freezes since you can remove chewing gum when it is frozen solid.

  4. Once your gum hardens, use a dull knife, a butter knife, or a flat spoon to scrape it off your shoe.

3. WD-40

Remove gum from shoe with wd40

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Like the freezer method, WD-40 uses a mixture of solvents and lubricants to get stuck things to move. However, WD-40 is unsuitable for suede and porous absorbent materials since, although it might get gum off shoes, the oil will stain such fabrics.

In addition, ensure you rinse your shoes after removing chewing gum with WD-40 since the active ingredients could react with plastic and rubber materials if it's left on the shoes.

Before you remove chewing gum using this method, you will need a paper towel and a spray bottle. Then, follow the following steps:

  1. Spray the WD-40 directly on the chewing gum stuck on your sole and not on the whole shoe.

  2. Allow it to sit for some minutes to help loosen the adhesive bond of the chewing gum.

  3. After WD-40 covers the chewing gum, use a paper towel and wipe the hardened gum from your shoe's sole.

  4. If it is still stuck on the bottom of your shoe, apply the spray again and then wipe to remove any residue left from the spraying.

4. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter

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Another common household item you can use is peanut butter and a wire brush. The oil in the peanut butter will help the chewing gum become less sticky and hardened, allowing you to remove gum from your shoes more easily.

  1. Take about two tablespoons or more of peanut butter to apply a thick layer.

  2. Apply peanut butter to the gum and leave it on for over 10 minutes.

  3. Use your wire brush to wipe the gum and peanut butter off your shoe.

  4. Scrub along the sole's grooves and not against them to avoid damaging them.

  5. Place your shoe below a water faucet with the sole side facing up and wash it carefully to scrub the creamy peanut butter from the sole.

5. Olive Oil

Olive oil

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Using olive oil is another method for removing chewing gum from your shoe soles since it can damage other parts of the shoe. You will need olive oil from your kitchen, a spoon with a pointy end, and a paper towel.

Chewing gum gets its chewiness from plastic or rubbery compounds with oils, and too much oil, when mixed with these compounds, will ruin the stickiness. This method is similar to the peanut butter one and is a perfect replacement if you don't have it. However, olive oil is not ideal for suede and leather shoes since it will stain.

  1. Apply olive oil to the stuck gum and wait a few minutes to help it become less sticky.

  2. Use a paper towel or a clean rag to get gum off the shoes.

  3. If chewing gum is still on your shoe, dip the pointy tool into olive oil. The dipping is necessary as it prevents your shoe from getting damaged.

  4. Use the pointy tool to remove chewing gum until you completely remove it.

6. Hair Dryer

Get Gum off Shoes

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If you don't want to harden the gum, you can choose the opposite, which is melting it with heat using a hair dryer.

  1. Direct your hair dryer to the stuck gum area and turn on the heat.

  2. Use a butter knife or a spoon to check your chewing gum's consistency.

  3. Once the gum softens and loses its sticky connection, scrape it off.

  4. Finish off by wiping with a paper towel to get off any residue.

7. Stick and Sand


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For this method, you will need a stick and sand. It is suitable for people outdoors who want to remove fresh gum. The dry sand works like a special exfoliator for your sole's shoe, and you can do it anywhere there is dry sand, although it might take more time compared to any other method.

Although the sand is not damaging, you must be careful since you can accidentally rub it on the shoe fabric.

  1. Take off your shoe and sprinkle some dry sand over the stuck chewing gum.

  2. Use your stick to rub the sand deep into the gum to break it into small pieces.

  3. Keep adding dry sand and rubbing the gum until you remove it.

  4. Rub the gum quickly and continuously remove it to avoid it becoming dry, making it harder to get gum off the shoe.

8. Dissolve Chewing Gum

dissolving chewing gum

You can use several things to dissolve chewing gum stuck on a shoe. For instance, you will need lighter fluid and a piece of cloth or rag. Lighter fluid is the liquid found in the lighter, sometimes called naphtha. Since it's a flammable liquid, ensure you use it in a well-ventilated area and away from any heat sources.

Alternatively, you can use nail polish remover since it's easier to find but apply a small amount first to a patch. This is because nail polish remover contains impurities with the potential to stain and damage your shoes.

  1. Find a rag or a piece of cloth and dip it into the lighter fluid.

  2. Rub the cloth in the stuck gum, and the chewing gum will start dissolving away.

Conclusion on How to Remove Gum from Shoes

From our article, you can tell removing gum from your shoes doesn't have to be a sticky situation. With the methods we have explained above, you can say goodbye to the pesky gum on the bottom of your shoe and hello to a clean sole.

Whether you prefer classic gum removal methods or choose a more creative way to get gum off shoes, we hope you have found one or two methods to stick by. If everything else fails, remember to keep a reliable pair of our Vessi shoes on hand for those days when you just can't avoid the gum-covered sidewalks.

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