How to Get Rid of Gum from Your Clothes

January 19, 2024

In Singapore, navigating the chewing gum landscape is a bit of a unique journey. While the rules have eased up, the sale of gum is still shaped by one of the city's standout laws. Here's the rundown: your everyday gum is a non-starter, but they carve out space for gums on a mission, like nicotine gum aiding in smoking cessation or dental gum addressing oral concerns. It's a distinctive twist in the world of gum regulations!

You may still have had the good fortune to chew a gum or two during your overseas trips and ushered in the bad fortune of gum sticking to your clothes that you brought back to Singapore. This article is for those who grapple with removing gum from fabrics in Singapore.

Easy Ways to Get Rid of Gum from Fabrics at Home

Here are the easiest ways you can follow at home to remove gum from the fabrics.  

Freeze the Cloth in Refrigerator

Chewing gums have a special type of polymers and they react to changing temperature quickly - they harden when frozen. If the gum is not too mashed onto the cloth, you can freeze it by keeping the cloth in the freezer and removing it. You can try this on all types of clothes to remove gum, but it works best on smoother clothes.  

How to Do it?

  • Take and keep the clothing in a freezer bag. While doing this, make sure that the bag contains enough air for the gum to not stick onto the bag.
  • Seal the bag properly and keep it inside the freezer for some hours.  
  • Take out the fabric from the freezer and work on the cloth immediately to remove the gum.  
  • Pull the gum away from the cloth gently using your fingernails; you can also use a blunt knife to scrape and peel the gum.
  • De-bonding becomes easy when the gum is frozen; follow by machine washing of the cloth after removing the gum.  
  • You can also use ice cubes directly on the gum as an alternative to freeze the gum and peel it off.  

Use Hot Blast on the Cloth

You will have to use extra heat and sometimes a harsh method to soften the gum and remove it if it has adhered strongly to the fabric. Using hot steam or hair dryers on the gum should be of help in such cases.  

How to Do it?

  • Apply some deep heat rub on the opposite side of the chewing gum on the fabric.
  • Take a hair dryer set and hot blow over the gum for it to come off easily.  
  • Remove the gum by peeling it off using a blunt knife or your fingernails.  
  • You can also use hot steam on the cloth as an alternative way - a kettle or vaporizer works best.  

Apply Some Coconut Oil


Applying coconut oil helps greatly in removing chewing gums from synthetic clothes as it aids to loosen the gum by softening it.  

How to Do it?

  • Take one or two spoons of coconut oil in a cup and heat the oil until it is warm.  
  • Dip the gum-stuck area of the fabric into the oil.
  • Follow by using a toothbrush to scrape off the gum immediately when it is soft.
  • Repeat these steps until you remove the traces of gum from the fabric.  
  • Air-dry the cloth after removing the gum followed by washing it with warm water and a regular detergent to remove the oil from the cloth.  

Apply Some Laundry Soap or Laundry Detergent

Using laundry detergents and soap also works well to remove chewing gum from clothes. The only thing is that the task requires a bit more energy as it is labour intensive.  

How to Do it?

  • Apply a generous amount of laundry detergent over the chewing gum and the area around it on the fabric.  
  • Use a toothbrush to scrape the gum away to break the gum into smaller pieces.  
  • You can use a blunt knife and some more detergent if the gum is yet to go.  
  • Once you remove the gum from the fabric completely, wash it as usual.  

Apply Petrol or Lighter Fluid on the Fabric

Petrol and lighter fuels are effective ways to remove gum stuck onto the fabrics as they are powerful organic solvents. They are mainly used to remove stubborn gum sticks from not-so-delicate fabrics. Keep in mind to use both with caution as they can emit vapours that could cause lightheadedness while inhaling them.  

How to Do it?

  • Dip a small sponge or a clean piece of cloth into petrol and apply it all over the gum-stick area of the cloth to dissolve the base of sticking.
  • Follow the cleaning by using a blunt knife to scrape away the gum.  
  • Apply some lighter fluid on the back side of the cloth too while using it.  
  • Just like after applying petrol, you can scrape away the gum from the fabric using a blunt knife.
  • Follow by washing the cloth using regular detergent after removing the residues of the gum.  

Use Rubbing Alcohol on the Fabric

Applying rubbing alcohol helps to loosen the base of the gum that is stuck on fabrics. It works easily on delicate clothes on which using other methods are not recommended.  

How to Do it?

  • Dip a small sponge in rubbing alcohol and rub it all over the gum.  
  • Follow by scrubbing the gum with the sponge and leaving it undisturbed for some time to loosen the gum.
  • Use a little effort and scrape away the gum using a blunt knife.  
  • Finish by washing the garment using a regular detergent.  

Take the weight off your shoulders and get the help of professionals to clean and make your clothes gum-free, rather than throwing them away. Download the Sendhelper app and request the laundry service to get the perfect care for your clothes. While our professionals work on it, you can sit back and relax!

Services recommended for you

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