Nov 10 2014

10 Easy Ways to Get Rid of a Sticky Mess!

Looking back at my mom’s funniest reactions, I would have to say that most of them included some sort of candy, food, gum or weird substance stuck to my clothes, her car interiors, school back packs or being all over the house.

Now as a mom, gum and candy are all forbidden from my household! Mostly because I’m afraid of two things, accustoming my daughter to eat candy and having to deal with the aftermath. But, how can I explain to my daughter the concept of Halloween and Trick-or-Treating without candy being involved? Exactly! Impossible!

Therefore, I have assigned myself to look for 10 easy ways to remove gum from all sorts of garments, fabrics and surfaces.

A wise woman always removed any gum from my clothes using ice, but that seems so archaic and tedious. I needed to find other ways to do so. The rule of gold when it comes to dealing with messes like these, ACT FAST! The faster you act the easier the task will be. So always remember, don’t leave a mess for tomorrow when you can deal with it today.

If your life is as hectic as mine, fighting with an ice cube and rubbing it against the stuck gum seems like such a task, so here are 9 other ways to fight and win this sticky battle!

You can start by try removing as much of the gum as you can with your rubber gloved hands, then you may place the garment into a freezer bag (use a grocery bag if the garment does not fit into the freezer bag) with the gum-side up and take the garment and put it in the freezer until the gum is completely frozen.

Once frozen, or whenever you have time, take the garment from the freezer and with a paring knife (or plastic knife if you are dealing with a delicate material), scrape as much of the remaining gum as you can. Afterwards you may want to brush whatever is left off with a toothbrush and then wash the garment as you would normally.


If you do not have access to a freezer or even ice, you may want to use (wait for this!) peanut butter! Filled with natural oils, spreading peanut butter over the gum and letting it sit for 15 minutes, then scraping the gum off with a knife. Afterwards, you will likely need to wash the garment to remove the peanut butter residue. Peanut butter will also be helpful to remove gum from hair as well.

Option 3 for every hands-on parent out there, boil it! This is also a helpful alternative to the peanut butter for families with nut allergies. Submerge the garment into boiling water and while submerged, scrape off the gum.

Rubbing alcohol, if on hand, will also help to remove the stickiness from the gum and will make removing the gum a walk in the park.

If, unlike me, you love ironing, this option may be the one for you! Place the garment, gum-side down, on top of a piece of cardboard and iron over it for the heat to melt the gum and make it stick to the cardboard instead of being stuck to the piece of fabric.

Vinegar, the super power all-solving agent, is also a good option when it comes to removing gum from all sorts of fabrics and surfaces. Easy as one: heat up a cup of vinegar in the microwave or stove and bring it to a boil; two: dip a toothbrush into the hot vinegar and, three: scrape it off from the surface.

Spraying a small amount of hair spray directly onto the gum will harden it and make it easy to just lift it off from the surface with a spatula-like utensil.

Following similar procedures to a waxing session, you can remove the gum off the fabric or surface by pealing it off with heavy duty duct tape and continue doing so until it is gone entirely.

Last, but not least, WD-40 may be the answer to another one of our household issues. Spraying some on top of and around the stuck gum will help release it, brush the remaining gum off with a toothbrush and then wash the garment as you would normally.

With these easy and accessible tips, we do not need to be afraid of giving our kids a little gum or candy every now and then. Now, dealing with the sugar rush may be another topic for another battle to fight!