How To Get Gum Off Shoes? 9 Easy Ways

How To Get Gum Off Shoes

How to get gum off shoes? No one wants to experience such a troublesome accident, but it happens, unavoidably. However, simple hacks exist to make everything easier for you. Whatever is most convenient for you, go for it!

How To Get Gum Off Shoes?

Use ice cubes

Many experts consider ice cubes the first remedy at home they will ever use because it is colorless and odorless, even a white sneaker would be safe.

The principle here is to weaken the bond between the gum with ice and the shoe material without making a bigger mess. The gum will shrink under the cold effect and eventually detaches from your shoe.


  • A plastic bag
  • Ice cubes
  • A hard card

How to use

  1. Put the ice cubes in the plastic bag and make sure there is no crack. You don’t want to let the ice melt down too fast or get your shoes wet, especially leather shoes, hence it’s better to use a zipper bag (the type used for food storage).
  2. Next, press the ice pack against the gum until it is solidified. This step takes quite a long while, so if you don’t have enough time for it, you can put the shoe and the packed ice in another bag and make sure they are firmly pressed against each other.
  3. Once the ice has turned the gum solid, you can easily scrape it off with a blunt knife or a hard card, these things won’t scratch and damage the shoe. For safety, flat spoons would do too.

Use freezer

If you are not in a rush and your freezer has some spare room for a shoe, utilizing your freezer might be the easiest way to get gum off shoes.


  • A freezer
  • A plastic bag

How to use

  1. Tuck your shoe in the plastic bag. Both grocery bags and food-storage bags work brilliantly, as long as they are clean. The shoe doesn’t have to fit inside the bag; the key is to make sure the troubled spot faces you, so you can handle it properly.
  2. Forcefully press the plastic against the annoying gum! The better you do it, the tighter the bag will cling to the right spot and fixate it for you. It’s the most important step to ensure the process is effective.
  3. Put the bag with the shoe in your freezer. You should have enough space for it, to avoid getting stains on your shoe and germs on your food. Leave it be for a couple of hours before taking the whole bag out of the refrigerator.
  4. The magic is here! The gum will be stuck against the plastic instead of the shoe and be gone when you get the bag off. It’s why you should apply pressure to the spot and let it freeze for hours.

Use WD-40


  • A bottle of WD-4D
  • Paper towels

How to use

  1. Get a WD-40 spray from supply stores or supermarkets. We will spray the solution on the spot directly and basically cover it with WD-40. This substance will weaken the gum bond in a few minutes.
  2. Once the gum has absorbed enough solution, a paper towel will be enough to wipe it off. If the piece is stubborn, another dose of WD-40 can help.
  3. Give your shoe another wipe afterward to get rid of any remaining gum or solvent.

Use solvent

To be specific, we will use naphtha, also known as lighter fluid. It’s one of many solvents you can use to deal with gum.


  • Lighter fluid
  • Rag or cloth

How to use

  1. Soak the cloth with naphtha and rub the solvent all over the sticky gum. The substance will dissolve the gum effectively. You can also use the remover for nail polishes because it has the same properties as naphtha.
  2. Be careful while you work with these solvents, for they are usually flammable. Heat sources should never get close to them.

Use peanut butter

Who would have thought delicious peanut butter would be so good at cleaning your shoes? The key factor is the butter’s oil making the gum less sticky.


  • Peanut Butter
  • Wire brush

How to use

  1. Don’t hesitate to apply a thick layer of peanut butter to the spot and let it stay on for about 15 minutes. It will make the next step much easier.
  2. Remove the gum from your shoes with a brush and water, in the correct order. You will need to be a little patient so the wire brush won’t cause any damage.
  3. Next, let the cold water do its job and wash away all the unwanted residue.

Use olive oil

Olive oil shouldn’t come off as a surprise when you are trying to remove gum from your shoes. Since you can complete this cleaning task with peanut butter by using the oil in its composition, of course, a substance with oil as the main component can do the same.


  • Olive oil
  • Paper towel
  • A stick

How to use

  1. Apply the oil to the gum thoroughly and make sure the area around is also covered in oil. The process is not much different from what you do with peanut butter, hence it serves as an alternative when you don’t have the butter ready.
  2. Wipe the shoe clean with a paper towel or cloth. If there are any remnants, they should be softened by the oil already, so you can gently scrape them off with a stick.
  3. To avoid damage, we dip the stick-like tool in olive oil in advance.

Use white vinegar

Another solution comes from the kitchen, although it also relies on dissolving.


  • White vinegar
  • A butter knife or a flat spoon

How to use

  1. Heat a cup of white vinegar until it is warm and pour the liquid over the gum. The acid in the vinegar will saturate and loosen the grip it has on your shoe. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Gently remove gum residue from the shoe with a spoon or a butter knife so you won’t leave scratches or grooves on the fabrics.
  3. We don’t want the smell of vinegar to linger on our shoes, hence warm water with some soap is highly recommended for cleaning the remnants and eliminating the odor.

Use sand

If you are unlucky enough to step on gums while you’re outdoors and unable to use the mentioned methods, don’t worry. While the gum is still moist and soft, a handful of sand can solve the problem.


  • Sand (dry)
  • Anything with a pointed end

How to use

  1. Pepper some sand over the gum and make sure the spot is fully covered before rubbing the sand into sticky gum with your stick. You will see the little particles sinking in and crumpling the gum into little bits.
  2. The special thing about this method is there’s no waiting time. Instead, you have to keep adding and rubbing the sand in, until it breaks the gum enough to get rid of it. The faster you rub, the better. We don’t want dried and hardened gums!

Use hair dryer

As this item uses heat instead of coldness, it seems slightly different from other techniques we have here.


  • Hair dryer
  • Butter knife
  • Paper towel

How to use

  1. Point the hair dryer at the gum and wait for a few minutes. The heat will soften the gum while keeping it as a whole. You can lift the softened gum without trouble. We recommend using a knife rather than your hand.
  2. Keep aiming the hair dryer at the residue if there is any of it left. The remnants will be all gone after you wipe the shoe clean with a paper towel.

Some Notices For Leather And Suede Shoes

Leather and suede shoes are probably the last items you want to stain because they are quite expensive and difficult to deal with. Fortunately, it is not impossible to keep them good as new!

As soon as you get a piece of gum on your shoes, the first thing to do is scrape as much of the wet gum off the shoes as you can. The blunt edge of a knife, a credit card, or anything with a similar shape will do. Afterward, you have 2 ways to go:

  • Get a plastic bag filled with some ice cubes and rub the cold pack on the spot gently. When you find the gum hardened, you can use a suede or leather brush to get rid of it.
  • Or, work the gum with a compatible rubber until it detaches and comes off. Pencil erasers can get the job done too, but you have to make sure it is completely new and clean, or you might end up with even more stains on your shoes.

The process is not really different from the general methods, except that you need a leather conditioner to prevent the stained spot from discoloring when you attempt to get gum off leather shoes by using solvents.

Olive oil and peanut butter are not alright for leather and suede because we definitely don’t want to leave these greasy substances on the shoe. If you ever end up using such desperate methods, saddle soap is very necessary to keep the shoe squeaky clean.


1. How to remove hardened gums off shoes?

It doesn’t take days for gums to harden even if we don’t want to handle them. Rather than trying to soften it with heat, using ice cubes to make the bump pliable and loosen the gum-shoe bond is way more effective.

2. How to remove gums stuck on my shoes for several months?

By then, the gum is already as hard as a rock, and the best solution for this problem is to get gum off shoes with WD40. It is powerful enough to destroy the tight bond between hardened gum and any material.

If you don’t want to get the spray all over your shoe, you might want to find a bottle with a small nozzle. It will help you control the amount of spray.

3. What can I use to get gums off fabric shoes?

Fabric and canvas shoes are quite a challenge, for the materials are pretty vulnerable. Consequently, we ought to avoid using solvents and stick to cold techniques. Give the shoe about half an hour in the freezer or exposed it to an ice pack, then you can confidently remove the remnants.

4. What if the gum is dry and covered with mud and dirt?

If you directly rub a solvent or liquid on the spot while it is still stained, high chances are they will smear all over and ruin your shoe.

For the starter, we will have to remove all the dirt with a sharp object until the gum is exposed completely. To safely get rid of the gum along with all the stains, lighter fluid or acetone are the best choices.

Final Words

Now you know how to remove gum from shoes in so many ways, there’s no need to panic when you accidentally get into such a situation. From rubber shoes to leather shoes, none of them will ever be a dilemma for you again!

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