How to Get Gum Off Shoes: Easy Methods You Can Try at Home

Imagine you are having a walk down the street with your brand new boots. How amazing it is, right? Then suddenly, you feel something sticky under your kicks, praying it is not a chewy gum. But it is!

Stepping into a mess of gumballs is an unforgettable experience that almost everyone has once gone through. Its stickiness and wetness make us sick, to be honest. Removing gum from shoes seems like an impossible mission without these life-saving hacks. Read on to find out how to get gum off shoes easily.

Use the Freezer

Doubtlessly this is the best way to get gum off shoes. All you need is to put your gum-stuck footwear in the fridge and let it work. But there are still some small notices that you need to pay attention to.

Necessary equipment:

  • A plastic bag (you can use a grocery bag or food storage bag as well)
  • Freezer or fridge

Detailed Instruction:

Step 1: Use the plastic bag

Put your shoe into the bag. Pay attention to the part which is attached to the gum, and push it strongly against the nylon.

Top Tip: Spend a few minutes on this process to reach the best result. Make sure the chewing bonbon has stuck firmly to the plastic bag.

Step 2: Use the freezer

Make room in your refrigerator for the sneaker with the plastic covering. If the footwear isn’t completely enclosed in the Ziploc bag, keep a distance from any foodstuffs to avoid spreading bacteria.

Step 3: Waiting time

Place it in the fridge for at least two hours. Check whether the gum has frozen onto the plastic. If you can sense its brittleness or hardness by touching it, get the shoe out of the freezer.

Step 4: Get rid of gum on shoes

Now the chewing gum should attach to the nylon rather than your footwear. Remove the bag, and the gumball will fall out.

How to Remove Gum From Shoes with Ice?

A cube of ice seems like the most possible and straightforward tool you need to get a gum-free sneaker. With this solid form of water, you can effortlessly remove chewing gum from your shoes.

Necessary equipment:

  • Thermal conductive tools like a plastic bag or a soft cloth.
  • A butter knife or a teaspoon.

Detailed Instruction:

Step 1: Use the Ziploc bag fulfilled with ice cubes

Flip your boot, gum-side down to contact the ice bag.

Top Tip: Take notice of the temperature. Because of the heat, ice cubes are not long-lasting. So, if they melt, search for some alternative cubes. Otherwise, water from the ice will dampen your shoes, which can damage your footwear. You can prolong its lifespan by using a Ziploc bag to prevent the air from getting inside and making the ice melt faster.

Step 2: Freeze the gum

This method works on the same principle as the previous one: Make the chewing candy solid and putty-like. Put great pressure on the gum-part for about a quarter-hour.

Step 3: Peel it off

Scrape the gum off the shoe once it has frozen. Wipe the solidified gum from the sneaker using the back of a small knife or spoon.

Pro Tip: To prevent harming the shoe or yourself, twist the sharp tool carefully.

Food as a Tool

It sounds crazy, right? No one would have his gum-stuck shoe cleaned by another type of food! It happens and works well. Here, you can use peanut butter or vegetable oil to get old gum off your shoes.

Necessary equipment:

  • Two tablespoons of peanut butter or olive oil
  • A rag

Detailed instruction:

Step 1: Lather up the gum-part

Rub two tablespoons of creamy peanut butter or olive oil on the sticky gum. Leave them to work for a while. Top Tip: While peanut butter needs at least 15 minutes to get all things done, olive oil only takes you one minute. However, the oil contains a tremendous disadvantage of easily spreading to other undesired parts of the shoes.

Step 2: Remove the gum

Now take a rag and wipe the gumball away. If you use peanut butter, choose a wire brush and remember to scrape with the ridges of the heel, rather than against them, to prevent harming your footwear.

In the other case, choosing a clean, soft cloth or a piece of tissue would lead to the best outcome. From my point of view, the oil doesn’t work as effectively as the butter. So if there is still stubborn gum on your sole, use an oil-dipped sharp instrument to get rid of it.

Use Chemical Solutions

When all the above tricks do not work well, you can fall back on professional help. These chemical solutions guarantee 100% efficiency, but they are not as widely available as those previous ones. Generally speaking, all these methods require the same equipment:

  • A chemical solution
  • Cotton pads
  • Optional but highly recommend: A pair of gloves (For safety purposes)

Let’s take a closer look at each method.

Use Acetone

Acetone, also found in nail polish remover, is familiar to all fashion-conscious people. It is an organic compound used for dissolving many objects, including chewing gum. Here are steps to get gum off shoes using it:

Step 1: Apply an adequate amount of acetone or nail polish remover to a cotton pad.

Step 2: Gently lather this cotton pad on the gum until it falls off.

Pro Tip: The process is time-saving and effective. But it is not suitable for all kinds of footwear. It would help if you did not use acetone or nail polish remover on suede or leather boots since this chemical compound can discolor the shoes.

Use Lighter Fluid

It sounds insane and impossible. But trust me, this way of removing gum from shoes using lighter fluid works. Lighter fluid is a flammable liquid used in many lighters, especially cigarette lighters. Be careful when using this method to remove the sticky gum because lighter fluid can easily catch fire. Follow our step to step instructions to avoid undesired scenes:

Step 1: Dampen a rag or cotton pad with a tiny amount of lighter fluid.

Step 2: Once you have a dampened cloth, rub it in a circular motion along the sole with the

Step 3: The gum will come off onto your soft cloth soon. Add extra lighter fluid to it if there is still excess gum. When you see that all the gum is off, wipe your sole with another clean cloth and make sure it is nowhere near the fire the following days.

Use Professional Help: WD-40

WD-40 has gained a reputation in the water-displacing spray market thanks to its high efficiency. It is a famous product of WD-40 Company, which is headquartered in California, USA. WD-40 functions as a greaser, corrosion preventive, and moisture remover.

It is the most effective way to get rid of gum on shoes that I can recommend to you. Here are the straightforward steps:

Step 1: Get the WD-40

Without a doubt, the first thing is to buy a product. It is widely available both in online shops and offline stores.

Step 2: Apply it on the shoe:

Sprinkel WD-40 on and around the gum. Let it sit for a minute to weaken the gum’s concrete structure.

Pro Tip: WD-40 provides users with a smart spray applicator. Use it to avoid spraying the liquid on fabric areas and damaging your footwear.

Step 3: Peel the gum off:

As in previous methods, take a rag and simply rub it away. Give it another try if the first one does not work. Then, clean the excess gum with another clean cloth.


How to get gum off shoes is a tough question. But here, you have found four different ways to solve your problem. If you have more questions or feedback, please leave it in the comment section. Like, and share if this article is useful and informative for you.

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