4 Easy Ways to Remove Gum from the Bottom of Your Shoe

Product Care

Check out these four simple ways to remove pesky gum from the bottom of your shoe with common household items.

Last updated: March 17, 2022
3 min read
How to Remove Gum from Shoes
Time Required
20 min
Estimated Cost

Supplies

  • Ice cubes
  • Plastic bag
  • WD-40
  • Peanut butter
  • Paper towel

Tools

  • Butter knife or spoon
  • Hair dryer
  • Wire brush (optional)

Picture it: The weather is perfect and you’re about to get outside for some fresh air. Your playlist is set and you have on your favorite pair of running or walking shoes. But then, you step out onto the sidewalk and your foot sticks a bit. You check the bottom of your shoe and find a big wad of bubble gum that’s going to stick every time your foot hits the ground.

Here are a few simple ways to get that gum off your shoe so you can enjoy your walk or run without a sticky, stubborn distraction.

How to Remove Gum From Shoes

Fortunately, you can use a number of basic household items to remove gum from your shoes. These methods are easy and effective if you need to get a pesky piece of gum removed.

(Related: Six Easy Steps to Clean Shoes)
  1. 1.Freezer or Ice Cube

    Once gum hardens, it becomes much easier to remove from the bottom of a shoe. The best way to get sticky gum to quickly harden is to put the entire shoe in a large plastic bag. Make sure the bag sticks to the gum, and then put the bag in the freezer. Leave it in the freezer for two hours, and the gum should stick to the bag and come off your shoe as you take it out.

    If you’re short on time and don’t have two hours to wait, use an ice cube instead. Press ice against the gum for 10 to 15 minutes until it hardens. To avoid getting your shoe wet, you can put the ice cube in a plastic bag before pressing it against the shoe. Once the gum hardens and loses its stickiness, scrape it off with a toothpick.

  2. 2.WD-40

    Typically used to lubricate surfaces and prevent rust, WD-40 may seem like a strange choice, but it will harden gum almost immediately. The key is to spray both the gum and the space around it. The gum can then be pulled off or wiped off with a paper towel. You may have to repeat this if the wad of gum is particularly big. Once the gum is gone, use a damp paper towel to wipe away any remaining WD-40 residue.

  3. 3.Hair Dryer

    Another common household item that can help remove gum from your shoe is a hair dryer. While freezing gum helps it harden, heating it up will soften it and make it less sticky. To remove gum this way, aim a hair dryer directly at the gum, and as it heats up, test the gum’s consistency with a butter knife. When the gum is hot enough, it will lift off easily when you try to remove it with a butter knife. If any gum is left behind, you can aim the hair dryer at it and then wipe the shoe clean with a paper towel.

  4. 4.Peanut Butter

    While adding another sticky substance to the equation might seem counterintuitive, peanut butter can work. Peanut butter helps soften stubborn gum so it can be peeled away more easily.

    To remove gum from your shoe, put two tablespoons of peanut butter over the gum so it’s completely covered. Let it sit for 20 minutes. Then, use a spoon to scrape the gum away. If the gum is stuck on a textured sole, you may need a wire brush to get into the crevices of your tread.

On-the-Go Gum Removal

If you end up stepping on gum while you’re out and about, look to your surroundings for a solution. Dirt or dry sand can help remove the gum. Do your best to coat the gum in the earthy material. Grab a stick or another object that you can use to scrape the gum off your shoe. You may have to do this a few times, until the dirt dries the gum out and the mixture lifts off completely.

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