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How to Remove Gum from Fabric

Sitting in gum is no fun, but trying to get it off your pants—or shirt or sheets—is the real sticky situation. Nothing a little icy determination can't handle.


  • Step 1: Fill the plastic bag with ice and seal it.
  • Step 2: Pick up the bag of ice using the towel to keep your hands from freezing.
  • Step 3: Hold the ice against the gum until it freezes—about 15 minutes.
  • TIP: If you can, put the entire gummed-up article in the freezer for a while.
  • Step 4: Crack and scrape off the now-frozen gum with a butter knife.
  • Step 5: Once the gum is gone, pre-treat any remaining residue with liquid detergent or stain remover.
  • Step 6: Wash and dry the garment the way you normally would.
  • FACT: Modern gum made its appearance in the late 1860s, when chicle—the latex of the sapodilla tree—was first brought to the U.S.

You Will Need

  • A plastic bag
  • Some ice
  • A towel
  • A butter knife
  • And some liquid detergent or stain remover
  • A freezer (optional)

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