Suppose you're on a train or on an airplane, going on vacation. And darts a piece of chewing gum stick to your clothing. Enough pressure and time have been applied so that it doesn't come off right completely. But it is not totally baked in there for days though.

How do you get it off? Any hacks?

Now, typically that might not be a question for this site - I suppose there are detergents or solutions you can get which attack the gum but not the fabric. But you are on the road and have limited access to these items you might use. So please prefer answers that are executable as early as possible (that is, "wait till you're home and then" is not a great start for an answer.)

Notes :

  • If you want to limit your answer to a specific material - cotton.
  • 2
    Actually we have a few gum-removal questions on the site and some solutions are perfectly fine even when traveling. Ice is easy enough to obtain (even if you have to use the cubes out of your drink.
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 23, 2017 at 22:56
  • 1
    Not an answer but a precaution can be taken. If you are not able to get any solution to remove this, rather than keeping it open just put some kind of wrapper or a piece of paper over it so that it won't get worse until you found something to get it removed
    – Amit Bisht
    Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 19:38

5 Answers 5


Besides freezing/icing the gum, like @GC13 suggested, I've heard that using peanut butter works. The oils coat the gum so it doesn't re-stick as well as it may try to break down/dissolve the gum.

I haven't tried this, but I know that WD-40 works well to help remove stickers from various surfaces. It really does prevent the stick substances from re-sticking. I'm assuming it's the same idea.

You should be able to wash the peanut butter off the garment normally, or in a sink with some hand soap.

I normally eat chunky peanut butter, but this might be the one time I suggest creamy. ;-)

  • i wouldn't apply WD40 anywhere near clothing. Ice is the way to go. Commented Jan 31, 2018 at 14:58

I usually travel with a small essential oils package. The Lemon Essential Oil is really good for removing gum. It's also very useful for removing oil-based paints, inks and glues, and general cleaning.


Both methods have worked for me.

Freezing the gum:

As this situation happens during travel, keeping the garment in a freezer is not feasible. However, rubbing ice to the garment area (where gum is stuck) will freeze the gum polymers and make the task of removing gum from the garment easier.

Rubbing alcohol:

Dip a cotton swab into some rubbing alcohol to dab all over the surface of the gum, which will break down the polymers in the chewing gum that make it so sticky in the first place. Let the alcohol soak through the gum and dry for 30 seconds, then take a piece of duct tape and stick it to the gum and pull it off.

  • The Freezing approach has not really worked out for me. About rubbing alcohol - how safe it is for the underlying garment?
    – einpoklum
    Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 16:43
  • @einpoklum Rubbing alcohol is a colorless and doesn't alter the coloration of the clothes applied to. Please note: it is flammable and volatile.
    – GC 13
    Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 19:08

For resolving this situation, the required part of cloth needs to be treated and so it needs to be handheld(meant removing that part from your body). The solution I suggest is the method of heat as described below:

  • Reach out to wash basin or washroom where you can find a heat-based hand dryer. While traveling, you can easily reach out to this by a hotel or cuisine of the plane.
  • Take a tissue paper(find a clean cardboard because that will be appreciated, find it out lying here and there) and place garment upside down on its top.
  • Place this setup beneath dryer so that it starts to become hot.
  • It may take some time but I don't think, leaving some minute there is no match for saving your precious garment from throwing the same as waste because of the chewing gum.
  • Once the gum is hot, it will stick onto the paper, gently peel off your garment behind.
  • Once you reach home, have a nice wash in order to remove ill feeling that you might experience that part.

While methods like rubbing alcohol and freezing the gum, which are mentioned in this other answer might work, I would like to suggest another method: use stain wipes.

You may have brought them, or airport convenience stores sell them quite often. They are wipes with detergent in a small easy-carry package. Use them to gently wipe off the gum.

  • That is three answers. Please post them separately so that they may be voted upon separately. That way the best answer rises to the top.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Apr 30, 2021 at 18:06
  • @Chenmunka actually two of those three already given in this old answer so only one remains. I'll take the liberty to edit the answer into shape. :) Commented May 3, 2021 at 12:55

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