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.
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    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 Nov 23 '17 at 22:56
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    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 Nov 29 '17 at 19:38

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. ;-)

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  • i wouldn't apply WD40 anywhere near clothing. Ice is the way to go. – bigbadmouse Jan 31 '18 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.

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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.

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  • The Freezing approach has not really worked out for me. About rubbing alcohol - how safe it is for the underlying garment? – einpoklum Nov 29 '17 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 Nov 29 '17 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.
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