How to Get Gum Out Of Clothes With Rubbing Alcohol? [2024 Factsheet]

how to get gum out of clothes with rubbing alcohol

After noticing a sticky chewing gum on your favorite dress, what would be your reaction? You must feel yucky, gross, and all in all disgusting. Well, not to worry. Because that’s not what you are going to stick to for long.

Yes, if you own or can purchase a bottle of Rubbing Alcohol, you need not worry about gums on clothes.

How to remove sticky chewing gum from clothes and fabrics?

For getting rid of sticky or dry chewing gum from fabrics, Rubbing Alcohol comes in handy.

Little do individuals know, but this surgical solvent also aids in removing adhesives.

Especially if you want to go the gentle way and aren’t looking to damage your clothes, using Rubbing Alcohol is safe any day.

Here is how Rubbing Alcohol will help in getting gum out of clothes:

  1. Lay down the cloth (which has gum stuck on it).
  2. Place cardboard or some thick sheet underneath the fabric.
  3. Now either pour a little Rubbing Alcohol all over the gum.


  • Take a soft sponge, dip it in Rubbing Alcohol and dab it nicely over the gum.
  • Leave it for a minute or two so that the solvent can start working.
  • Later, take a butter knife and scrape off the gum. It will take little to no effort at all.
  • Lastly, wash the cloth/ garment/ fabric with a soft detergent to finish the process.

How does Rubbing Alcohol get gum out of clothes?

Is using Rubbing Alcohol for removing gum really safe? Rubbing Alcohol is a chemical solvent that is known for dissolving oils and non-polar compounds.

It also works great in breaking down the polymers in the gum (Chewing gum).

Unlike other solvents, the best part is that it does not leave any residue, mark, or bleach patch behind.

That is why Rubbing Alcohol is one of the safest solvents for removing gum from clothes.

Will Rubbing Alcohol mess with the fabric?

Rubbing Alcohol is a common and great stain remover, especially for fabrics.

It removes them all quite swiftly from ink stains to grass stains, tough grease, turmeric marks, or food stains.

Though despite that, this solvent might not be the best for certain fabrics.

For example, fabrics like silk, pashmina, chiffon, moire, ninon, and sheer might not react their best when soaked in Rubbing Alcohol.

However, it isn’t necessary that the solvent will damage them to the core. Thus, always perform a patch test before using Rubbing Alcohol on delicate fabrics.

For doing so, take a small cut of fabric (from inside the dress and soak it into an alcohol solution). If it behaves well, you can perform the task on the dress/ garment calmly.

What percentage of Isopropyl Alcohol is safe for use on fabrics?

70% Isopropyl Alcohol is the safest solvent to spray or spread on fabrics.

Even though Rubbing Alcohol does not penetrate into the fabric and evaporates quickly, using higher concentrations is something that we do not advise.

Because some fabrics might not take such chemical solvents the best, always go for a patch test and use 50% or 70% Isopropyl Alcohol only.

How to get gum out of your clothes?

If Rubbing Alcohol is the solvent that you don’t swear by, do not worry, there are more solutions.

Here are some reliable, tested, and handpicked home remedies that will remove gum from clothes.

For more details, have a look:

Freeze or use Ice

The safest and simplest way of removing gum from clothes is using the cold temperature. For example,

Take an ice cube and rub it all over the gum. This process will freeze the gum.

Now take a butter knife and scrape off the gum. It will come out easily, leaving no residue behind.


Fold the cloth making sure the gum is facing upwards. Now put it inside a plastic bag and place it inside the freezer.

Wait for at least two hours until the gum freezes well. Later, bring out the cloth and remove the gum using a butter knife or your nails.

Use Vinegar

By messing up with the stickiness of gum, Vinegar helps in removing it from fabrics. Here’s how the process goes,

Heat some undiluted white vinegar (just warm and not boiling hot).

Now pour a small amount of warm Vinegar over the gum. Allow it to soak for a minute or two and then scrape off the gum.

You can either use a butter knife, the back of the spoon, or a toothbrush. Lastly, wash the cloth/ garment in a mild solution.

You might need to repeat the vinegar soaking and scraping process a few times.

Tip: Avoid using Vinegar on colored clothes and delicate fabrics.

Use Label Remover or Adhesive Remover

If home remedies scare you, there are always multiple gums removing products available in the market. They come by the name label remover or adhesive remover. Such products, though, are a little expensive but worth investing in.

Goo Gone Adhesive Remover Spray Gel - 2 Pack and Sticker Lifter - Removes Chewing Gum Grease Tar Stickers Labels Tape Residue Oil Blood Lipstick Mascara
  • Trusted #1 Brand for Removing Gooey Messes – Try it on gum, crayon, tape residue, glue, pen and much, much more
  • Safely Remove Goo From Your Surfaces - The surface-safe formula removes the goo without harming your surface, so you don't lose the finish, strip away the paint or incur damage while removing a sticky mess
  • Clinging Spray Gel Formula - For adhesive removal specifically formulated to cling to goo on vertical surfaces giving the product time to break down the adhesive
  • Drip-free is The Way to Be - Goo Gone Spray Gel clings to stains and sticky messes while protecting the surface below
  • Citrus - Formulated with citrus cleaning agents and a pleasant citrus scent

Not just gums, but they will also help you remove those tough stickers from all brand-new utensils.

Spray the label/ adhesive remover over the gum and let it sit for a minute or two (or as instructed by the manufacturer). Now using a pointy (not sharp) object, try removing the gum.

Tip: Always go for adhesive removers that are safe for fabrics.

3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner, 08987, Removes Adhesive Residue, Gentle On Paint/Vinyl/Fabric, 15 fl oz
  • ADHESIVE CLEANER: Removes sticky adhesive residue
  • RENEWS APPEARANCE: Refreshes vehicles with a fresh clean surface
  • SAFE FOR USE: On painted surfaces, vinyl and fabric when properly used
  • BULK CAN OR SPRAY-ON AEROSOL: Affords convenience for quick applications
  • EASY CLEANUP: Turns stubborn adhesive grime into a no-problem cleanup

Use Hair spray

In such times of crisis, hair spray comes in handy. This common spraying bottle will go the job within no time, quite easily.

Also, because hair spray works much like the freezing method, it is safe as well. Here’s how you can follow the process,

Take the cloth (with gum) and place cardboard underneath. Here, the idea is to keep the other regions (then affected) safe. Now spray some hair spray over the gum and let it rest for a minute or two.

Later with a butter knife, scrape off the gum. Once done with removing the gum, apply some stain removing liquid to that area and allow it to sit. Lastly, wash the garment in a mild detergent.

Use Peanut Butter

This unappealing entry may surprise you, but it actually works. Peanut butter has fats and oils, which make up for removing gum. How?

Peanut button on the molecular level is hydrophobic and is mostly made up of carbon and hydrogen.

And since chewing gum also is hydrophobic, they cancel each other out. Or, in the words of chemistry, “like dissolves like.”

Note: This trick is for removing gum from hairs but not fabric.

Take a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter and rub it over the gum on your hair. After 2 to 3 minutes, pull out the gum. Later wash it with shampoo.

Wrapping up…

We hope this extensive and detailed guide will help you in removing gum from your clothes.

Depending upon what ingredients you have at home, you can go with any of the remedies.

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