We’ve all been there. You’re out on a date, or at a work meeting, or giving a presentation… and you step in gum. Great. Now you’ve got to go through the rest of your day with gum stuck to your shoe. And we all know that trying to scrape it off with your fingernails is only going to make things worse. So what’s a gum-covered shoe-wearer to do? Follow these easy steps and you’ll have that gum off in no time – no one will even be able to tell it was there.
Method 1: Freeze It
1. Put Your Shoe in the Freezer
If you can’t scrape the gum off with your fingernail, the next best thing is to harden it up so you can get a better grip. Put your shoe (make sure it’s in a plastic bag first so it doesn’t get freezer burn) in the freezer for about 15 minutes – just long enough for the gum to harden up but not so long that it becomes brittle and shatters when you try to remove it.
2. Scrape Off the Gum
Once the gum has hardened, use a butter knife or flat-head screwdriver to scrape it off. Start at the edge of the gum and work your way towards the center – be careful not to damage the leather or fabric of your shoe as you scrape. You may need to put your shoe back in the freezer for a few more minutes if the gum is being particularly stubborn.
3. Remove Any Residue
Once most of the gum has been removed, use a clean cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover to remove any remaining residue from your shoe. Again, be careful not to damage the material of your shoe as you clean.
4. Polish Up Your Shoe
Give your shoe a quick once-over with a rag and some shoe polish, and you’re good as new! No one will ever know you stepped in gum – except maybe that person who deliberately dropped their gum on the ground for you to step in. But we don’t think about them anymore, do we?
Method 2: WD40
- Spray the affected area with WD40. Make sure to cover the gum completely so that it is saturated. If you have a sensitive nose, you may want to step outside for this part or hold your breath while you spray. WD40 has a strong smell that lingers!
- Let the WD40 sit on the gum for a few minutes—this will help break down the gum and make it easier to remove. In the meantime, take a head start on Step Three by gathering some supplies. You will need a butter knife, a stiff brush (like an old toothbrush), and some paper towels.
- Time to get rid of that gum! Using the butter knife, gently scrape away as much of the gum as possible. If the gum is being stubborn, go back and give it another shot of WD40. Once most of the gum is gone, use the brush to scrub away any remaining residue. Finish up by wiping away any excess WD40 with the paper towels. Voila! Your shoe is good as new.
Method 3: Hair Dryer
- First things first, take a deep breath and try not to panic. We know it’s easier said than done, but trust us—freaking out will only make the situation worse.
- Next, find a hair dryer and turn it on to the hottest setting. Hold the dryer about 6 inches away from the shoe and direct the airflow at the gum until it begins to soften.
- Once the gum has softened enough, use your fingers or a butter knife to scrape it off of the shoe. Try not to apply too much pressure, as you don’t want to damage the shoe itself.
- Once all of the gum has been removed, give your shoes a once-over with the hair dryer set to cool air. This will help remove any residual gum that may be left behind.
- And that’s it! You did it! Your shoes are now free of gum and you can go about your day without having to worry about anyone pointing and laughing at you. Congrats!
Method 4: Nail Polish Remover
Step One: Put Some Nail Polish Remover on a Cotton Ball
Grab a cotton ball and soak it in nail polish remover. Make sure to use non-acetone nail polish remover for this method, as acetone can damage your shoes.
Step Two: Rub the Gum with the Cotton Ball Until It Starts to Come Off
Once the cotton ball is saturated with nail polish remover, start rubbing it onto the gummed-up area of your shoe. You might have to do this for a minute or two before you see results, but eventually, the gum will start to come off of your shoe.
Step Three: Wipe Away Excess Nail Polish Remover and Gum with a Clean Cloth
Once most of the gum has been removed, use a clean cloth to wipe away any excess nail polish remover or gum residue. You might need to use soap and water to get rid of all the residue, but eventually, your shoe will be good as new—without any telltale signs that there was ever any gum on it in the first place!
Method 5: Olive Oil
- First things first, scrape off as much gum from the surface of your shoe as possible using a blunt object like a butter knife. The goal here is to remove as much gum as possible without damaging the surface of your shoe.
- Next, heat up some olive oil in the microwave for 30 seconds. Once it’s heated, pour it onto a cloth or paper towel and rub it onto the gummed-up area of your shoe.
- Let the olive oil sit for a minute or two so that it can break down the gum.
- Finally, use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe away the remaining oil and gum residue. Voila! Your shoe is good as new.
- If there’s still some stubborn gum residue left behind, you can repeat steps 2-4 until it’s completely gone.
There you have it! 5 amazing methods to removing gum from shoes like a pro. Just remember: stay calm, don’t panic, and always keep a sense of humor about things – even when they seem hopeless (like when you step in gum).