How To Remove Gum From a Shoe – 8 Ways for Cleanning

We’ve all experienced it: walking down the street in our brand new shoes, feeling fantastic, when suddenly we step on something sticky. Chewing gum has latched onto the soles of our pristine kicks, turning them into a frustrating mess.
But don’t worry, this guide will help you tackle this common issue step by step, so you never have to dread it again. Follow these simple instructions on how to get gum off a shoe using WD-40, nail polish remover, or other household items, and save your favorite footwear!
Always remember to patch test any products before using them on your shoes, and protect your working surface and hands.

1. Using WD-40


First, gather your shoe, nail polish remover, and some paper towels. Carefully pour a small amount of nail polish remover onto the gum, making sure to only apply it to the sole of the shoe and the affected area. Avoid using it on fabric materials to prevent potential damage.
If you’re working indoors, it’s a good idea to open a window to ensure proper ventilation and minimize inhalation of solvents. It’s also important to consult your shoe manufacturer before using acetone, as not all shoes can handle the same treatments.
Allow the nail polish remover to work for about 5 minutes, dissolving the gum before you attempt to wipe it away with a paper towel.


Next, grab your reliable WD-40 Multi-Use Product Smart Straw. To apply the formula with precision onto the sole of your shoe, use the Smart Straw applicator, making sure to only target the chewing gum. It’s crucial not to apply WD-40 to any other part of your shoe, particularly fabric, as it could leave oil stains. Be cautious not to spray on any areas prone to staining.


After applying the product, use a clean cloth or rag to wipe it away. You might want to apply more product to ensure complete gum removal. If so, simply repeat steps two and three until satisfied.


Make sure to remove all product residue from the sole of your shoe before wearing it to prevent slipping hazards. After wiping off the excess WD-40, take another clean rag, dampen it with water, and scrub the sole of your shoe thoroughly. Allow it to air dry, and then you’re all set.

2. Using Ice

1. Fill a large plastic bag with ice cubes and place your shoe on top, gum-side down. Make sure the ice cubes don’t get inside or around the shoe, as this will cause your shoe to become wet.
2. To keep the ice from melting too quickly, use a food storage bag with a zipper closure or tie the bag shut.
3. Press the ice firmly against the gum until it freezes. The gum must be frozen solid before you can remove it, so be patient and give it some time.
4. Once the gum is frozen, carefully scrape it off the shoe using a dull butter knife or putty knife. Move the knife slowly to avoid damaging the shoe or injuring yourself.

3. Freezing the Gum

1. Place the shoe in a plastic bag. Put the shoe with gum on it into a plastic bag, like a large food storage bag or a grocery bag. It’s not necessary for the entire shoe to fit in the bag; just ensure the part with the gum is pressed against the plastic.

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2. Press the plastic against the gum. Firmly press the plastic bag against the gum for several seconds. The gum needs to stick to the plastic before freezing, or this method won’t be effective.

3. Put the shoe in the freezer. Make some room in your freezer for the shoe covered in plastic. If the shoe isn’t completely inside the plastic bag, keep it away from any food items to prevent spreading germs.

4. Let the shoe stay in the freezer for an hour or two. This allows the gum to freeze onto the plastic bag. After it’s frozen, remove both the shoe and the bag from the freezer.

4. Using Stick and Sand or Wood

1. Locate a wooden stick and dry sand. This method is effective if you’re outdoors and step on fresh gum that’s still soft and pliable. You’ll need some dry sand (or dirt) and a small wooden stick.

2. Apply sand to the gum. Remove your shoe and sprinkle some sand on the gum. Use the stick to rub the sand into the gum, causing it to come off in small pieces.

3. Keep adding sand and rubbing. As the gum comes off, continue to add more sand and keep rubbing. The sand acts as an exfoliant for the bottom of your shoe!

Persist until the gum is mostly removed. This might take some time, but it’s better to act quickly rather than letting the gum dry and harden on your shoe.

5. Dissolving the Gum

1. Utilize lighter fluid. Soak an old cloth or piece of paper towel in some naphtha and rub it onto the gum. The gum should start to dissolve away.
Ensure you use the naphtha in a well-ventilated area, away from any heat sources, as naphtha is highly flammable.

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2. Employ nail polish remover. Acetone-based nail polish remover can also be used to dissolve chewing gum from the sole of a shoe. Soak a paper towel or cloth in the remover and rub it onto the gum until it vanishes.

Exercise caution when using this method on certain types of shoes, as acetone may damage the finish on patent or suede shoes.

6. Using Peanut Butter

1. Apply creamy peanut butter. Spread a thick layer of creamy peanut butter (about two tablespoons) onto the gum, and let it sit for 10 minutes.

2. Scrub off the peanut butter. After 10 minutes, use a wire brush to scrub away both the peanut butter and the gum. It might require some effort, but the gum should come off as well. Make sure to scrub with the grooves of the sole rather than against them to prevent damaging your shoe.

3. Clean your shoe. Rinse the sole of your shoe under cold running water and use a sponge to remove any remaining peanut butter residue.

7. Using Olive Oil

1. Apply olive oil to the gum. Be cautious not to get it directly on leather or suede parts of the shoe, as it may cause staining.

2. Allow the oil to sit for a minute.

3. Wipe the oil off using a paper towel.

4. Eliminate any remaining gum with a pointy-ended tool dipped in olive oil.

5. Finished. The gum should be completely removed. Dispose of it properly.

8. Using Dryer

1. Set the blow dryer to the highest heat and air settings.
2. Direct the blow dryer towards the gum.
3. As you heat the gum, use a toothpick or a knife to attempt peeling it off.
4. Continue applying heat and carefully peeling the gum away with a toothpick or knife.

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Olivia Cox
Hi, This is Olivia. I am the owner of F5Active - a refreshing blog with the unlimited power of positivity. I hope to share with readers my point of view, life experiences, adventures, and more. Apart from being informative, my blog will also provide insightful reviews, conducted by Andre - my co-author. My biggest wish is to see F5Active growing every day. Let's get on that journey together!

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