It’s happened to all of us at least once in our lives, and for the particularly unlucky, many times. We’re walking innocently along when we step in it.
Girls, we’re talking about gum. Icky, gooey, sticky, gum.
After shrieking, stomping, swearing, and struggling to detach our foot from the offending stretch of gum, what’s a gal to do? Check out how to get gum off shoes with these four easy steps.
1. PEANUT BUTTER
Peanut butter isn’t just delicious, it’s reliable in the fight against chewing. Use a butter knife to generously rub a glob of peanut butter over the gum. After 10 to 15 minutes (or depending on how soft the chewing gum was to start with) the gum should start to soften and become one with the peanut butter. Once this happens, scrape it off, then clean the rest of your shoe with soap and water to remove any peanut butter or gum remnants. Hooray!
2. WD-40 or Compressed Air Cans
If you don’t own a can of WD-40, buy a few— stat! WD-40 is a lifesaver for more than just squeaky drawers or doors. Spray directly on the gum until it hardens, and then scrap off the offender with a butter knife. A canister of compressed air will also work in a pinch. They contain freezing cold air which can also harden the gum and make it easier to remove.
If the gum isn’t on an expensive pair of pumps, then this method works well. Stick your shoe in a plastic bag with the gum pressed tightly against the plastic. Let it harden in the freezer for an hour or two. When you take the bag out, pull the plastic back from the shoe and the gum should peel off with the plastic. If there’s any gum remnants left over you can pick it off with a butter knife or toothpick.
Do not, we repeat, DO NOT attempt to pick it off with your hands. That’s gross and unsanitary and we know your mother taught you better.
4. ICE CUBE
If you’re strapped for time, try rubbing an ice cube over the gum for 10-20 minutes. It should freeze and turn putty-like. Follow the instructions above for sanitary removal.