Emptying the clothes pocket before doing the laundry is an extra step that can save you from tons of laundry mishaps. It’s easy to forget items inside the pocket of your clothing, from handkerchiefs, tissue paper, or ballpen. But, chewing gum left in the washing machine and dryer leaves a sticky mess that can be unsettling.
Don’t fret if you caught yourself in this sticky mess, it is not impossible to get rid of gum from the dryer. Using a few household items and elbow grease, you can remove that chewing gum and save yourself from replacing your clothes dryer.
4 Ways To Remove Gum From The Inside Of Your Dryer
Here are a variety of methods and useful tips you can use to free yourself from this trouble.
Use an Oil Spray
A cooking spray works great in removing gum in the dryer drum. The oil lubricates and erodes gum from a dryer. If you don’t have any cooking spray, canola oil, or even peanut butter works just as fine. The best thing about this method is when you use a natural oil, you will not leave any smell in the dryer.
- Spray cooking spray or apply a generous amount of canola oil directly on the gum.
- Let the oil sit and soak the oil. It will soften the gum and will make it easier to remove.
- You can then clean the dryer using old towels or rags by wiping away the gum area. You can also use a nylon scraper or plastic knife to remove the loosened gum.
- Spray or apply more oil to the dryer drum and scrub the area to get rid of stubborn gum stuck in its walls.
- Wet an old rag with warm water. Use this wet rag to wipe the surface clean.
Use an Ice Cube
The cold temperature from ice can freeze and help remove chewing gum easily.
- Place an ice cube in a ziplock bag and rub it directly on the gum stuck on the dryer drum. Rub it in until the gum hardens.
- Using a plastic spatula and a little elbow grease, gently scrub the dryer to clean the gum area. Make sure you don’t put too much pressure to avoid denting the metal coating of the drum.
- Wet a clean rag with white vinegar and use this to wipe away any remaining gum residue. Doing this a couple of times will remove gum still stuck in the dryer walls.
Using ice and white vinegar also works in getting rid of the gum and other sticky substances stuck in car seats or on most kinds of materials.
Use Powdered Laundry Detergent
You can use a thick paste out of laundry detergent to remove persistent gum residue in your dryer. It works well if the ice cube method doesn’t completely remove the sticky mess. But you need to warm the gum and keep it at room temperature. You can also substitute baking soda if you don’t have any powdered detergent.
- In a bowl, put some laundry detergent and very little water to make a thick paste.
- Apply the detergent paste in a clean cloth and use this to scrub off gum residue.
- Continue rubbing the surface to clean the surface.
- Wet a clean rag and use this to wipe down the inside of the dryer drum. Make sure you clean the walls completely. You don’t want to leave any detergent clumps in the clothes dryer.
- Take some damp rags or damp towels and let them dry in the dryer in one cycle. It will ensure that there are no detergent clumps or any gum residue in the dryer before you dry your clean clothes.
Use Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets don’t only leave a clean and fresh smell on your freshly washed clothes. Their abrasive nature can also get rid of gum residue stuck in your dryer’s drum. Here’s how you can use dryer sheets to get you out of this sticky situation:
- Use water to soak your dryer sheets.
- Press the wet dryer sheet on the gum area. You can use a couple of dryer sheets if the gum is scattered across the drum.
- Let the dryer sheet sit on the gum for around 10 minutes.
- After soaking, use the sheets to scrub away gum residues.
- For more stubborn gum, you can pour some fabric softener on your dryer sheets. Use it to remove the remaining gunk. You can also soak the parts of the dryer with the fabric softener-doused dryer sheet for about an hour.
- Wipe the dryer with a damp paper towel. You can also run a cycle with a wet cloth for 15 minutes to thoroughly clean the dryer.
It can be frustrating to realize that you messed up your dryer and your laundry with melted gum. However, there are a couple of inexpensive ways to clean it up. Remember that while you can clean up your dryer after a laundry mishap, you can avoid this problem by checking every pocket before tossing the clothes in the washing machine. Don’t forget to take a peek inside our diary for more laundry and cleaning advice!