Gum stains can be a real hassle to remove from washable fabrics, but don't let them ruin your clothes or linens. With this easy solution, you can effectively eliminate gum stains and restore your fabrics to their former beauty. Keep reading to learn the secret to removing gum stains from your washable fabrics once and for all.
Various (depending on type)
These stains appear as a discoloration of the fabric that is usually clear or white in color. They can have a sticky or rubbery texture and may have a slightly sweet smell. They are often caused by exposure to chewing gum.
Cold (65° to 75°F)
RATIONALE FOR WATER TEMP
Cold water helps to harden the gum and make it easier to remove.
The Science Behind Gum Stains
Gum stains clothes because it is made of a combination of ingredients, including a type of polymer called a rubber. When gum comes into contact with fabric, the rubber in the gum binds to the fibers in the fabric, creating a bond that is difficult to break. This bond is what causes the gum to stick to the fabric and create a stain. Additionally, the sugar and other ingredients in gum can also contribute to staining. The best way to remove gum from clothes is to freeze the gum with ice and then scrape it off with a butter knife or similar tool before washing the clothes with a strong detergent.
What You'll Need To Get Rid Of Gum Stains
Ice or a freezing agent (e.g. freezer spray)
A butter knife or similar tool (e.g. spoon, credit card)
Freeze the gum stain by applying ice or a freezing agent (such as freezer spray) to the affected area. Leave the ice or freezing agent on the stain for at least 30 minutes.
Once the gum is frozen and brittle, use a butter knife or similar tool to gently scrape off as much of the gum as possible.
Pre-treat the stain by applying a strong laundry detergent directly to the affected area and rubbing it in with your fingers.
Wash the garment in the washing machine on the warmest water setting recommended for the garment, using a strong laundry detergent.
Check the garment after washing, if the stain is still present, apply a stain remover such as OxiClean or Shout, and wash again on the warmest water setting recommended for the garment.
If the stain is still present after the second wash, repeat steps 3-5 before drying the garment.
Check the garment again after drying, if the stain is still present, repeat steps 3-6.
Check the care label of the garment before using any product, some fabrics may be damaged by certain cleaning methods or products.
Be careful not to spread the stain when scraping the gum off the fabric.
If the garment is not colorfast, use cold water to wash the garment and do not use chlorine bleach.
Gum stains clothes because of the rubber and sugar ingredients in it, which bind to fabric fibers creating a difficult bond. To remove the stain, freeze the gum with ice or freezing agent, then scrape it off using a butter knife or similar tool before washing the garment in warm water with strong detergent. If the stain persists, use a stain remover like OxiClean or Shout before washing again. Repeat steps if necessary before drying the garment.
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About The Writer
Marcene Livn has worked in the cleaning industry for more than a decade. Her specialty is stain removal. From everyday spills to tough, set-in stains, Marcene's methods and knowledge are unmatched.