How to Remove Gum from Your Shoes

A person walking in sneakers with a piece of chewing gum stuck to their shoe.

No matter how carefully we try to avoid those tiny pieces of colored goo on the sidewalk or parking lot, eventually, the chewing gum wins. It seems to be everywhere these days. Let's look at a few ideas for removing it without having to tear the shoe apart. Several methods are available that usually work, depending on the amount of time that you have allowed the gum to take up residence on your shoe. Simply try the one that appeals to you.

If you’re not in a position to sit down and remove the afflicted shoe, you might just try to scrape as much of the gum as you can right away. It's strictly a matter of choice and circumstance. Simply use a dull knife to scrape off the gum or rub the sole of the shoe against a concrete sidewalk in an out-of-the-way-area.

Put Gum Shoe in the Freezer

After you get home, take the shoe with the gum and place it in a plastic grocery bag or large food storage bag. Press the area of the shoe with the gum onto the plastic of the bag. Clear an area in the freezer and place the bag into the freezer with the shoe still inside. Let it sit inside long enough to allow the gum to freeze, at least an hour if not two.

Once the gum is frozen, remove the shoe and the bag from the freezer. Pull the bag and the shoe apart from each other. The gum should stick to the bag and solve your problem.

Put Gum Shoe in a Bag

This method is similar to the first, but you don’t necessarily have to be at home to do it. All you need is a plastic bag and some ice cubes. Place the ice cubes and the shoe inside the bag, being careful not to allow the ice to touch any of the shoe's surfaces except the sole. To keep the ice cold and prevent it from melting too quickly, use a food storage bag that can be zipped closed or tie the bag shut. Press the ice onto the gum until it freezes. Then, use a dull butter or putty knife to scrape the gum from the shoe. Remember to move the knife slowly to avoid any unnecessary complications.

Gum Shoe with a Spray

Take a can of WD-40 or other spray lubricant and spray the area of the shoe with the gum. Allow at least one minute to pass before using a paper towel or rag to wipe away the gum and the oily spray from the shoe. Switch to a clean rag or paper towel to wipe the shoe a second time to remove any additional residue. Then just throw the rag or paper towels away along with the pesky gum.