How to Clean Gum out of the Dryer

A person blowing a bubble in chewing gum against a blue background.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 5-20
What You'll Need
Sealable plastic bag
Plastic spatula or scrubber
Old towels and rags
Fabric softener
Mild detergent

You can clean gum off the inside of your dryer using a variety of methods, so do not despair when you see that sticky, dull gray or black splotch on the drum. Instead, try one of these strategies to remove it as soon as you can. Remember to always take the dryer load out first, and allow the dryer drum to cool down before you start.

Method 1 - Ice the Gum

Ice cubes

Step 1 - Apply Ice to the Gum Spots

Put a few cubes of ice in a small sealable plastic bag and hold them for several seconds against each gum spot to harden it. With a plastic spatula or a plastic scrubber that is safe for non-stick cookware, scrape away at the hardened gum to remove as much as possible.

Step 2 - Wipe Down the Dryer Drum with Vinegar and Water

Make a 50 percent solution of vinegar and water in a one-quart bottle and apply this to a cloth. Wipe over the gum spots to lift off more residue.

Step 3 - Use High Dryer Heat to Soften the Remaining Gum

Place a few worn-out towels and rags in the dryer and run it on the highest heat setting for 10 minutes to soften up any gum bits still remaining. These can be removed with the scraper or with some help from method two.

Method 2 - Fabric Softener

Towels, detergent, and fabric softener

Step 1 - Soften the Adhesive with Fabric Softener

Soak a clean, lint-free linen or cotton cloth in fabric softener and press it onto the gum splotches. This should make the gum adhesive stretch and peel off in strips.

Step 2 - Scrape Gently While Wiping

With a plastic pot scrubber or a spatula, scrape the gum spots and wipe again with the fabric softener to peel off the remaining gum.

Step 3 - Wipe Around the Dryer Drum Again

Use the vinegar and water solution to wipe down the gummy areas.

Step 4 - Run the Dryer with Damp Towels

Soak and wring out the worn towels. Then, put them in the dryer on the medium-high setting for permanent press clothes. This should remove the last bits of the chewing gum.

Method 3 - WD-40 Lubricant

Step 1 - Spray the Stubborn Chewing Gum with WD-40 Lubricant

Carefully focus and spray WD-40 over the gummed spots. Do this in a ventilated area, as WD-40 can emit unpleasant fumes, and let the lubricant soak in thoroughly after. Wipe off the spots and scrape away any remaining gum residue.

Step 2 - Wash Down the Inside of the Drum

Use a cloth soaked in a mild dish detergent and warm water to wash down the inside of the drum. Be sure you remove all traces of the gum and the WD-40, as it is petroleum-based.

Step 3 - Run a Damp Towel Load through the Dryer

Moisten shabby towels and rags with plain water and dry in the dryer on medium heat to clean up any gum, soap, or WD-40 that may still be in the drum.