How to Get Gum Off Shoes Without Leaving Signs of Damage

The right way to get gum off shoes is to make sure it isn’t there in the first place.

But let’s be honest:

We’re just as careless as we’re responsible. So when it comes to chewing gum sticking on the bottom our shoes, you and I are equally guilty.

At one point you got rid of a piece of gum the wrong way. Perhaps you dropped it by the roadside, or you just happened to miss the litterbin and you didn't bother to pick it up.

Whatever the case, you didn't expect karma to bite back. Now there's a nasty piece of bubble gum stuck on your sneakers or leather shoes and you’re wondering how to remove it fast.

The good news?

You can easily get gum off the bottom of your shoes using simple techniques that actually work. And that’s what you’ll learn in this article.

In fact, these are the same techniques I use repeatedly to make sure my sneakers, leather shoes, and boots are gum-free.

Let’s get to it.

The Best Way to Get Gum Off Shoes

Removing chewing gum from the sole of your shoes is no brainer. In fact, each method mentioned here is simple and easy to apply.

And the result is a pair of shoes free from gum, just like the way they should be.

1. Use Peanut Butter

The good thing about peanut butter beside the fact that it’s sweet right off the jar is that you can use it to get rid of chewing gum stuck on your shoe.

It's fast and effective. And that’s even more surprising.

Here’s how to use it: 

  • Scoop teaspoons of peanut butter into a bowl.
  • Using a knife or a blade, rub the peanut butter where the gum is on the shoes
  • Leave butter on the shoe(s) for about 10-15 minutes so that it softens the gum.
  • Use a wire brush to scrub off the gum
  • Get a bucket of water lathered with soap and use it to rinse any gum left on the shoes. 

Peanut butter also works for gum stuck in your shoelace. But you’ll need a soft brush to scrub off the peanut-gum mixture.

Also, you'll have to soak the laces in warm water for a few minutes to get rid of gum debris.

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2. Use WD-40 to Remove Gum from the Bottom of Your Shoes

The WD-40 is one of the best cleaning gel lubricants in the industry. It's so efficient that it takes seconds to get into action. So it's surprising how affordable it is.

Here's how you can use it to get rid of the gum from your shoes: 

  • Spray the liquid air where X marks the spot. Make sure you get enough around the gum.
  • Give it about five minutes to break the adhesive force holding the gum to your shoe.
  • Use a cloth, rag or blunt knife to clear the gum from your shoe.

You should repeat this process if there happen to be small fragments of gum still left on your shoe. You can use the WD-40 for Gum stuck on the side of the shoe or even on the shoelaces.

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3. You Can Use Olive Oil

You probably don’t know that you can use olive oil for anything else other than cooking your meals.

And that’s okay.

But if you explore the options of using this product beyond your kitchen, you’ll be surprised just how many things it can do. That includes getting rid of gum from shoes, effectively.

 Here's how to use the oil to get rid of gum from your shoes: 

  • Apply the olive oil on and around the area with the gum. Just make sure it does not come into direct contact with the leather or suede in the process because it might leave a nasty stain.
  • Let the oil sit on the gum for a minute or two.
  • Use a clean cloth or paper towel to peel or rub off the gum.
  • Take a pointed object, such as a toothpick or plastic tool, and dip it in olive oil. Use it to remove the small bits of gum still stuck on your shoes.

Remember, there's no specified amount of olive oil to use. Just lace your paper towel or cloth with what’s enough to remove the gum.

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4. Put the Shoes in Your Freezer

This technique is all about freezing the gum to death.

The interesting bit about freezing is that the most work you'll have to do is to make sure the ice doesn't get in your shoes.

Here’s how to approach this: 

  • Place your shoe inside a plastic bag and seal it.
  • Press the gum against the bag and make sure it sticks.
  • Put the shoe inside the freezer and let it stay for an hour.
  • Once frozen, the gum separates from your shoes and sticks on the bag 

Remove the shoe from the plastic bag after the 60 minutes elapse.

5. Use Ice Cubes

Ice cubes work perfectly on gum stuck on your shoe. All you have to do is: 

  • Get a few pieces of ice cubes and crush them into small pieces.
  • Place them inside an ice bag – or any bag that can seal off completely.
  • Press the ice cubes against the area covered by the gum.
  • Keep pressing the bag against the gum until it freezes out. 

You can also use a knife to detach the gum from your shoe once it's cold.

6. Use Sand and Stick Clean Shoes With Gum

This is the A, B, C of getting rid of gum stuck on your shoes.

But there's a catch:

The sand will only work if the gum is still fresh. 

  • Sprinkle some dirt on and around the chewing gum
  • Rub in the sand using a stick and work it until it's completely loose.

You can get the gum off even faster by adding more sand while still rubbing off the section. Keep going until you get the whole chunk off.

Use some soap and water to remove any traces of gum left.

7. Dissolve the Gum

Getting chewing gum off your shoe requires more brain than brawn. And simply dissolving the resin is a perfect example of that.

You can use:

Lighter Fluid

Sprinkle some lighter fluid on a piece of cloth. Rub it on the piece of gum, which should dissolve away instantly. 

You can repeat the process for two or three times to get the whole thing off.

It’s important to keep in mind that lighter fluids are highly flammable. Therefore, always use it in a safe environment.

Nail Polish

The acetone present in nail polish gets the job done equally well. First, soak a paper towel inside the polish remover. And then wipe the gum off using the piece of cloth.

To avoid ruining the patent, do the best you can to protect the material from nail polish.

8. Melt Your Shoes to Remove the Gum

Now, let's get one thing right:

You should NEVER expose your shoes to intense heat.

For example, you can't get rid of gum from your footwear by placing it in an oven and expect to get it back in one piece.

Instead, try exposing the area where the gum is to moderate heat. An adjustable heat gun would be handy in such a case.

To get the most out of this method: 

  • Gently heat the gum on your shoes
  • Use a blunt object to keep track of the progress
  • When the gum is finally soft start to scrape it off using the dull material

Finish off the gum using a paper towel or rag

9. Get Gum Off Leather Shoes With a Hair Dryer

Did you know that you can actually use a hair dryer to remove gum from your shoes?

The best thing about this device is that it allows you to control just how much heat you expose your shoes to so that you get the job done right.

Here's you can use a hair dryer to remove the gum: 

  • Hold your shoe in a position where the dryer is directly facing the gum.
  • Start your hairdryer and gradually increase the moist heat.
  • Expose the gum to the heat until it softens up and then use a cloth or rag to get it out.
  • You can scrub off any gum residues with water and soap.

Now, it’s important to keep in mind that exposing your shoe to heat is risky. That is why we always recommend using heat as a last resort.

Granted, heat often works well. But you must be careful not to destroy one or both of your shoes in the process.


Now that you know how to get rid of gum from shoes, you should be able to do it with ease.

After all, every method that I’ve shared in this article is simple and very easy to implement at the comfort of your home.

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