How-To Remove Gum from your Shoes

Imagine that you’re strutting down the boulevard, eyeing all the pretty people, pretty places, and pretty things with a look of absolute confidence and satisfaction. You know exactly where you want to step and there’s nothing in the world that will stop you from stepping there. Pedestrians bow before you as you stroll past. Even the concrete beneath your feet trembles in awe of your presence. As far as you’re concerned, you own that sidewalk and the whole city for that matter. That is, until you step into a big, fat wad of gum. And now your strut becomes a precarious stumble and you’re flailing around, knocking angry strangers down like dominos, trying to hold onto dear life.

Don’t let some gum on your shoe ruin your day! We have your solution right here. Actually, we have a few solutions right here, each using a different household item so you can pick your method depending on what you have lying around:

  1. Scrape off most of the gum with a knife. Take off any part of the gum that’s not actually touching the shoe at all.
  2. Apply either lighter fluid (containing naptha), nail polish remover, or paint thinner to the gum. This is the best method because any of these items will dissolve the gum on contact. Pour a bit onto a cotton pad or cloth and rub it onto the gum until the bits of gum roll off. If there is still gum stuck in the grooves of the shoe’s outsole, use an old toothbrush to scrub away the remainder hiding inside the grooves.
  3. Alternatively, you can freeze the gum with ice (or by leaving your shoe in the freezer). Once the gum hardens, it is much easier to scrape off with your knife.
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