How Do You Get Gum Out of Hair?

by Michelle Miley ; Updated July 18, 2017

Scissors should be the last thing you reach for when you need to extract gum from hair.

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Life is busy, and you probably don’t spend much time thinking about gum -- until it ends up in your hair, your child’s hair or your dog’s hair. It is much easier to get gum where it doesn’t belong than it is to remove it from these places. Several household substances can remove gum so you can get it out without giving anybody a haircut.

Dealing With a Sticky Situation

The solvents in citrus peel extracts and lighter fluid are both excellent for breaking down and softening chewing gum so you can remove it from hair. Mineral oil, cooking oils and peanut butter also work, and it may be best to try them before lighter fluid, especially on children’s hair and pet’s fur. To remove gum, choose your solvent of choice, then rub a small amount of the oil, extract, lighter fluid or peanut butter into the gum and allow it to sit for a few seconds. Use a comb to work the softened gum out of the hair gradually. When it is out, wash the hair with soap or shampoo and water to remove the remaining solvent residue.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Writing professionally since 2008, Michelle Miley specializes in home and garden topics but frequently pens career, style and marketing pieces. Her essays have been used on college entrance exams and she has more than 4,000 publishing credits. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting, having graduated summa cum laude.