Chewing gum, often thrown carelessly out of a car window or spit onto the ground by a hasty passerby, is both disgusting and unsanitary and a pesky mess to get off of your shoes and clothing. To remove gum that's stuck to your shoe, there are a number of simple methods you can use depending on the amount of gum lodged on your shoe, the type of shoe you are wearing, the gum texture and consistency and the length of time it has been stuck to your shoe.
Remove sizeable, soft blobs of gum by placing your shoe inside of a plastic grocery bag. Press the gum firmly onto the inside of the plastic bag.
Place the bag in your freezer, far enough back so that you can close the door firmly. Allow the gum to freeze for two hours before removing it.
Remove the bag from the freezer. Position two fingers around the frozen gum wad and swiftly pull the bag from the shoe. The entire piece of gum should come off at once; if not, pick the remainder of it off with a butter knife while it is still frozen.
Remove gum that is spread out in stringy patches on fabric shoes by applying a small amount of liquid laundry detergent to the gum and covering the area in course salt. Rub in a circular motion with a microfiber cloth until the residue is removed.
Liquefy sticky gum that has been pushed into shoe crevices, such as the tracts on sneakers, by spraying a bit of WD-40 on the affected area. Let it sit for several minutes, then remove as much of the gum as you can with a Q-tip or a small-tipped screwdriver covered with tissue paper or a paper towel.
Disengage old, hardened gum from shoes with a butter knife, picking off as much as you can and rubbing the remainder with a small blob of peanut butter. Wipe the shoe with a soft cloth to remove the oil and residue.
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Abaigeal Quinn works as an international entertainment broker in the United States. She is a former news editor and insurance agent who began writing for a daily newspaper in 1995.