Last Updated April 05, 2018

If you’re frequently around kids, or if you’re outdoors and walking on sidewalks a lot, you run the risk of stepping in something you wish you hadn’t.

When we walk, our heads aren’t always on the ground so we sometimes miss various pieces of garbage (or what not) that are on the ground and can step in them. One of the trickiest and most annoying of these things- gum.

If you’ve ever come across this scenario, you know that gum can be extremely hard to remove from shoes and can even ruin them.

Utilize one of the options below on how to get gum off shoes so that you can get back to walking on an ideally clean surface. (Note that a butter knife comes in handy for many of these tricks).

#1. Apply peanut butter to the affected area.

Rub a generous amount of peanut butter over the gum using a butter knife.

Once 10 to 15 minutes have passed the gum should begin to get softer and merge with the peanut butter. At that point, scrape it off with the butter knife and then wipe down the rest of your shoe with water and soap to get rid of any leftover gum or peanut butter residue.

#2. Use Compressed air or WD-40.

You can use WD-40 for a lot more than squeaky metal joints and doors.

Spray the compressed air or WD-40 directly on the gum until it becomes hard, and then scrape the gum off with a butter knife. Both tools have cold air that hardens the gum and help you to remove it with ease.

#3. Put the shoes in the freezer.

It’s probably best not to try this on a pair of shoes you spent a lot of money on.

However, this method can work well with everyday sneakers.

Place your shoe in a plastic bag in a way where the gum is pressed tightly to the plastic. Keep it in the freezer for about one to two hours so that it hardens.

When taking the bag out, take the plastic part and pull it back from the shoe. The gum will at the same time peel off with the plastic bag. Should there be any remnants of gum, you can pick at it or scrape it off with a butter knife or a toothpick.

#4. Use an ice cube.

If you’re running late for an appointment or are otherwise short on time, you can try to rub an ice cube on the gum for about ten to twenty minutes.

When you do this, the gum will become putty-like, and at that point, you can scrape it off with a butter knife.

#5. Use a stick and some sand.

This way of removing gum from a shoe can be useful if you’re outside walking and happen to step on gum that is more soft and pliable.

Get some sand or dirt and a small wooden stick if there’s a tree or a bush nearby.

Apply the sand or dirt to the gum and use the stick to start chipping away at it.

The gum will eventually form small chunks and should quickly fall off the shoe. Keep applying the dirt or sand and scraping away with the stick until all of the gum has been removed.

#6. Put lighter fluid on the gum.

Take an old cloth or piece of paper towel and soak it in some lighter fluid.

Rub the lighter fluid onto the gum, and it should start to dissolve.

If you try this method, make sure you’re doing it in an area that is well ventilated and not near any sources of heat since lighter fluid, of course, is very flammable.

#7. Try nail polish remover.

The application of this method is similar to the lighter fluid.

First, make sure the nail polish remover is acetone-based.

Then take a cloth or paper towel and soak it in nail polish remover. The gum will start to dissolve, and you can scrape it off safely with a butter knife.

Again, make sure you’re doing this in a well-ventilated area and away from heat sources as nail polish remover is also highly flammable.

No matter what method you use, knowing how to get gum off shoes is a useful skill. You never know when you’ll need to use it.

With any of these methods of removing gum from a shoe, it’s always best to remove it as quickly as possible after stepping in the gum. The longer you wait to take care of it, the harder it will be to remove.

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Video:
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