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How to Get Gum Out of a Clothes Dryer

Miriam C

Discovering that gum inside your dryer can be quite a problem. If not removed, it can ruin loads of laundry and leave everything streaked with a sticky residue. When gum melts in the dryer's heat it may stick to several parts of your drum. Following these simple steps will clean up the mess quickly and effectively.

  1. Soak a dryer sheet in water. It needs to be thoroughly saturated to work effectively.

  2. Place the dryer sheet on top of the gum and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. You may need to rotate the dryer's drum in order to hit all of the spots of gum. If this is the case, do the soaking in batches.

  3. Scrub the gum with the dryer sheet to remove any traces that are left. This may take some elbow grease, but the longer you soak the more effective it will be. Scrub over a short surface so you do not make the mess bigger by smearing the loosened gum.

  4. Pour fabric softener onto a dryer sheet and place it on any stubborn residue that did not come up with the initial soaking. Allow it to soak for thirty minutes.

  5. Scrub the remaining gum up with the dryer sheet.

  6. Clean the inside of your dryer with a rag dipped in warm soapy water to remove all traces of any chemicals you have used. To make sure you have removed all chemicals, dry a load of towels that will not be ruined if they are slightly stained.


If the gum is still not coming out, try spraying WD-40 on the gum. Let it sit for ten minutes, and then scrub with a damp cloth. Nail polisher remover can also work. Apply the nail polisher remover with a cotton swab and use a damp cloth to scrub the gum away. The nail polish remover will melt the gum and make it easier to remove.


Be sure to clean the dryer and remove all traces of one chemical before trying another one.

If you use WD-40 or nail polisher remover, be sure you have good ventilation and take breaks to prevent headaches and other complications.