How to Remove Gum With Vinegar

Mary Ylisela

The synthetic rubber that makes gum chewy and sticky is what causes gum to make such a mess when it gets stuck to fabric or carpeting. While you enjoy the chewiness and stickiness when gum is in your mouth, it makes the task of removing gum difficult.

Gum stuck on clothing or carpet can make for an unpleasant cleaning task.

Vinegar is used for many cleaning processes by those who prefer not to use chemical products. Vinegar will help you remove gum stuck to fabric or carpet, as well.


The sooner you pick up gum dropped onto a surface or clothing, the less stain or stuck gum you will have to deal with.

  1. Place ice cubes in a plastic zip bag and set the bag on the site of the stuck gum, whether it's on your clothing, upholstery or carpet. Leave the ice bag on the gum for 15 minutes or so to cause the gum to harden.

  2. Scrape the gum substance from the surface, using the dull side of a table knife. Dispose of the hardened gum in the garbage.

  3. Heat 1/2 cup white vinegar, placed in a microwave-safe bowl, in the microwave for 30 seconds or until warm.

  4. Dip an old toothbrush into the warmed vinegar. Scrub at the gum remnants on your fabric, upholstery or carpet, using the toothbrush. As you scrub with the warm vinegar, the remaining gum will ball up onto the toothbrush.

  5. Remove the gum from the toothbrush with a paper towel. Dip the toothbrush in the warmed vinegar and repeat the process, if necessary, until all the gum is removed.

  6. Launder clothing according to the directions and allow your upholstery and carpet to air-dry. The smell of vinegar will dissipate when it dries.