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How to Remove Spruce Gum

North American Indians originally harvested spruce gum for use as a chewing substance or chewing gum. The unsweetened resin from spruce trees has also been utilized in traditional medicine and employed as a wood sealant. If you accidentally get spruce gum on your clothing, skin or hair, you can remove it with the same techniques you would use to remove chewing gum or tree sap.

American Indians used resin from spruce trees to make chewing gum.

Step 1

Apply a hand sanitizer or nail polish remover to the area of your skin that is covered by spruce gum. After thoroughly rubbing it in, you should be able to feel the resin break up. Wash the affected area with soap and warm water, then pat it dry with a soft towel. Repeat this step if any residual spruce gum still adheres to your skin.

Step 2

Cover the sap with peanut butter if it becomes stuck to your hair and scalp. This is a practical solution for both spruce gum in resin form or spruce chewing gum. After the peanut butter has been applied, heat the area with a hair dryer on a low setting for a few minutes. Then, rinse the peanut butter from the scalp with warm water, comb through the hair, and shampoo the hair normally. Peanut butter oils will break down the spruce gum.

Step 3

Treat any portions of your clothing that contain spruce gum with rubbing alcohol. Apply the alcohol directly to the clothing and then gently scrub the spruce gum away. Launder your clothes normally and repeat this step if any spruce gum remains on the clothing.

Step 4

Put your clothing or other items that have spruce gum on them into the freezer. Let the gum or resin freeze for several hours. Remove the item from the freezer and scrape the gum or resin away with a knife or putty knife.

About the Author

Jessica Jewell is a writer, photographer and communications consultant who began writing professionally in 2005. Her chapbook, "Slap Leather," is forthcoming from dancing girl press. Her recent work has appeared in "Nimrod," "Harpur Palate," "Copper Nickel," "Rhino," "wicked alice," "Poetry Midwest" and "Barn Owl Review." Jewell was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She earned her Master of Fine Arts from Kent State University.