Every step you take is sticky and annoying. The next thing you do is brush your shoes on the pavement in an effort to get rid of the gum but unfortunately, the gum is stuck with you. You will also be destroying the soles of your shoe.
This is the situation many people face whenever gum sticks on their shoe bottom. So is there any decent way of eliminating gum from your shoe bottom? Yes, there are several ways to get rid of gum in a civilized manner.
This article aims to make your soles gum free and you will not have to break the bank because the items you need are within your home so read on.
Dealing with the Gum using things found at Home
Gum is elastic and sticky and therefore dealing with it in such a condition could be tricky. The best option would be to freeze it. Freezing gum will make it harder and easier to chip off without destroying the shoe. You will need to take the following steps.
- Put the affected shoe in a plastic zipper bag. Press the bag against the gum firmly for a few seconds. This is to ensure that the gum has maximum contact with the cold air and this can only work when the gum and bag are in contact.
- Now place the plastic bag into the freezer and let it be for two hours.
- Remove the bag and you will notice that the gum is now stuck to the plastic bag and not your shoe bottom.
- Peel with delight.
If you do not have the patience to wait on your freezer for two hours then there is always the other option of letting ice do the work. This will take your effort but save your time. This is what you will need to do.
- Take a zipper plastic bag and ensure it is large enough. Fill it with ice cubes.
- Now place your shoe on top of this bag and press the shoe bottom on the bag till the gum freezes.
- If the temperatures quickly melt the ice the replace the cubes till the gum is fully frozen.
- Take a blunt scraper and scrape the frozen gum off the shoe bottom. Do ensure that the gum is completely hard before scraping.
3. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is tasty but it can also help you get rid of gum. This is just one of the ways you can get rid of gum without using any chemicals. The process goes as follows.
- Take two tablespoons of the peanut butter and apply it to the gum.
- Let the peanut butter sit on the gum for ten minutes.
- Now take a wire brush and scrub the area.
- Then rinse the sole with cold water.
4. Olive Oil
Olive oil is not only meant for salads. It is also another natural way of dealing with gum stuck on your shoe. This is how to go about it.
- Take a paper towel and use it to apply olive oil on the affected area.
- Let the oil sit for a minute then use a fresh paper towel to drain the excess oil.
- Now take a butter knife or a blunt scraper, pour some oil on it and use it to scrape any gum remains.
- Repeat this process until you are satisfied.
A word of caution. When using olive oil avoid direct contact on leather or suede since olive oil might stain the shoe.
5. Sticks and Sand
If you got gum on your sole while outside then you might as well deal with the problem outside. You will use sticks and sand.
- Get some dry sand and a small stick.
- Sprinkle the dry sand over the gum then take the stick and use it to rub the sand into the gum.
- The gum will begin chunking off and you should continue adding more sand and keep rubbing.
- Repeat the process till all the gum is off. The sand acts as your exfoliator. This process may be time excruciating but it is better than getting to your house with the gum still there.
Removing Gum using things not typically found at Home-Dissolving
WD-40 is a cleaning spray that has multiple uses in the home and can also be used in cars. When it comes to stuck gum, this is what you should do with this spray.
- Spray WD-40 on your sole and leave it to settle in for some minutes. What happens during this time is that the spray will be breaking down the gum’s defenses namely, the sticky fibers. This will make it easier for you to scrape off the gum and there will be no need for scrubbing.
- The gum has now dissolved so all you need to do is take a piece of cloth or a towel to wipe away the excess spray residue.
2. Acetone Based Nail Polish Remover
Acetone based nail polish remover comes in handy when you need to deal with gum. All you need to do is:
- Take a piece of cloth or paper towel, dip it in the remover and use it to rub the gum till it is fully dissolved.
Do note that nail polish removers have a strong chemical scent so you better work with it in a well-ventilated space. Nail polish remover should not be used on suede shoes because one accidental drip will damage the finish.
3. Lighter Fluid/ Naphtha
- Go into a well-ventilated space and rub some lighter fluid/ naphtha on a piece of cloth or paper towel then run this into the gum stuck on the sole.
- The gum will start dissolving immediately but you should watch how you work with the fluid/ naphtha because they are highly flammable.
How to Remove Gum from Leather Shoes
Let us simply acknowledge that quality leather shoes do not come cheap and this means that when gum comes in then it will be harder to remove. Actually, it is harder to remove gum from leather shoes than any other type of shoe. It is therefore important to equip you with information on how to deal with gum on leather.
1. Ice and Freezing
Initially, we already told you about the power of ice and zip lock bags. You should ensure that the zip lock bag has to holes. Do not use sharp objects to scrape the gum. Avoid using your fingernails. Not only is it not hygienic but you might hurt yourself. Avoid using a knife even if it is a pen knife because you risk gauging the sole.
2. Ice and Toothbrush
Old gum may become harder to scrape so this calls for something that can intervene. A soft toothbrush will do and you will need some saddle soap too. Now the next thing is to scrub the affected area with the brush and saddle soap to get rid of the hardened gum particles.
3. Hair Dryer
Heat up your hair dryer then direct the nozzle towards the gum spot. Ensure that the nozzle is above the spot and not too close. In circular motions hold the nozzle on the spot till the gum softens. Now when the gum is softened you can use something blunt to scrap it off.
4. Ice and Saddle Soap
Saddle soap is leather friendly. You can also use it to remove sticky residue.
- Take a piece of cloth and wet it then lather the saddle soap on it.
- Wipe the gum spot with the cloth and do this in a circular motion. The soap softens the residue.
- Apply ice and the remnants will also be removed.
5. Scotch Tape
- Take a piece of scotch tape and then firmly press it onto the gum spot. Do this for some several seconds.
- The next step is to pull off the scotch tape and you should do this step repeatedly till you get the desired results.
6. Ice and Soap Suds
- Scrape off the gum as much as you can.
- Take the suds and mix them in lukewarm water till they give you a thick foam.
- Take a sponge, dip it into the foam and use it to rub the gum area. Do this till all the gum remnants are removed.
So next time you get gum on your shoe bottom do not worry because you now get to the bottom of the matter without breaking a sweat. The items that you need to eliminate the gum are within your reach and will not cost you much.
If you are not sure about the items then you better test them on a smaller surface before proceeding to the intended surface. This is especially true when dealing with liquid dissolvers. Before you know it, gum will no longer be a matter of harm.
You can also simply ensure that everyone within your home dumps their gum in the dust bin after chewing it so that at least you do not deal with gum issues within the home terrain.