How to Remove Gum From a Shoe


We have all stepped into a sticky situation at least once or twice.

Last week while on set I stepped right into a hot melted wad of gum.  It completely took over the toe and bottom of my white crackle effect Stan Smith sneakers PLUS I was walking on asphalt for 12 hours so on top of the sticky mess was a layer of black asphalt residue and dark smudges all over… shoes were pretty much thrashed!

I love these kicks so tossing them wasn’t an option… I needed to clean them up.

If you google “Removing Gum from a Shoe” there are several methods to choose from but I have found the peanut butter method to be the most effective.  This method works best on rubber and leather surfaces- I wouldn’t recommend trying it on canvas- the oil in the peanut butter might stain the canvas.

For supplies it’s best to use a SMOOTH peanut butter and a small clean wire bristle brush.

This part is very important: you must use a wire bristle brush NOT nylon bristle or it won’t work.

All that I had available was chunky peanut butter (because that’s what my hubby eats in bulk) and a wire BBQ brush so I used what I had on hand.


First, with a butter knife, evenly apply a thick layer of peanut butter over the gum (about two teaspoons).



Allow it to sit on the shoe for five to ten minutes.

Then, begin scrubbing the area with the wire brush.  This part is a lot easier if you are using smooth peanut butter.  The oils in the peanut butter will help soften and break down the gum so that when you scrub- it all comes off together.  Scrub hard, it may take a few passes to get it all and be sure not to scrub against the grooves of the sole.

Photo May 05, 2 57 41 AM
The scrubbing step is a little messy so I recommend doing it outside.

The bristles tend to flick the peanut butter all over.


After you are done scrubbing, wipe the area gently with a cloth then run the shoe under cold water, removing any residue with an old toothbrush.

Finally I give my sneakers a once over with my Mr. Clean Dry Eraser to get the black smudges off and run my laces through the washer.


Ready to rock again!

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