How to Remove Gum From a Shoe

Howtoremovegumfromashoe

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…..my 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.

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

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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.

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The scrubbing step is a little messy so I recommend doing it outside.

The bristles tend to flick the peanut butter all over.

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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.

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Ready to rock again!

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