After enjoying a sunny day, you return home and feel an unfortunate stickiness on your favorite leather jacket, garment, or bag. A piece of chewing gum has found its way onto your favorite leather possession.
You might think of disposing of those leather items and replacing them with new ones. However, you can easily remove this sticky gum from leather with our six tried and tested methods.
6 Methods to Remove Gum From Leather
You don’t need to be an expert to remove gum from leather. I’ll teach you easy, tried, and tested methods with insider tips to restore your leather.
1. Ice Method to Remove Gum from Leather
Placing ice on the gum makes it hard and allows you to remove it quickly.
- Gently rub ice cubes wrapped in a plastic bag on the gum. The plastic bag blocks water from dripping from the melting ice. Water spilled on the leather for an extended period may stain it.
- Cover the entire gum with ice. The cold temperature of ice helps solidify the gum and make it less sticky, allowing you to remove it quickly.
- Apply the ice for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Once the gum hardens, remove it using a dull knife or an expired credit card. Do not apply much force, as it can scratch or cut the leather.
- To remove any remaining gum residue, apply a tiny amount of saddle soap to the gum-stuck area using a damp, clean cloth.
- Rub in a circular motion against the affected area until you form a light foam. It helps get rid of any stuck gum residue.
- You can also use a soft-bristled toothbrush to drive out stubborn gum residue.
- Wipe off the saddle soap using another clean, damp cloth.
- Avoid rinsing leather with water, as it can damage your leather item.
- Use a leather conditioner to prevent discoloration of your leather item once the affected area dries up.
2. Hair Dryer Method
Using a hair dryer on the gum makes it soft, allowing you to remove it quickly. Here are the steps.
- Set the hair dryer on the highest setting.
- Aim the nozzle at the gum directly.
- Gently glide the heat from the hairdryer in circular motions over the gum until it softens and becomes soft and easy to remove.
- Scrap it off using a dull knife, spatula, expired credit card, or similar item with hard edges.
- Re-apply the hair dryer to the remnants of the gum to soften them.
- Wipe to remove the remaining gum by rubbing the area in a circular motion using a clean, dry cloth.
- You will notice the gum accumulates into tiny balls, allowing you to remove them quickly.
- Use a leather cleaner to get rid of the greasy residue left behind.
- Moisturize the affected area with a leather conditioner to restore its sheen.
Be extremely cautious with the heat setting on the hair dryer, as excessive heat can damage the leather.
3. Soap Suds Method
Applying soap suds to the gum loosens the fibers. It allows you to remove them from your leather items quickly. Removing gum residue left behind becomes easy with a sponge or toothbrush.
- Scrape off the gum as much as possible using a butter knife, plastic scraper, spatula, or expired credit card. Ensure you scrape it gently and carefully, or you may damage the leather.
- Mix a small amount of leather soap in lukewarm water. Stir the solution to develop a lot of suds.
- Rub the suds from this solution onto the remaining gum residue with a sponge. Only apply suds, not water solutions, as they can damage leather.
- As the gum softens, you can lift it off the leather using a dull knife or the edge of a credit card.
- Wipe the affected area dry using a dry, soft, clean cloth.
- Apply leather conditioner to the affected area to prevent discoloration of the leather item.
Never use harsh chemicals on leather, as they can permanently damage it.
4. Peanut Butter Method
The natural oils in peanut butter help to break down the gum, making it easier to remove. Use creamy peanut butter, not crunchy, to avoid scratches on the leather.
- Use a butter knife or expired credit card, and scrape away the gum as much as possible.
- Many times, the oil from the peanut butter separates. Mix the peanut butter and peanut oil well.
- Apply peanut butter directly on the gum. Avoid applying peanut butter on leather, and try to apply it only on the gum.
- Allow the peanut butter to sit on the gum for 10-15 minutes.
- Wipe the peanut butter and the gum with a clean, damp cloth.
- Remove the remaining gum and peanut butter remnants using saddle soap and another clean cloth.
- Once the affected area dries up, restore the sheen of the leather using a leather conditioner.
To be safe, test the peanut butter method on a hidden inconspicuous leather area before working on the affected area to ensure it doesn’t cause discoloration or damage.
5. Scotch Tape Method
Scotch tape offers an easy way to clean leather items, especially car upholstery. It doesn’t leave any stains after its use.
- Take a piece of scotch tape or any strong adhesive tape and fold it in half, sticky side out. This will create a double-sided sticky surface.
- Press the sticky side of the tape directly onto the gum on the leather surface. Gently press and lift the tape to pull the gum away from the leather.
- Repeat it multiple times until the gum is removed completely.
- Use adhesive to remove if the scotch tape fails to perform.
- If any residue or stickiness is left after removing the gum, you can use saddle soap and a damp cloth to wipe away any remaining bits of gum.
- Once you ensure no gum remains on the leather, use a leather conditioner to restore your car seat’s original appearance.
The scotch tape method is best suited for removing fresh or relatively soft gum.
6. WD40 Method
WD40 is a solvent and lubricant which will help break down the adhesive properties of the gum.
- Before applying WD-40 to the gum-affected area, test it on an inconspicuous part of the leather to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration.
- Spray a small amount of WD-40 directly onto the gum. Be cautious not to spray too much, as you want to avoid oversaturating the leather.
- Let WD40 sit on the gum for 1-2 minutes. WD40 will start breaking the adhesive nature of the gum.
- Use a dull knife or a spoon to rub the gum gently. The gum should start to lift off the leather. Keep rubbing until all the gum is removed.
- Make a soap solution using mild soap to remove the remaining residues of gum and WD40. Ensure not to soak the leather, and gently dab the area instead of rubbing vigorously.
- Wipe the area with a clean, dry towel to remove the moisture.
- Allow the area to dry naturally.
- Use a leather moisturizer on the leather item to protect its sheen.
If the gum is deeply embedded or if removing it seems challenging, it may be best to seek professional assistance to avoid potential damage to the leather.
Precautions to Avoid Gum Stains on Leather?
Some precautionary methods to avoid gum stains on clothes:
- Inspect the area: Always inspect if someone has placed or thrown gum before sitting or placing your leather items. By checking the area beforehand, you can avoid accidentally coming into contact with gum and prevent it from getting stuck on your clothing, bags, or other leather items.
- Place gum mindfully: If you’ve gum in your mouth, dispose of it properly. Avoid placing gum on leather items such as bags, purses, or couches.
- Inspect Leather items regularly: Periodically check your leather items for any gum or sticky residues. Remove any gum you find to prevent it from adhering more firmly to the leather.
- Educate children and guests: If you have children or guests around, educate them about the importance of not putting gum on leather surfaces.
- Avoid carrying gum in leather bags or purses: If you carry gum in your bag or pocket, use a separate container or wrapper to prevent any potential leaks or accidental gum stains on your leather items.
- Clean your hand before touching leather: Ensure your hands are free of gum or sticky substances before handling leather items. Sticky residues on your fingers can transfer to the leather surface.
- Does gum come off leather?
Removing gum from leather can be challenging, but using the proper techniques, like the ice and peanut butter methods, is possible.
Through our research and experimentation, we’ve devised six ways to remove gum from leather. Immediate actions are required to get the desired results, as prolonged exposure may lead to deeper absorption and a complicated removal process.
Furthermore, promptly cleaning and conditioning the leather after gum removal is essential to restore its original appearance and maintain its quality. To avoid any future mishap, follow the precautionary methods.
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