In my younger years, I was notorious for spitting my chewing gum out on the streets. That was until I almost ruined a pair of $200 Air Jordans that I had paid for myself. Since then, I make sure my gum (when I'm brave enough to even chew it; I switched to breath mints) is disposed of in the proper receptacles.

Unfortunately, whenever you're around children, no matter how careful you are, you still manage to (YEARLY!!!) get the super sticky substance stuck to your shoes. Thus was the case outside my apartment late last week. Until today, I just avoided wearing that pair of shoes. Well, those particular pair of footwear just happened to match the new outfit I wanted to wear today, so after a conversation with Tee-Roy... off to Google I went to search for an answer to the age old question: what is the best way to get gum off shoes?

DJ Nyke, Townsquare Media
DJ Nyke, Townsquare Media

Here are the 4 easiest ways to remove gum from your shoes:

  1. Peanut butter. Use a butter knife to generously rub a glob of peanut butter over the gum. After 10 to 15 minutes (or depending on how soft the chewing gum was to start with) the gum should start to soften and become one with the peanut butter. Once this happens, scrape it off, then clean the rest of your shoe with soap and water to remove any peanut butter or gum remnants.
  2. WD-40 or Compressed Air. WD-40 is a lifesaver for more than just squeaky drawers or doors. Spray directly on the gum until it hardens, and then scrap off the offender with a butter knife. A canister of compressed air will also work in a pinch. They contain freezing cold air which can also harden the gum and make it easier to remove.
  3. Freezer. If the gum isn’t on an expensive pair of pumps, then this method works well. Stick your shoe in a plastic bag with the gum pressed tightly against the plastic. Let it harden in the freezer for an hour or two. When you take the bag out, pull the plastic back from the shoe and the gum should peel off with the plastic. If there’s any gum remnants left over you can pick it off with a butter knife or toothpick.
  4. Ice Cube. If you’re strapped for time, try rubbing an ice cube over the gum for 10-20 minutes. It should freeze and turn putty-like. Follow the instructions above for sanitary removal.
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