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Removing chewing gum from leather
March 26, 2014 3:34 PM   Subscribe

So I managed to get gum on my shoe yesterday. Normally I would just scrape it off, but in this case it's on the top of the leather shoe, not on the sole. I did some googling and saw advice to freeze the item with gum on it and other advice to use a hairdryer to heat the gum. One page suggested peanut butter. Since these seem like contradictory bits of advice, I'm here asking: Have you ever tried to remove gum from leather? What worked? Since it's the top of the shoe I'd like to have it look ok when I'm done.
posted by kbuxton to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total)
 
Is it smooth leather or inside out (like suede or nubuk)?
posted by workerant at 3:50 PM on March 26


Smooth (and black -- in case that's relevant).
posted by kbuxton at 3:52 PM on March 26


Peanut butter works, but it's not exactly what you want. What you want is some kind of oil, any kind of vegetable oil will do. You just want a nonpolar solvent to dissolve the sticky latex-like compounds in the gum, which are also nonpolar – so any oil will work fine. It'll also be unlikely to harm your shoes. Just get some vegetable oil on a rag and work it into the gum, it'll disintegrate and eventually come off without too much effort.
posted by Scientist at 4:13 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]


You might also try masking tape as a first step to get the biggest chunks off first.
posted by sexyrobot at 4:55 PM on March 26


I'd start with the ice, which should allow you to chip at least a portion off the surface without leaving marks. I'd be worried that the hair dryer would get it to soak into the surface more, and that the peanut butter would leave stains. I guess of the 2 I'd try PB next, but test on an inconspicuous spot first.
posted by goggie at 5:16 PM on March 26


Thanks all. Masking tape got most of it off, and a little bit of vegetable oil got the last of the residue. They look like the whole incident never happened.
posted by kbuxton at 2:12 PM on April 2


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