Chewing gum stuck inside the dryer
January 25, 2008 7:23 PM   Subscribe

How do you get a good amount of chewing gum out of a clothes dryer most efficiently.

I removed most of it w/a method that I thought was fairly thorough but was less than perfect to say the least. I ran a load of bedding through previous to my jeans and button-downs. Even so, I got a small amount of gum/discoloration on one of my shirts (of course the brand new one.) I'm just happy it was a $15 shirt and not a $60 dollar shirt. I digress. I suspect some parents have run into this before and I'm very curious as to their methods.

I say parents because I've not run into this problem since I was say, 17 and now I've a new roomate.... ;) Thanks a lot.
posted by prodevel to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What type of dryer is it? Depending on the make it may be easier to take the dryer apart.
posted by Mitheral at 7:26 PM on January 25, 2008

It looks to be about the cheapest Sears model, as the one I bought at my previous pad is a coupla series up from it. I want to say it's a series 60 Kenmore, new. Mine was a series 80.

Very nice literally thinking outside of the box, though.
posted by prodevel at 7:33 PM on January 25, 2008

Scrape it with a plastic knife of some sort. A heavy guitar pick works well. After everything is scraped you can use Goo-Gone or a similar product for that last little bit, but you might not need it. The little green 3M sponges, the ones that scratch glass, can also help. Been there, done that. Get you iPod charged up before you start.
posted by caddis at 7:39 PM on January 25, 2008

Locate it, freeze it, chip it off. Luckily they make special freezing sprays just for such things.
posted by sanka at 7:51 PM on January 25, 2008

I don't know why, but when I read, "Chewing Gum Freezing Spray" I started laughing uncontrollably...
posted by prodevel at 8:11 PM on January 25, 2008

prodevel writes "It looks to be about the cheapest Sears model, as the one I bought at my previous pad is a coupla series up from it."

I can't identify it from that description unfortunately. If it is an Inglis style dryer it will be a lot easier to clean after you've taken it apart. Plus you'll have access to the sealing felts. If it is an Inglis the back of the drying compartment is not attached to the drum which is why things get easy. Open the door and move the drum with your hand; if the back of the drum doesn't move you've got an Inglis. It's only 6 screws to get the drum out. Post if it is and you want to attempt it.
posted by Mitheral at 8:51 PM on January 25, 2008

I've never done this, but a colleague told me that she very recently used fabric softener sheets to rub the gum and remove it. She said it really made the job easier. It's worth a try.
posted by WyoWhy at 9:20 AM on January 26, 2008

You don't have to take the dryer freaking APART. And chewing gum breaks down with lacquer thinner (cheap and available at any hardware store). Put lacquer thinner on a rag and go to work. It basically DISSOLVES the gum so you can wipe it off.

Lacquer thinner fumes aren't the greatest, particularly when you are sticking your head in an enclosed area like a dryer drum. The best thing you can do is (weather permitting) open a window and set up a couple of fans to move the fumes out of the dryer and then out of the room.
posted by spock at 1:19 PM on January 30, 2008

um.. I'd be careful with any kind of potentially flammable liquid to dissolve the gum....

I'd maybe try getting some dry ice from a local supermarket.. and freezing it real good.. so that the gum could be chipped off easily..?

are we talking a full pack of gum.. or a dozen packs of gum..?
posted by mhh5 at 6:39 PM on February 5, 2008

are we talking a full pack of gum.. or a dozen packs of gum..?

you obviously have not dealt with gum in the dryer. one half stick is bad, really, really bad. you could take down a few loads of clothing with one half stick. ouch. don't even think about washing a stick of lip balm - agggghhhhhh!
posted by caddis at 8:57 PM on February 5, 2008

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