Will WD 40 Remove Gum From Clothes?


Gum stains on clothes can be frustrating to deal with, especially if you’re unsure of the best way to remove them. WD-40 is a popular household product known for its versatility and effectiveness in solving various problems. In this article, we will explore whether WD-40 can be used to remove gum from clothes, how it works, and provide a step-by-step guide for its application.

Understanding WD-40

WD-40 is a multi-purpose lubricant and solvent that has gained widespread recognition for its ability to loosen rusted parts, repel water, and protect metal surfaces from corrosion. It is composed of various chemicals, including mineral spirits, liquefied petroleum gas, and a small amount of penetrating oil. WD-40 is known for its versatility in solving everyday problems around the house.

Gum Stains on Clothes

Accidentally sitting or stepping on chewing gum can leave unsightly stains on your clothes. Gum has a sticky texture that adheres strongly to fabric fibers, making it difficult to remove using conventional methods such as washing or scraping. Applying WD-40 to gum stains can be an effective solution, but it’s essential to understand how it works.

How Does WD-40 Remove Gum?

WD-40’s unique properties make it an effective gum remover. The solvent-based formula of WD-40 helps break down the molecular structure of the gum, reducing its stickiness and making it easier to remove. The lubricating properties of WD-40 also aid in loosening the gum from the fabric, further facilitating its removal.

Step-by-Step Guide to Removing Gum with WD-40

Removing gum from clothes using WD-40 requires a systematic approach. Follow these steps to effectively eliminate gum stains:

  1. Preparation: Gather the necessary materials, including a can of WD-40, a clean cloth or sponge, and a dull knife or spoon.
  2. Testing: Before applying WD-40 to the gum stain, perform a patch test on an inconspicuous area of the fabric to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration.
  3. Spray WD-40: Spray a small amount of WD-40 directly onto the gum stain. Ensure that the stain is completely saturated.
  4. Wait: Allow the WD-40 to penetrate the gum for a few minutes. This will help break down the gum’s structure.
  5. Scrape: Gently scrape the gum off the fabric using a dull knife or spoon. Be careful not to damage the fabric while doing so.
  6. Repeat if Necessary: If any residue remains, apply more WD-40 and repeat the scraping process until the gum is completely removed.
  7. Wash: Once the gum is removed, launder the garment as per the fabric’s washing instructions to eliminate any traces of WD-40.

Precautions and Tips

When using WD-40 to remove gum from clothes, keep the following precautions and tips in mind:

  • Perform a patch test on an inconspicuous area toensure the fabric’s compatibility with WD-40.
  • Use WD-40 in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling fumes.
  • Avoid excessive use of WD-40, as it may leave an oily residue on the fabric.
  • Follow the garment’s care instructions to prevent any damage during the cleaning process.
  • If you’re unsure about using WD-40 or the fabric is delicate, consider seeking professional dry-cleaning services.

Alternative Methods to Remove Gum from Clothes

While WD-40 is an effective solution, there are alternative methods you can try to remove gum from clothes:

  1. Freezing Method: Place the garment in a plastic bag and seal it. Put it in the freezer for a few hours until the gum hardens. Once hardened, gently scrape off the gum using a dull knife or spoon.
  2. Vinegar and Dish Soap: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and dish soap. Apply the solution to the gum stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrape off the gum.
  3. Rubbing Alcohol: Soak a clean cloth in rubbing alcohol and dab it onto the gum stain. Once the gum softens, scrape it off using a dull knife or spoon.

Remember to test these methods on a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric before applying them to the gum stain.


Dealing with gum stains on clothes can be a hassle, but with the right approach, they can be effectively removed. WD-40 is a versatile product that can help break down the stickiness of gum and facilitate its removal from fabric. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can successfully eliminate gum stains from your clothes. However, always exercise caution and consider alternative methods if necessary.

About the writer

Theodore M Macias | New York Chief of Galaxy Cleaning

I’m Theodore M. Macias, Chief of Galaxy Cleaning in New York. Count on me for expert cleaning solutions, including gum stain removal. Your clothes will be spotless and fresh in no time!

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