What Are The Best Ways To Get Gum Off Shoes?

We’ve all been there. One moment you’re walking without a care in the world and the next there’s a sticky pile of gunk on the sole of your favorite shoes.

If you don’t know how to get it off without scratching the sole, you’ll be left with a permanent stain to remind you of the incident for years to come.

Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen. We’ll go over a summary and then explain each method in greater detail.

This is a summary of the Best Ways to Get Gum Off Shoes:

  1. Use Peanut Butter
  2. Use the Power of Freezing Temperatures
  3. Spray WD-40
  4. Rub Ice Cubes

The Peanut Butter Method

Take a butter knife or a plastic scraper and apply a generous amount of peanut butter over the gum. Give the peanut oils 15 minutes to work their magic and then simply scrape the mass off.

If there’s still gum residue, repeat the process.

Get Gum Off Shoes by Using Peanut Butter

I found that a plastic windshield scraper works better than a butter knife because of the wider surface, something like this:

Why it Works

The oils in the peanut butter react with the gum and slowly engulf it. In other words, the two, when combined, become one mass that is easier to get off.

Freeze it Off

I’d advise staying away from this method if you are working with an expensive or an especially delicate pair of shoes.

How do you Get Gum Off your Shoe by Freezing It?

  1. Place the affected shoe in a thick plastic bag and press the bag tightly onto the gum.
  2. Put it in a freezer, and leave it for one and a half to two hours, or until it completely hardens.
  3. Pull the bag off the sole, and the gum will stay on the bag.

Get Gum Off your Shoe by Freezing It

The bag should not be flimsy. Go with thicker plastic (zipper bags work well).

Why it Works

It works because the force of the gum-to-bag connection is greater than that of the gum-to-sole bond.

Alternatives: If you’re on the road or in a pinch, compressed air can work just as well because it comes out freezing cold. Spray it directly onto the gum and scrape it off.

How to Get Gum Off your Shoe Using WD4-40

Spray the WD-40 directly onto the gum thoroughly. It will harden the gum and allow you to simply scrape it off.

Get Gum Off Shoes by WD 40

Why it Works

WD-40 is a powerful degreaser and solvent. It’s aggressive to the chemicals in the gum but not to your shoe.

Note: if you don’t have it lying around the house, make sure you buy the can with a straw (aerosol won’t work as well). You’ll only need a small can – you can see it here –

How to Clean Gum Off Shoes Using Just Ice-Cubes

Ice cubes are probably the most straightforward method for removing gum from shoe soles because it’s relatively easy to get your hands on some, which might not be true for some of the other methods we went over. Though, it does take a bit more of an effort on your side.

Get Gum Off Shoes by Ice Cube

It does take a bit more of an effort on your side, though.

Take a few ice cubes and rub them over the affected area for about 15 minutes. The consistency of the gum will change, allowing you to get it off. It’s probably the best way to get gum off my shoe when out and about.

Note: Protect your hand with a towel while doing it.

Why it Works

For the same reasons as the freezer, the cold changes the bonds between the gum particles and turns them into a putty-like mass.


If you step into the gum, the first instinct will be to just find anything solid and start scraping. It’s also the wrong instinct, for a few reasons: you can damage the sole, scratch the upper and most importantly, it’s not likely to work as well as the methods we described above.

If you are patient and smart about it, you will have your shoe free from gum without the hassle.


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