5 Easy Way to Remove Chewing Gum from Leather Step By Step

Gum is incredibly annoying to have on anything, even worse on your beloved leather goods or leather car seats! Don’t try to remove it as quickly as you can by picking on it and potentially scratching the leather or peeling off the faux leather. Read on and find out a few ways you can remove chewing gum from leather.

Can you remove chewing gum from leather?

It may be difficult, but it is possible to safely remove chewing gum from leather. Most of the methods will involve ways to soften, harden, or lubricate the chewing gum so it doesn’t stick as much to the leather and can be removed without the risk of scratching the leather.

We will list the methods below and these will involve things that you will easily have at your home.

What can chewing gum do to leather?

Chewing gum doesn’t pose a huge risk to leather, especially pure leather goods that use high-quality leather like top-grain and full-grain leather. Gum can be removed from this type of leather quite safely as they have a tough and smooth surface.

However, lower-quality leather may be at risk depending on the type of leather. Genuine leather that has a synthetic coating over it may have that coating removed by the gum. The same goes for faux leather, especially old faux leather whose surface has started to weaken.

Suede

Gum is especially bad on suede as the gum can get caught in the fibers. However, the methods below can also be used on suede. Although, you may need a suede brush and suede eraser in order to remove any stubborn pieces of gum that managed to get themselves in the fibers and to bring its fluff back.

You may want to avoid any methods that involve liquids as they may discolor the suede when it gets wet.

Ways to remove chewing gum from leather

Instead of trying to pick it off with your fingers or a sharp object, you may want to check these methods out. You may need to use a scraping tool, but we advise you to not use any knives or any object that may scratch or slice the leather.

Hair dryer

This method of removing gum from your leather item is fairly easy. If the gum has dried up, it can be difficult to remove without accidentally scraping off leather fibers. The heat from the hair dryer will soften up the dried gum so you can easily remove it from all types of leather including real and genuine leather, suede, and faux leather.

Things you will need:

Steps:

  1. Make sure there is no dust and loose dirt on your leather garment.
  2. Plug your hair dryer and put it on high heat. Point it to the gum on your leather garment to soften it.
  3. Make sure it is at least 3 inches away from the leather as the high heat can damage it. Do this in a circular motion.
  4. Using a hard-edged scraper such as a spatula, an old credit card or butter knife, gently scrape off the gum.
  5. Repeat the heating and scraping process until there is no more gum left.
  6. Use a dry microfiber cloth and rub it around the area to get rid of little balls of dried gum.
  7. If you have access to a leather cleaning solution, the better. You can use this to remove the greasy residue left by the gum. Use another clean cloth for this method.
  8. Apply leather conditioner on the areas where you pointed the hair dryer to re-moisturize the area.

Soap

Soap suds are great at removing gum from almost any surface including leather. The suds work by loosening the fibers of the material so you can safely remove sticky or dried gum on leather items. Since this method involves getting your leather item wet, we don’t recommend using this on suede as wet substances can stain suede materials.

Things you will need:

Steps:

  1. Dip the saddle soap brush in water and rub on the saddle soap. If you do not have a saddle soap brush, you can use a damp cloth instead.
  2. Using a plastic scraper, a spatula, or a butter knife, scrape off the dried gum as much as you can without getting too close to the leather surface.
  3. Use a toothbrush after the scraper if there is any gum debris that is harder to remove. Don’t brush too hard though.
  4. Gather soap suds from your solution and gently rub it on the area where the gum is. Use a sponge in doing this.
  5. You’ll notice that it will slowly remove all the gum remnants on your leather item.
  6. Pat it dry using a soft cloth. Apply leather conditioner on your leather garment to restore any discoloration.

Peanut butter

Peanut butter isn’t just great on toast, it’s also great at removing chewing gum! The oil in the peanut butter is able to break down the gum and the peanut butter allows the oil to be distributed evenly without the oil running all over the place.

We suggest testing the peanut butter for stains in a hidden spot. Check for any major discoloration or staining. If there is none, that’s when you know it’s safe to use on that spot. This method isn’t suggested for suede as it can be difficult to remove the peanut butter and the oil will cause discoloration.

Things you will need:

Steps:

  1. Use a small amount of peanut butter, just enough to cover the gum. Allow the peanut butter to sit on the gum for at least 10 minutes.
  2. After waiting, dampen the cleaning cloth in the water.
  3. Wipe the peanut butter away with as much chewing gum as you can.
  4. If you can’t wipe it off, use a scraper to persuade the chewing gum to lift up until you can remove it with the cloth.
  5. Wipe the area with a damp cloth and wipe off the remaining moisture as quickly as you can.
  6. Apply leather conditioner to the area to return that layer of protection that was probably removed.

Ice

Sticky gum is definitely harder to remove than dried gum because it can’t be properly scraped off. The idea behind using ice to remove gum from any leather item is simple. The coldness from the ice will turn the sticky gum into a solid substance that will be easier to lift away using a scraper.

Things you will need:

Steps:

  1. Get some ice cubes from your freezer and place them inside a plastic bag. The plastic bag will protect your leather item from water damage when the ice melts. Rub the ice on where the gum is until it hardens.
  2. Check if it still has a gooey or sticky texture. Continue rubbing ice on it.
  3. Once the gum has hardened, use a plastic scraper to lift it off from your leather item.
  4. Avoid using anything sharp when you’re scraping the gum off since it can cause physical damage to the leather surface.
  5. Dip the saddle soap brush into water and rub it onto the saddle soap. If you do not have a brush for the saddle soap, you can use a damp cloth instead.
  6. Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe off the saddle soap. If you have a suede item, don’t rinse it with water. The cloth will be enough to wipe it clean.
  7. Apply leather conditioner on the treated area to prevent or restore any discoloration.

Coconut oil or vegetable oil

Oil helps lubricate the chewing gum’s fibers just like the peanut butter method mentioned above. If you don’t have peanut butter, you can use the oil directly. It will be a bit messy, but it can remove the chewing gum quite easily.

Things you will need:

  • Coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • Paintbrush (optional)
  • Paper tape or masking tape
  • Scraping tool
  • Soft cloth or cleaning cloth
  • Leather conditioner (optional)

Steps:

  1. Test the oils in a discreet spot to make sure it doesn’t stain the leather too much. Surround the area with paper tape to avoid the oil from touching any unaffected areas.
  2. You can use a paintbrush to apply the oil onto the chewing gum, but you can also use your fingers. Let the oil sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Slowly persuade the chewing gum off of the leather by lifting it up with the scraping tool.
  4. You can also massage the chewing gum with more oil on your fingers in a circular, rolling motion.
  5. Remove any remaining gum with a damp cleaning cloth.
  6. Once the gum has been removed, you can remove the tape and apply leather conditioner to even out any discoloration caused by the oil.

Conclusion

If you’ve ever had gum stuck on your leather jacket, leather couch, car seats, and other leather items, you know how much of a hassle it can be to remove. If you’re not thorough with the process of removing chewing gum, it can leave a disgusting sticky feel, or worse you might damage your leather item if you force on scraping it off. We hope that you found the step-by-step methods in this article helpful in removing gum from leather.

FAQ

Does rubbing alcohol remove chewing gum?

Yes, rubbing alcohol can remove chewing gum on leather surfaces. The isopropyl alcohol dissolves the gum, making it easier for you to wipe it off using a soft cloth or Q-tip. However, rubbing alcohol is drying on leather so only do this as your last resort. To lessen the damage to your leather item, dilute the rubbing alcohol with equal parts of water before applying it to the affected area.

Does WD-40 remove gum from leather?

Similarly to oil, WD-40 can lubricate and loosen the chewing gum’s grip on your leather item. Some people use WD-40 to condition leather items, but it’s not a real leather conditioner so we wouldn’t advise you to use it as your first option. Do test in a discreet area first before using it on the affected area.