You’re walking down the city streets, feeling fly in your brand-new kicks. Life couldn’t be better! Then tragedy strikes, as you watch in slow motion your new trainers descend into a sticky mess of chewing gum on the pavement. When you finally unstick yourself, you see that it’s wedged itself into the crevices of the sole of your shoe. So, what do you do? How do you remove gum from the sole of your shoe? From using ice cubes and nail varnish remover to that trusted can of WD-40® that’s been hiding in your cupboard, find our five easy and effective top tips and tricks on how to remove chewing gum from shoes below:

1. Compressed Air To Remove Gum

You can’t remove gum whilst it is sticky. If it’s still wet, then you need it to harden so that you can peel it off. You can use a can of compressed air, which contains freezing cold air, and will harden it for you to remove.

2. Using Ice To Remove Gum From Shoe

Don’t have any compressed air? Try filling a plastic bag full of ice and place your shoe on top, sole down, for 10-15 minutes. After, the chewing gum should be more solid and putty-like. Now, you should be able to just peel it off.

3. Lighter Fluid Dissolves Gum

Peel it off! Who’s got time for that? Try dissolving it with lighter fluid. Lighter fluid generally comprises of naphtha, which is flammable. All you need to do is soak a piece of cloth with naphtha and rub it onto the chewing gum. You’ll see it simply dissolve away. However, be careful with this method as it is easy for naphtha to catch fire.

4. Nail Polish Remover Method

If lighter fluid isn’t for you, it’s time to get the nail varnish remover out. Simply soak a clean rag or cloth in an acetone-based nail polish remover and then rub it onto the gum. After a while, it should just dissolve. However, be careful as acetone could ruin certain kinds of shoes, especially suede shoes.

5. WD-40 To Remove Gum From Shoe

Short of time? WD-40® Multi-Use Product works quickly. Use the WD-40 Multi-Use Product Smart Straw for extra precision when spraying the formula onto the shoe. Use the Smart Straw applicator to ensure that you only apply WD-40 to the chewing gum and surrounding area and not on the fabric of the shoes or it could damage it*. After application, simply wipe it away with a rag or clean cloth.

If at first, you don’t succeed … try again, until you do. Once it is completely removed, wipe the sole of your shoe clean to ensure that there are no traces of WD-40 left.

There you have it, five tips for removing gum from your trainers. Want more Tips & Tricks? Did you know that WD-40 can clean your white shoes and even waterproof your trainers? Check out our blog for more ideas on how to keep your shoes and trainers in tip-top condition.


*WD-40 Multi-Use Product may leave oil stains on fabric – avoid spraying any part of their shoe that may be susceptible to staining.