How to remove Chappies from clothes: Top 12 tips and tricks

How to remove Chappies from clothes: Top 12 tips and tricks

With over 2 to 5 billion sold annually, Chappies has been South Africa’s best-selling chewing gum for over five decades. However, it is always an unpleasant surprise to find a wad of gum stuck on a sweater’s arm or clutching the seat of your pants. While this may be a real ‘sticky situation’, you do not have to throw away your favourite clothing. Here is how to remove Chappies from clothes.

How to remove Chappies from clothes
Chewing gum stuck on pants. Photo: Liudmila Chernetska, Denis Valakhanovich via Getty Images (modified by author)
Source: UGC


Removing gum from clothes without the proper technique can create a bigger mess and ruin your fabric. This article highlights various tried-and-true tricks of working on this problem in the comfort of your home using readily available materials in the kitchen.

How to remove Chappies from clothes

There are several effective strategies for how to remove bubble gum from clothes. Here are the top 12 easy-to-follow methods to help you restore your affected fabric to its original state.

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1. Freezing

Did you know gums contain special polymers that react to temperature changes and harden when cooled? This technique can remove Chappies from smoother fabrics. Follow the steps below for a seamless process:

  • Fold the cloth with the gum facing upwards and place it into a freezer bag. Ensure enough air is inside to prevent the gum from sticking to the bag.
  • Place the bag in the freezer for 3-4 hours or until the gum has completely solidified.
  • You must act as fast as possible before the gum softens again for the removal process. Use a butter knife to lift it from the fabric gently.
  • If the bubble gum fails to come off in one go, freeze the item and try again.
  • After removing all the sticky substances, use a stain remover over the area and machine-wash the cloth soon after.

Alternatively, you can remove gum from clothes using ice cubes. This will only freeze the gum area, making it easier to peel it off using a small blade.

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A man holding bubble gum
A man with chewing gum on a white background. Photo: Liudmila Chernetska
Source: UGC

2. Hot white vinegar

Does vinegar remove gum from clothes? When removing Chappies from resilient materials such as jeans, it is vital to incorporate a harsher treatment. Scrubbing the clothing with hot vinegar will help the gum lift more efficiently. Here is how to use this method effectively:

  • In a pot, heat diluted vinegar until it is just hot, not boiling.
  • Next, use a teaspoon to soak the affected area with the liquid and let it sit for about 2 minutes.
  • Dip a clean toothbrush into the vinegar and use it to scrub the gum off.
  • If need be, apply more hot water to the area until the gum comes out ultimately.
  • Lastly, wash the clothing in the washing machine, as vinegar leaves a relatively strong smell.

3. Peanut butter

Using peanut butter is an effective method to remove chewing gum from clothing. The fats and oils in the butter will work to make the Chappies less sticky. However, the procedure below should be done quickly to avoid staining.

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  • Smear a spoonful of peanut butter over the affected area of the clothing.
  • Allow it to sit for a few minutes before scraping off the gum with a dull blade or the edge of a credit card.
  • Next, use a stain remover to get rid of any peanut butter traces on the cloth.
A woman enjoying a bubble gum
Portrait of an African-American woman with bubble gum. Photo: Riska
Source: UGC

4. Ironing

It is possible to remove Chappies from clothes because gum responds just as well to heating as it does to cooling. Heating works by dissolving the gum base to make it soft and pliable so it can easily be scraped off. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to go about this process:

  • Place the cloth on top of a cardboard such that the gum is between the fabric and the board.
  • Iron all over the gum’s opposite side using a medium heat setting.
  • The heat softens the sticky substance and transfers it to the cardboard.
  • Repeat the process in case there is any residue left behind.
  • Wash the fabric with detergent afterwards.

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5. Rubbing alcohol

What liquid removes chewing gum from clothes? Using rubbing alcohol as a solvent is the best option to remove Chappies from delicate materials as it is not as harsh as most cleaning agents and methods. Here is how to go about this procedure:

  • Dampen a sponge with a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
  • Next, scrub the bubble gum gently with the sponge for a few minutes.
  • Gently scrape off the sticky substance from the fabric using a blunt knife.

6. Liquid laundry soap

Even though using liquid laundry soap to remove Chappies from fabrics is labour-intensive, it achieves the desired results. Below is a detailed process on how to get this done:

  • Apply liquid laundry soap all over the gum and the area around it.
  • Using a toothbrush, work the liquid into the chewing gum so it breaks into little crumbs.
  • Remove the sticky matter using a blunt blade and add more liquid if necessary.
  • Wash the garment with water to avoid leaving behind a stain.

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Chewing gum stuck on black pants
A man removing chewing gum from black pants. Photo: Liudmila Chernetska
Source: UGC

7. Duct tape

This is a quick-fix method to remove Chappies when you are on the move. Here is how to use this effectively:

  • Take the sticky side of the duct tape and press firmly into the chewing gum.
  • Get as much gum to stick to it as possible.
  • Peel the tape off, and the gum comes off with it.
  • Repeat if needed to remove any leftover gum.

8. Toothpaste

Does toothpaste remove chewing gum? Toothpaste can remove bubble gum from fabrics. Be careful because some toothpaste brands may contain a bleaching agent, such as hydrogen peroxide. Below is a guide on how to use this method:

  • Flatten the gum with a dull blade and smear a dab of toothpaste on it.
  • Allow the toothpaste to dry, which hardens the Chappies.
  • Next, remove the gum using a dull blade and wash the garment with water.

9. Hairspray

Hardening Chappies with hairspray will make it easier to remove. Here are the steps to follow when using this method to remove gum from clothes:

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  • Fold the fabric and place it on a flat surface with the gum facing up.
  • Approximate the gum’s size and cut a small hole in a cardboard big enough to cover the folded part of the cloth.
  • Place the cardboard in a way that allows the chewing gum to poke through the hole, ensuring that none of the fabric is exposed to hairspray as it results in staining.
  • Next, spray the gum until it hardens.
  • Gently scrape off the gum and apply stain remover to ensure you get rid of all traces left behind.
  • Finish off by washing the fabric in a regular wash cycle.
A woman blowing bubblegum
Portrait of a young woman blowing bubblegum against a yellow background. Photo: Katleho Seisa
Source: UGC

10. Coconut oil

Coconut oil is best suited for removing chewing gum stuck on synthetic fabrics. It assists in softening the adhesiveness of the sticky matter. Below is a guide on how to effectively use this method:

  • Heat 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a pot.
  • Dip the gum-stained spot of the fabric into the warm oil.
  • Using a toothbrush, remove the softened sticky material.
  • Repeat until you have scraped all the gum off.
  • Wash it using warm water and detergent to remove the excess coconut oil.

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11. Petrol

Because petrol is a powerful organic solvent, it should only be used to remove the most stubborn gum stuck to fabrics that are not too delicate. Follow the procedure outlined below because petrol is flammable and gives off vapours that can cause light-headedness if inhaled.

  • On a clean sponge or piece of cloth, pour some petrol.
  • Apply the solvent all over the gum and allow it to dissolve the gum base.
  • Use a blunt knife to scrape away the gum, which comes off easily.
  • Wash with detergent to remove any leftover residue and odour.

12. More gum

Even though applying more gum to a gum-stained fabric may sound counterintuitive, it works. Here is a detailed step on how to achieve the best result using this method:

  • Chew up another piece of gum and then apply the new gum to the stain.
  • Press the new gum into the old gum to make it stick, and then peel the new gum off. The old gum will come with it.

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NB: Ensure you do not stick your new wad of gum onto the cloth’s surroundings, or you could wind up with one big Chappies stain.

A man pointing to his bubble gum
A man blowing bubble gum on a green background. Photo: Liudmila Chernetska
Source: UGC

What dissolves chewing gum?

Due to its acidic nature, hot vinegar breaks down the adhesiveness of the gum. This makes it easier to remove from the fabric.

Can lemon remove chewing gum from clothes?

Lemon juice is excellent when removing gum stuck on clothes. It is a cheap and fabric-friendly technique; therefore, you do not have to worry about damaging your clothes.

Learning to remove Chappies from clothes will save you money that could be spent buying new pieces. You can work the gum out of any fabric with patience and care.

DISCLAIMER: This article is not sponsored by any third party. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility.

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Source: Briefly News

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