Discovering chewing gum stuck inside your dryer is a sticky situation, both figuratively and literally.
The residue left behind can transfer onto your freshly laundered clothes or block essential dryer components and reduce its efficiency. It needs to be removed quickly to avoid these complications.
Chewing gum is unfortunately a nightmare to remove. But with the correct cleaning techniques, it is possible.
Learn how to remove gum from a dryer in this guide as we walk you through effective and safe methods to tackle this common laundry mistake.
Say goodbye to gum-related dryer woes and hello to a smoothly operating, gum-free appliance!
How Do You Get Melted Gum Out of a Dryer?
If you accidentally put a piece of gum through the wash, the gum can melt and stick to the interior of the dryer drum.
This forms a sticky residue that can then transfer to future loads of laundry, causing additional staining. Therefore, it’s crucial to get melted gum out of a dryer as soon as possible.
Removing chewing gum from a tumble dryer can be a bit challenging, but here are some steps you can follow to remove the gum effectively:
- Cool down the gum: Open your tumble dryer door and allow it to cool. Then, start by cooling down the chewing gum. Apply ice or a cold pack directly to the gum to harden it, making it easier to remove in the next step.
- Scrape off the gum: Use a plastic scraper or a credit card to gently scrape off as much hardened gum as possible. Be careful not to scratch or damage the dryer drum—any remaining gum will be removed in the following steps, so be gentle.
- Apply a lubricant: Apply a small amount of a commercial gum remover or cooking oil to the remaining gum. This substance can help break down the chewing gum and make it easier to remove. Allow it to sit on the gum for about 15 minutes to soften it.
- Wipe and scrub: Use a soft cloth or sponge to wipe and gently scrub the chewing gum off the wall of your tumble dryer. Apply moderate pressure to lift the gum off the surface, working in small circular motions.
- Use a hot cloth: Dampen a clean cloth or dryer sheet with hot water and wring out the excess. Place the cloth over the gum for a few minutes to help soften the gum, then gently scrub the gum in circular motions again using the cloth to lift the remaining residue.
- Clean the drum: Once the gum is removed, clean the dryer drum with warm, soapy water to remove any residue from the gum or cleaning agents used. To ensure all traces are removed, run a load of old towels through a drying cycle after wiping.
What Happens If Gum Goes Through the Dryer?
When gum goes through a dryer, it can cause a sticky mess and potential damage to both the dryer and your laundry—which is precisely why removing chewing gum from the dryer is critical.
Here are some common issues that can occur:
- Gum transfer to clothes: The gum can transfer onto your clothes, causing unsightly stains and making the affected clothes unpleasant to wear. You must remove the gum from the dryer before using it again to prevent this from happening every time you dry your clothes.
- Potential damage to dryer: The heat in the dryer can cause the gum to soften and spread, potentially damaging the dryer drum’s surface and other components. If the gum becomes heated and melts, it can potentially clog the ventilation system of the dryer, which could affect the dryer’s efficiency and pose a fire risk.
To prevent these issues, checking pockets for any gum or sticky substances before placing clothes in the dryer is essential.
If gum does end up in the dryer, it’s important to take immediate action to remove it and prevent further damage or transfer of the gum onto other laundry.
How Do You Get Melted Gum Out of Fabric?
If the piece of melted gum in your dryer has gone unnoticed for a while, it might not only be a sticky residue inside the dryer you need to take care of—you may also have melted gum on your clothes that you need to remove.
Removing melted gum from fabric can be tricky, but here are some steps you can follow to effectively get chewing gum out of clothes:
- Freeze & scrape the gum: Place the clothes in the freezer or apply ice directly to the gum to harden it. This will make it easier to scrape off. Then, carefully scrape off as much gum as possible using a plastic scraper or credit card. Be gentle to avoid damaging the fabric.
- Apply a cleaning solution: Apply a small amount of a cleaning solution to the affected area. Rubbing alcohol works well—dampen a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol and blot the gum to help it dissolve. Alternatively, apply a small amount of WD-40 to the gum, let it sit for a few minutes, and then gently blot to break it down.
- Wash the garments: Launder your gum-covered clothes in warm water with a mild detergent after pre-treating the stain. Check the care label on the fabric to ensure you use the appropriate washing instructions.
Top Tip: Always test any cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area of the fabric first to ensure it won’t cause damage. Rubbing alcohol and WD-40 may damage delicate materials.
Will Rubbing Alcohol Remove Gum from a Dryer?
Rubbing alcohol is effective at removing gum from fabric. The high alcohol content helps to dissolve the gum, helping it easily lift from the material. Therefore, you may wonder if you can use alcohol inside your dryer to help lift stubborn chewing gum marks.
Unfortunately, using rubbing alcohol inside a tumble dryer can be risky and is generally not recommended.
Rubbing alcohol is highly flammable, and using it inside a dryer could pose a significant fire hazard.
Dryers generate a substantial amount of heat during their drying cycles, and any flammable substances, including alcohol, can ignite and cause a fire.
If you need to remove chewing gum residue or stains from the inside of your dryer, we suggest sticking with our cleaning method outlined at the top of the page.
It’s safer to use non-flammable cleaning agents designed explicitly for appliance cleaning over rubbing alcohol.
How Can I Stop Gum from Getting Inside the Dryer?
Preventing chewing gum from getting inside your tumble dryer is easy! It simply involves taking a few precautions and being mindful of how you handle and wash items with gum.
Here are some tips to help you minimise the risk of gum ending up in your dryer:
- Before placing any clothes in the wash, check all pockets to ensure they are free of gum or any other sticky substances.
- If you find gum stuck on your clothes, remove it before tossing the garments into the washer. Scrape off the gum carefully using a plastic scraper or a blunt knife.
- After washing, inspect your clothes to ensure there’s no residual gum. If you find any, repeat the scraping process or use an ice cube to harden the gum for easier removal.
- Periodically check the lint trap and drum of your dryer for any residue or foreign objects. Regular maintenance can help catch any potential issues before they cause problems.
- Inform family members, especially children, about the importance of not leaving chewing gum in their pockets or on their clothes and the potential consequences it can have on the dryer.
- Encourage using mesh laundry bags to contain smaller items or those with potential sticky substances. This can help isolate any gum and prevent them from getting into the dryer.
Hannah is a freelance content writer with a passion for cleaning. She worked her way around Australia by cleaning hostels in exchange for free accommodation and used her cleaning skills to bag her a job as a chalet host for a luxury ski company in France.