How to Remove Gum from the Dryer

Disclosure: Links to products may be affiliate which means I get commissions for purchases. Sponsored posts will always be clearly disclosed as such. Privacy Policy

Dear Home-Ec 101,
I / my husband / my kid didn’t check their pockets and now my dryer smells minty fresh, but is covered with with gum. How do I get the gum out of the dryer and off of the clothing?
Several Home-Ec Readers this Week

remove gum from dryer
cc Flickr photo by Dharmesh Patel

Heather says:

Thankfully, removing gum from the dryer is more of a pain in the butt than actually difficult. There are a couple of approaches you can take.

The Melt it off Method.

Use a hair dryer to heat the gum until it is pliable and then scrape the gum off of the dryer.

The Freeze it Off Method.

Get a handful of ice cubes and a nylon scraper or an old credit card.  Apply the ice cube to the gum and then scrape it off. Repeat until all of the visible gum has been removed.

Inspect The Dryer Drum

Whichever method you use, inspect the drum carefully, the gum is sneaky and will hide where the fin meets the drum and on the back wall, and on door, etc. Use a flashlight to be sure there isn’t any gum hiding in the drum.

Then get either Goo Gone or for electric dryers WD-40 works, too –do NOT use WD-40 in a gas dryer– and apply the solvent to paper towels. Carefully and thoroughly wipe out the entire inside of the dryer drum. This is to get rid of any lingering gum residue that might be hard to see. Do not skip the rinsing step. It is especially important if you used WD-40.

The next load through the RINSED dryer should be a load of rags, not your best blouse or favorite jeans. Got that?

How to Remove Gum from Clothing

guide to the laundry room
Click the picture for more tips!

First pick off as much gum as possible.  To remove the rest of the gum put the article of clothing in the freezer until the gum becomes brittle or apply an ice cube directly to the gum. Then use a credit card or nylon scraper on sturdy fabrics, like denim, to scrape off the remaining gum. On more delicate fabrics, use your fingers to pick off the brittle gum and then use an old toothbrush to remove the rest.

Good luck!

Submit your questions to

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sharing is caring!

9 thoughts on “How to Remove Gum from the Dryer”

  1. Oh lord, this whole thought gives me the shivers. I don't think I could survive this one. I'd have to sell my washer and buy a new one: (

  2. you can also dip a toothbrush into warm vinegar and gently scrub the gum off. it kind of dissolves and balls up on the toothbrush, and it's pretty gentle on most clothes/carpets. you can also use the warm vinegar to wipe out the dryer.

  3. Dawn Works!
    I just got rid of gum that was all over my maytag dryer drum. I noticed it after a load had dried. Turned off the dryer ran to my pc to look up how to remove. Didn’t like the “long methods” suggested so I went to Dawn Dish washing soap – my favorite go to for stains, food removal etc.
     I wet a yellow with a coarser green sided sponge with warm water, put Dawn on the green side and proceeded to scrub the drum. To my relief the gum started to come off everything! Finished entire drum in short time, wiped off all the soap and residue and I am back in business! P.S. I don’t have any affiliation with Dawn etc. but it works great! Gail

    • Hi,

      I just wanted to second that. Maybe sometimes it’s necessary to resort to the more complicated method described in this article, but like Gail, I had plenty of success with dish soap, warm water, a scrubbing sponge, and a little elbow grease. FYI it was a GE gas dryer with what I presume is a stainless steel drum.

  4. Thanks for the tip.  What I ended up doing was putting 3 ragged towels (OK –
    “backup” towels) in the washer with a lot of powdered soap and getting them good and wet,  then wringing them out and putting them in dryer.  It removed 95% of the gum.

  5. I agree with several other people that said good old fashioned Dawn liquid soap worked best for removing gum from the dryer drum! We tried rubbing alcohol, and then Goo Gone but both required lots of rubbing and smelled bad. I figured I would have to wash out the dryer with dish soap anyway….so I thought hey I will just skip a step. I switched instead to some Dawn in a warm bucket of water, and a scrubber sponge (the non-scratch kind). It required some elbow grease, but worked better than the Goo Gone and left no smelly residue on the inside. I’m sure any dish liquid soap would work, I just happen to be a fan of Dawn. Hope this helps someone else!

  6. I don’t know if I lucked out because of the type of gum…but I used and expired gift card and everything scraped right off. I finished up damp wiping all surfaces. woop, woop!

  7. For an updated version on the Dawn method I used the Powerwash , scrub daddy sponge, and a paper towel to wipe. Took about 30 min to get all gum out.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.