How to remove chewing gum from leather shoes

Updated February 21, 2017

Dust, dirt, grass and grease can all discolour or stain the sole and surfaces of your leather shoes. Gum, however, stands out as one of the most difficult substances to remove from leather shoes.Gum smears easily and collects dirt, which quickly turns the gum dark. Take care removing gum from your leather shoes because you don't want to leave any trace of gum on your shoes, but you also want to avoid scraping the shoe with a tool that might damage the leather.

Place the leather shoes containing gum in a large freezer bag. Place the bag in your refrigerator's freezer compartment or in a freestanding freezer. Leave the shoes in the freezer for four hours.

Remove the shoes from the freezer. Use a plastic scraper or Popsicle stick to gently scrape the hard gum from the shoes. Wear latex gloves to keep your hands clean.

Mix 1 tablespoon of a mid dishwashing liquid with 2 cups of lukewarm water in a pot or bucket. Stir the mixture with a non-abrasive sponge. Wring out the excess liquid from the sponge.

Clean the leather shoes and particularly the area where the gum was with the soap-mixture-soaked sponge. Rinse the sponge with lukewarm water from a sink. Wipe the shoes with the damp sponge to remove any soap residue.

Dry the shoes with a non-abrasive cloth or rag. Apply 2 tablespoons of a leather conditioner to the cloth or rag. Wipe the shoes thoroughly with the conditioner-soaked cloth or rag.


Work on one shoe at a time.


Do not let the soap mixture dry on your shoes. It can discolour your shoes.

Things You'll Need

  • Large freezer bag
  • Plastic scraper or Popsicle stick
  • Latex gloves
  • Mild dishwashing liquid
  • Lukewarm water
  • Pot or bucket
  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Soft non-abrasive cloth or rag
  • Leather conditioner
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About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.