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Tips for removing gum from a shoe's upper?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by razl, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. razl

    razl Senior member

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    I have no idea how this happened, but I look down at my shoe and there is a wad of gum stuck to the side of it. I mean, literally, on the side. It was like a gum wart. Most of it pulled off,but there's still some residual "strands" that held on. On anything else I'd probably use my fingernail to scrape it off but I'm loathe to do that on fine calf. I briefly tried trying to just rub it off with a paper towel but all that did was spread it around a bit.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Please?
     


  2. aph999

    aph999 Senior member

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    I had the same problem on a visit to Manhattan last summer. I stepped in some bonehead's recently chewed gum and the strands of the gum were all over the uppers of my vintage Allen Edmonds. My local shoe repair shop got it out easily, with no residual markings on the leather.

    I don't know how he did it, but he did.

    Lesson: take it to a professional.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014


  3. razl

    razl Senior member

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    That'll be my last resort but given the dearth of info, it may be my only; thanks for letting me know it's at least salvageable.
     


  4. edmorel

    edmorel Quality Seller!! Dubiously Honored

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    take an ice cube and rub it all over the gum for a bit. The gum will freeze/harden and you will be able to pull it off.
     


  5. razl

    razl Senior member

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    Ahhh, this reads like a super-secret Mr. Wizard trick that just might work. Will try when I get home!!!!
     


  6. Ianiceman

    Ianiceman Senior member

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    Or use a cotton ball dipped in lighter fuel, the kind you use for a Zippo.
     


  7. razl

    razl Senior member

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    Whoa, really? The idea of applying alcohol/fuel to my shoes doesn't sound good - I've got visions of the color/finish smearing off. You sure or was that a "whoosh" sound of the joke flying over my head? :paranoia:
     


  8. mhdena

    mhdena Senior member

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    Ice will definitely work, use an ice pack or wrap some cube in a cloth to rub or pick as the gum hardens.
     


  9. Winendine

    Winendine Well-Known Member

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  10. razl

    razl Senior member

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    Final update:

    First - I tried the ice trick; actually, I used a flexible freeze pack since it wouldn't melt and is purportedly colder than ice. Wrapped it in a light cloth and molded it around the shoe and left it sit for a while. when I came back to it, the gum was definitely brittle but since it was such small strands I just couldn't get them to come off the leather. I got a couple of plastic collar stays which seemed like soft enough plastic to pry the gum but not hard enough to do any lasting damage to the leather, but to no avail. In retrospect, I think if I had tried it when the original blob was on the shoe - before I got most of it off and left all the little strands - I think it probably would have worked and popped the whole thing off in one go, but alas.

    So, after reading more online, I manned up with the goo gone. I started small (squeamish, me) but eventually got a good dose of it on there. I tried rubbing with a cloth, trying to pick it up, but that didn't seem to be working. After a little more surfing online, I stumbled across the idea of using a toothbrush. I grabbed a spare from the closet, made sure it was soft bristles, and using it in strokes in a single direction, I slowly worked it off. I added a couple more drops of goo gone here and there along the way and, viola, all gone.

    The goo gone doesn't appear to have marred the leather's actual finish (whew; that was my biggest concern) but of course it took off my wax job. Time for some saphir, wax, and elbow grease.

    Hope these tips help someone else in the future!
     


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