Check out my video below.
The Bubble Gum Story
Sometime I think we glide through life barely noticing the flowers let alone the bees. And because of this someone above thump you on the head like Little Rabbit Foo Foo, and tells you to wake up. In my case, it was the bubble gum in First Son’s pocket that imploded in the dryer.
My Poor Dryer Didn’t Know What Hit it.
When I say imploded I mean it. Pink bubble gum all over the dryer caked on like a bad paint job. A mother’s worse nightmare. Wait a second. No a second worse nightmare. Two months ago, it was ball point pen all over the dryer.
Yes. The Almighty is testing me or either that, someone thinks they are pretty funny up there.
Personally, I feel sorry for this dryer. We abuse the heck out of it with everything little thing that is in my kids’ pockets. Now, some of you are thinking, Anna, don’t you check the pockets?
Yes, when I am focusing which most of the time I am just gliding through the day hoping to take a shower. Why? Because there are blog posts to write, gardening to tend to, dishes, laundry, battles to end so my kids don’t either smack the heck out of the drywall or each others’ teeth, and then there is the poor hubby.
(Trust me. Just because boys get older does not mean they get less physical. That punch just hurts more.)
So, back to the poor abused dryer. Gum. Yep. I just stood there trying to hold back the tears. How was I going to get all of that gum out of the dryer? (Take a look) Oh, and did I mention how each piece of clothing sung a bubble gum tune?
Bad. Real bad.
What was First Born Son’s response?
“You should have checked my pockets when you took the clothes off the floor….” For some strange, illogical reason, he was right but still pissed me off.
How about don’t put the gum in your pocket to begin with?
Oh, by the way, Beth of My Plastic Free Life (you know the one who eschews plastic) tell me that gum is plastic. Really. Read here her article about what gum is really all about. Maybe if you tell them they are chewing Mr Duckie they will stop chewing gum?
Beside Crying, What did I do about the Gum?
I had to time myself out because I felt like a tizzy was coming on. Hurricane Anna with gale winds that were imaginable.
What is the best way from freaking out. Walk away. (As the officer says, “step away from the car, ma’am”) The next morning I did what any gum anquisher would do. (No, I did not call in the gum whisperer.) I sought out my BFF, Sir Google. He gets me.
And he said, go to Thrifty Fun since they always have do-it-yourself tips. See here for some tips on removing gum from clothes. Suggestions I tried:
- Peanut Butter–did not want to deal with the fat stain
- Rubbing Alcohol–did not work
- Windex–don’t have. Only use vinegar and water for the windows.
- WD-40. Not doing.
- Ironing the gum onto cardboard. You would think that would work but it didn’t for me.
- Throwing the garment in the freezer. I had too many clothes plus the dryer would not fit in the freezer… Plus, the gum was like a stain not something I could peel off.
- Boiling water. Didn’t work for me.
- Gasoline. Don’t go there with me.
Last but not least. The suggestion that worked…Use Dryer sheets. Generally, I don’t use in the laundry sheets because of how toxic they are. Plus, the sheets makes my kids’ eczema worse. However, it was worth a try to remove the gum.
See my bubble gum removal video below of my results.
I ended up using Downy dryer sheets. Boy, did they smell. Once you go toxic free, everything smells. But, I was desperate. Forgive me, all of you greenies for being so wasteful and using those darn sheets. You know how I feel about toxic products but I was at my wits end. (I also heard that you can use Downy straight from the bottle.)
According to the comments on Thrifty Fun, you are supposed to put the wet sheets over the gum and then turn on the dryer. Well, I did that twice. The gum was loosen by the dryer sheets but you still have to put in some muscle to get off the gum.
As I mentioned before I think I will use Downy straight from the bottle next time. It seemed like it was the Downy that did the trick.
And the Clothes?
The only thing that worked was warm vinegar. I heated up the vinegar and then dipped a used toothbrush in the warm mixture and scrubbed the gum off. Sometimes, the gum would just come off and other times, I would scrub and scrub.
The trick is to keep the vinegar hot. I used the microwave to heat up the vinegar. After a few minutes, I had to run back to the microwave since once it cooled, it no longer worked.
Word of advice, you can only heat the vinegar a few seconds; otherwise, it heat up and goes all over the microwave. Perhaps a small pot would have been better.
In the end, I cleaned the dryer and 90 percent came out of the clothes.
Readers, how do you remove gum from your clothes or dryers? There has to be a better non-toxic way.