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
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
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.
Submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.