Best Gum Removers

You’ve probably never stopped to consider the benefits of adding a good quality gum remover to your arsenal of cleaning supplies.

Whether it’s that gooey wad of chewing gum your kiddo dropped on the living room carpet last week, a sticky decal that just won’t come off the car bumper, or even the tacky adhesive from a bandage that’s now fused to your skin; there’s a remover to meet your need. And because this specialized solvent comes in a variety of strengths and a range of ingredients that may not always be suited to multi-purpose use, we’re going to take a look at those expressly formulated for soft surfaces, hard surfaces, and even delicate skin surfaces.

What Are the Benefits to Using a Gum Remover?

Gum removers are explicitly designed to gently dissolve sticky substances without damaging surfaces or leaving a messy residue. It’s that simple. So, you’re not having to pull out a sharp-edged scraper, clip away pieces of your favorite carpet, or painfully tug at skin to dislodge an adhesive-type substance. Best of all, there is a range of formulations that can be used on surfaces ranging from metal, tile, or glass, to clothing, carpets, or soft furnishings. And you’ll find that the most deeply embedded bonding agents can be quickly and safely removed when the right dissolvent is applied.

What to Look for When Buying a Gum Remover

Intended Use

Gum removers are not a one-size-suits-all type of cleaning agent. Those designed for removing tacky remnants from stickers and labels are often alcohol-based for quick effective cleaning. If you’re looking for something to help dissolve gums or tars, you’ll want something with a general petroleum distillate component, and to remove adhesive bandages and dressings, look for a gum remover that can effectively dissolve adhesives, without irritating skin – such as isopropyl myristate or isopropyl alcohol.

Format

For larger surface cleaning such as removing decals or stickers from windshields or walls, you might want to look at a spray format that offers light coverage over a wide expanse. If you’re trying to clean embedded gum from clothing or carpet, a bottle that allows you to dispense directly onto a rag or the object is better. And when removing adhesive gum from your delicate skin, look for either bottle or towelettes that allow for targeted use.

Top Gum Removers

Goo Gone, 8-Ounces Liquid Gum Remover for Use on Hard or Soft Surfaces

Best for Removing Tacky Stickers

They’re everywhere and if you’ve ever ruined a perfectly good manicure trying to pick the remnants of labels and stickers off new purchases, windshields, or kids’ room walls, you already know there has to be a better way. There is, and it’s called Goo-Gone. Using citrus-power, this multi-purpose gum remover comes in a bottle format which is ideal for dabbing and rubbing onto targeted areas. Easily remove gummy substances from hard surfaces, soft carpets, or even open-weave fabrics, without having to worry about damage or staining. And not only is this dissolvent great for lifting everything from tape, decals, glitter, and glue, but it also eradicates those sticky traces of adhesive that so often get left behind.

Who Should Buy This Gum Remover?

This is a great option for families that now want to refresh all those bike helmets, lunch boxes, bedroom walls, and other hard surfaces, that fell victim to sticker-crazed kids.

Pros:

  • Suited to hard or soft surfaces
  • Multi-purpose remover
  • Won’t stain finishes
  • Quick-acting

Cons:

  • Not suitable for unfinished wall or wood surfaces

Specs for Comparison:

Format: Bottle/dab

Size: 8-ounce

Ideal for: Stickers, tape, decals, gum

Active ingredient: Petroleum distillates

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MATS – IPM 4-Ounces Liquid Gum Remover for Use on Skin

Best for Gently Removing Gum from Skin

Whether you’re a thespian who endures the addition of fake beards and facial prosthetics on a regular basis, or you and your kids simply love to go all-out for Hallowe’en, there comes a time when those fun, fake accessories need to be removed. And when this leaves a sticky track of spirit gum, removal by rubbing can be a painful and irritating process – particularly when kids are involved. That’s where a gum remover like IPM can save you time and grief. Not only is this gentle emollient-style lotion non-toxic, fragrance-free and ideal for sensitive skins, but it’s quick and easy to use. Simply dispense onto a soft cloth and dab onto affected areas for quick and easy removal of any trace of glues or adhesives.

Who Should Buy This Gum Remover?

Even if your spirit gum only comes out once a year when it’s time to prep for Hallowe’en, you want a gum remover that is not only quick and easy to use, but non-toxic, fragrance-free, and ideal for not irritating sensitive skin.

Pros:

  • Emollient-style lotion
  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-toxic, non-irritating
  • Easy to apply

Cons:

  • May feel oily

Specs for Comparison:

Format: Bottle/dab

Size: 4-ounces

Ideal for: Removing spirit gum from face

Active ingredient: Isopropyl Myristate

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Smith & Nephew – 59402500 Uni-Solve Adhesive Remover

Best for Removing Tars and Adhesives from Vehicles

Trying to remove larger stickers or labels can be a longer process than most of us have time for. And once you’ve peeled it all off, you’re then left with that raised sticky residue that never quite seems to clean up, right? Coming to the rescue is Smith & Nephew’s gum remover. It’s perfect for delivering a quick, even application across any size of decal – including bumper stickers – and eliminates the need for scraping tools. It’s the perfect gum remover to use when trying to protect the finish on painted car surfaces. Using a blend of non-abrasive solvents, it’s strong enough to tackle thick tar or even stubborn wax and it can be used on a wide range of surfaces including vinyl seat covers.

Who Should Buy This Gum Remover?

For those who have purchased a pre-loved vehicle that has played host to multiple decals and stickers, this gum remover is ideal for safely cleaning up car surfaces without the need for scraping tools.

Pros:

  • Aerosol application for faster coverage
  • No need for scraping tools
  • Won’t damage finishes
  • Tackles light adhesives to heavy tars

Cons:

  • Less precise application

Specs for Comparison:

Format: Aerosol

Size: 12-ounce

Ideal for:  Car finishes

Active ingredient: Petroleum solvents

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Skin-Tac Adhesive Barrier Wipes

Best for Removal Adhesive Dressings

If you have kids, you already know that trying to remove bandages can often be more painful and challenging than the wound itself. Even if you don’t have kids, pulling back a plaster from a sensitive almost-healed injury can be a truly painful process and that’s why you’ll want to have these Skin-Tac pre-saturated style wipes in your home’s first-aid kit. Made with disinfecting isopropyl alcohol, these wipes not only remove the adhesive residue left behind, but they also make removing the actual bandage much easier and relatively pain-free. Just dab the wipes at the edges of the adhesive dressing as you slowly lift up. The iso-paraffin helps to release the adhesive backing for a clean finish. Best of all, you won’t end up with red, inflamed skin surrounding the injury.

Who Should Buy This Gum Remover?

This gum remover is an ideal addition to every home first-aid kit. Not only is this lightly scented wipe quick and effective at dissolving adhesive, but it disinfects as well.

Pros:

  • Individually packaged
  • Helps with bandage removal
  • Reduces skin irritation
  • Disinfecting properties

Cons:

  • Light applications only

Specs for Comparison:

Format: Pre-saturated wipes

Size: 50-pack

Ideal for: Bandage/dressing removal

Active ingredient: Isopropyl alcohol

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Goof Off 16-Ounce Liquid Gum Remover with Powerful Cleaning Agents for Outdoor Applications

Best for Heavy-Duty Outdoor Use

When the job calls for a heavy-duty cleaner that can effectively tackle gum, tar, and adhesives in out-of-door locations, Goof Off, is the gum remover you’re looking for. Unlike many indoor cleaners, this solvent is designed for use on both smooth and porous surfaces which makes it your go-to solution when cleaning brick, wood, concrete, or even fiberglass. And its ideal for restoring the finish on tools such as axes or saws that can become coated with pine pitch or resin and start to stick/stop as you work. Clean up glues, tars, dried paints, melted waxes, and even tacky caulking. The strong smell tells you it’s working and is one more reason that it’s intended for outside applications with appropriate protective gear such as gloves.

Who Should Buy This Gum Remover?

For you need to clean sticky residues such as tar, resin, gum, or paint from porous surfaces including brick, wood, and concrete, this heavy-duty solvent is a perfect choice.

Pros:

  • Suitable for hard, porous surfaces
  • Powerful solvent
  • Quick and effective
  • Cleans paints including spray paints

Cons:

  • Requires gloves and ventilation

Specs for Comparison:

Format: Liquid/pour

Size: 16-ounces

Ideal for: Hard, porous surfaces

Active ingredient: Acetone and Xylene

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Hardline Products Sticker-Off 2-Ounce Pump-Action Gum Remover for Use on Stickers and Decals

Best for Easy Convenience

For those on the go, you want a gum remover that can do the job quickly, efficiently, and without the bother and fuss of having to dab, wipe, and repeat. That’s where this Hardline Sticker Off! pump dispenser steps up. Not only is it lightweight and compact – ideal for tossing into your pocket or glove compartment – but the pump-action design delivers fuller coverage, faster. Use it to remove bumper stickers from cars, trailers, boats, or ATVs. Or maybe clean up that new-to-you skateboard or bike helmet with a few quick spritzes. Best of all, it’s environmentally friendly and comes in a recyclable bottle.

Who Should Buy This Gum Remover?

This portable pump-action dispenser is ideal for those on the go who want to clean up the look of their outdoor gear, with minimal fuss and muss.

Pros:

  • Ideal for decals and stickers
  • Pump-action for fuller coverage
  • Quick-acting
  • Environmentally friendly

Cons:

  • Less precise coverage

Specs for Comparison:

Format: Pump-Action

Size: 2-Ounces

Ideal for: Labels, decals, stickers

Active ingredient: n/a

Check Price


Bottom Line

You’ve probably never stopped to consider the benefits of adding a good quality gum remover to your arsenal of cleaning supplies. In fact, it’s likely you’ve also never thought about how many times you’ve had to scrape decals off windows or raise wads of chewing gum, oil-based paints, melted wax, or resins and tars buried deep within your favorite carpets. But if you did, you may start to see the benefit of having this type of cleaning solution readily at hand.  Not only are these gum dissolvents specifically designed to effectively remove glues, adhesive, and other sticky substances without damaging finishes (or in some instances, delicate skin), but they’ve been formulated for home use so are safe and easy to work with.

Photo credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

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