How to Remove Gum from Metal

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Things You'll Need

  • Ice

  • Plastic scraper (or butter knife)

  • WD-40 or mineral oil

  • Sponge

  • Liquid soap

  • Water

  • Soft cloth


Baby oil can be used in place of WD-40 or mineral oil.

If gum has melted on the metal, or only a thin residue remains, skip the ice and just apply the oil or WD-40 to remove it.

Commercial adhesive or gum removers (Goo Gone or Liftoff, for example) will also loosen gum from metal surfaces. If the metal is painted, just check the product’s label to make sure these products are suitable for painted surfaces.


If the metal is painted metal, try WD-40 or mineral oil before using ice. When you freeze the gum and pull it off, a bit of the paint finish may be pulled off with it.

Always dry metal after cleaning to prevent water spots and/or rust.

Chewing gum commonly ends up everywhere but the garbage can. Fortunately, on most hard surfaces, such as metal, it is not difficult to remove. However, you'll need to be extra cautious if gum is stuck to painted metal--some paint may come up with the gum, for example. Also, painted surfaces scratch more easily--so, if you want to protect the metal surface, remember to be gentle and not to rush this job. No matter if gum is on painted or non-painted metal, you should be able to get the gum off (even if it has melted slightly to the metal).

Step 1

Rub ice over the gum until it is hard. Try to pry the gum off with your fingers. If this does not work, pry it up or cut most of it off with a scraper or a dull metal blade. Be careful not to scratch the metal. Keep the blade parallel to the metal surface.

Step 2

Spray WD-40 or pour a little mineral oil on the gum residue. Work the spray or oil around the edges of the residue. Let the product sit on the gum for 1 to 2 minutes (WD-40 will evaporate, so you should not wait longer than this or it may not work as well).

Step 3

Grasp an edge of the residue with your fingers, if possible, and pull the residue off the metal surface--alternatively, scrape it off (gently).

Step 4

Wet a sponge in warm water. Pour a dime to quarter-sized amount of liquid soap on the sponge. Wipe the sponge over the metal surface. This is to remove traces of the oil or WD-40, as well as any remaining gum particles. Wipe it with a soft cloth to dry.


Corey M. Mackenzie

Corey M. Mackenzie has been a professional freelance writer for more than two decades. She received a B.A. with honors from Wichita State University. Corey specializes in writing about pets, interior decorating, health care, gardening, fashion, relationships, home improvement and forensic science. Corey's articles have appeared in Garden Guides, Travels and other websites.