How To Clean Gum Out Of A Dryer

You find a mysterious streak in the drum of your dryer and are unsure of what’s made it’s way in there.

Upon close inspection, you see a sneaky bit of chewing gum.

Gum can be an unpleasant material to work with beyond its actual purpose, to chew.

When it gets stuck on your shoe, in your hair, and, yes, in your dryer, there are different tricks to get it out.

We have been where you are and, because of this, done some research to find out some of these tricks.

Continue reading below to learn how to clean gum out of a dryer.

What You’ll Need

The above items are the only things that you’ll need to remove gum from your dryer.

Now that you have everything, read below for step-by-step instructions as well as a video showing how to clean gum out of a dryer.

1. Apply WD-40 To A Clean Cloth

Take a clean cloth and spray a good amount of WD-40 to the cloth.

When deciding how much to spray, spray enough to address the amount of gum in the dryer and not too much so that you are stuck with WD-40 solution covering your entire dryer.

2. Rub Gum With WD-40 

Take your cloth and rub the WD-40 over the gum in the dryer.

You should see the gum begin to break down and come off of the drum of the dryer.

You should notice the gum dissolving reasonably quickly.

If there is quite a deal of gum in one area, it may take longer and require a bit more attention and elbow grease. 

If you have a particularly tough and stubborn bit of gum, you can allow the WD-40 to soak into the gum and then return to it with the cloth to remove it.

3. Apply Rubbing Alcohol To A Clean Cloth

Even though you have removed all of the gum, you cannot leave the WD-40 in the dryer as it is a flammable material.

To remove it, you will need to add rubbing alcohol onto another clean cloth.

Be sure you use a new cloth, not to add more WD-40 from the previous cloth.

4. Rub Rubbing Alcohol On WD-40 Residue 

Use the cloth and rub the rubbing alcohol on the residue remaining from the WD-40.

Be sure that you are completely removing the WD-40 as you do not want it to get into your clothes when you are drying it and also because it is flammable.

This step is why you do not want to use too much WD-40 in the previous steps. 

Before moving on, use your finger to check that all the WD-40 has been removed.

It has a slippery property, so it should be evident if there is still some WD-40 on it, but do not confuse it with the initial wet feeling of rubbing alcohol.

5. Leave Dryer Door Open To Air Out

Leave the dryer open for at least one hour before shutting the door once all of the gum and WD-40 have been removed from the dryer’s drum.

The rubbing alcohol should dry out reasonably quickly, but it is essential to ensure it is completely dry and free of the WD-40 and rubbing alcohol since both are flammable. 

Before using the dryer again, double-check using your finger and ensure no slippery or wet feeling in the drum.

If there is, that means there is still some WD-40 remaining in the dryer, and it should be thoroughly cleaned out using the previous steps.

Video Instructions

  • Step 1 (:24) — Apply WD-40 to a cloth
  • Step 2 (:31) – Rub gum until removed
  • Step 3 (1:32) – Apply rubbing alcohol to a cloth
  • Step 4 (1:37) – Rub rubbing alcohol on WD-40 residue
  • Step 5 (2:29) – Leave dryer door open to air out


Will Gum Ruin A Dryer? 

It is not likely that gum will ruin a dryer or cause long-term damage.

Having gum accidentally run through your dryer can ruin loads of laundry that goes through.

The gum can transfer to the clothes and items in the laundry loads.

The gum will also streak on the inside of a dryer.

To avoid creating even more mess, it is vital to remove the gum from the dryer’s drum as soon as possible. 

What Dissolves Old Gum?

Beyond using WD-40, other cleaning solutions can be made or used to dissolve the gum.

You can use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda.

The chemical reaction of these two will help break down the gum on the surface of the dryer drum. 

You can even use fabric softener to help loosen the gum so that you can scrape it away using a scraper or a clean cloth.

You will want to follow up this method with a rinse of white vinegar to ensure you remove the residue left over from the fabric softener.

If you have it on hand, you can also use Goo Gone or a similar cleaning agent as its purpose is to degrease sticky substances, such as gum, from hard surfaces.

This method would require a more thorough cleaning after cleaning out the gum as this is a heavy-duty cleaning agent.

It should be removed using laundry soap and possibly running damp cloths or rags through the dryer to remove whatever Goo Gone that may remain. 

How Do I Remove Gum From Clothing?

If you find gum in your dryer’s drum, some of the clothing you dried did likely get some gum on it as well.

You can use different methods, so choose the best that would work for the amount of gum and the type of garment.

You can use laundry detergent or dish soap and rub it with a toothbrush to remove the gum.

You can also use ice to chill and harden the gum and then scrape it off the clothing.

You can also use rubbing alcohol and soak the clothing and gum and scrape it off.