How to Clean Gum From Hair

Wait! Don’t cut it out! There are other ways to remove the sticky substance and keep those lovely locks intact. Work through our variety of methods and products to fine the one that works for you. Chances are, you have just what you need to get that gum out in your own cupboards.

Peanut Butter Method

You Will Need:

  • Peanut butter
  • Old toothbrush
  • Soft cloths
  • Shampoo

Steps to Remove the Gum:

  1. Choose a smooth peanut butter with a high oil content. The oil is a big part of what helps to remove the gum.
  2. Apply the peanut butter to the portion of hair that has the gum.
  3. Work it into the hair with a toothbrush. If you don’t have a toothbrush, you could try a comb, or just use your fingers.
  4. Start at the top and keep working downward in long strokes. As the peanut butter gets mixed with the gum, it will break it down and allow it to be removed. Continue brushing/combing to remove the gum.
  5. Use a soft cloth or paper towel to wipe the peanut butter and remaining gum residue out of the hair. Start at the top and gently pull down on the hair. The gum should come off with the peanut butter.
  6. Once the gum is removed, clean the hair with shampoo to remove the peanut butter.

Removing the Gum with Other Products

You Will Need:

  • Choose one:
    • Toothpaste
    • Cooking oil
    • Hair mousse
    • WD-40
    • Cold cream
    • Vaseline
    • Adhesive remover
  • Comb (wide tooth works best)
  • Soft cloths
  • Shampoo

Steps to Remove the Gum:

  1. There are a variety of items that will lubricate the gum and allow it to ease off of the hair.
  2. Choose an item from the list above.
  3. Apply it generously to the gummed area of hair.
  4. Work it in gently with your fingers.
  5. Comb the hair gently to work it into the gum. Apply more as needed to keep it working.
  6. Continue combing from top to bottom in long strokes. Clean the comb frequently to remove any gum residue that may have transferred to the comb.
  7. Once all of the gum is removed, wipe the area of hair with a clean, soft cloth.
  8. Wash hair as normal with shampoo to remove any residue from the cleaning product.

Dissolving the Gum for Removal

You Will Need:

  • Choose one:
    • Eucalyptus oil
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Adhesive remover
    • Mayonnaise
  • Soft cloths
  • Shampoo
  • Water

Steps to Remove the Gum:

  1. The products in this list will break down the gum and allow it to be removed easier. These are great for removing gum from children or pets that can’t tolerate the tugging and combing to remove the gum.
  2. Apply the chosen product from the list above.
  3. Allow it to set on the gum for several minutes.
  4. Work it in gently with your fingers to break down the gum. Apply more product as needed.
  5. Once the gum has been broken down, simply wipe the hair strands with a soft cloth to remove both the product and the gum.
  6. Wash hair as usual with shampoo.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • The amount of gum and length of time it has been in the hair are all factors in successful removal. If one method/product doesn’t remove, it is fine to try another one. Use patience and consistency to get the gum out.


  1. Lynn says:

    This always worked on my son. Get an ice cube, rub the ice on the gum until it gets hard and stops being sticky, and then remove the gum.

  2. Lynn says:

    I always thought this sounded so gross, but it really does work – just don’t do it if the person has a peanut allergy, that could get ugly. Rub peanut butter into the stuck gum, wait fifteen minutes, then work at the gum with your fingers and it should come right out. It leaves a peanut butter mess behind, but you can get that out with shampoo and warm water.

  3. Lynn says:

    Get the scissors. Cutting the gum out is crude and cruel, but it always works – and maybe your kid will remember to be more careful next time.

  4. Lynn says:

    Rub the peanut butter into the gum for a couple of minutes, then squirt on some dish soap and work that in too. The whole mess will rinse right out.

  5. Lynn says:

    A mixture of equal parts rubbing alcohol and creme rinse (conditioner) will make the gum slide right out. Just put it on the gummed up hair, wait a minute, then comb out the gum.

  6. Calvin says:

    Just rub it on in small amounts on small areas. Let it sit for five minutes and pull away. Works way better and faster than the ice.

  7. Kat says:

    Peanut butter has worked wonders for me in the past. You may end up smelling like peanut butter for a day or so, but it’s better than gum in your hair.

  8. Ivan says:

    Thanks for the post. The peanut butter really works; thanks for saving my daughter’s hair.

  9. Donna says:

    No, use baby oil! You don’t need much of the baby oil, just enough to work into the gum and boom!! It’s out!

Leave a Comment