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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Removing gum from a suede coat

By Dr. Laundry December 7, 2012

I got gum on my new suede coat. How do I get it off?

This sticky problem actually has a pretty easy remedy: use ice cubes to freeze the gum and then gently scrape away the hardened chunks. The suede material of the jacket complicates things a bit—definitely check the care label first to see what is recommended for cleaning the jacket before you proceed. If the instructions say “dry clean only,” play it safe, skip trying to get the gum off with ice and just take it to the cleaners. However, if the care label instructions allow for home laundering, then the ice should be just fine to work with.  Put the ice directly onto the gum—the ice will melt as you hold it on the gum so plan on using multiple ice cubes—enough to harden the gum. Once all the gum is gone, follow up the ice treatment with whatever the care label recommends for home laundering. If you can’t scrape all of it away, then because your item is suede, I would take it to a dry cleaner and show them the gum so they can pretreat what is left with a solvent that is suitable for suede.