How to Remove Chewing Gum From a Car Exterior

by Ryn Gargulinski
Photo by Ryn Gargulinski

If someone thought it was a brilliant idea to throw their chewing gum out your car window, your car’s exterior is probably stuck with gum. Scraping it off will just mar the surface, but there are other methods you can try to safely remove chewing gum from your car exterior.

Step 1

Use canned air. Office supply stores sell canned air to dust your computer parts and keyboards. Blast some on the chewing gum and it should harden and pull right off (see Resources below).

Step 2

Ice it up with cubes. Take an ice cube and rub it along the gum, holding it in place until the gum freezes and the ice cube melts. The gum should come right off. Wrap the bottom of the ice cube with a dish towel so it doesn’t melt down your arm.

Step 3

Zap it with bug and tar remover. This heavy-duty concoction is sold at many auto supply stores. If it can remove smashed on bugs and even gooey tar, it can work wonders on a little chewing gum (see Resources below).

Go with official gum remover. Theaters are well known for having a can or two of actual gum remover, since people love to stick gum on theater floors or seats. It would be nice if you could bat your eyelashes at a cute usher and the theater would loan you the remover, but that probably isn't going to happen. Buy your own from industrial cleaning suppliers (see Resources below).


  • Goo Gone, a solution sold at hardware and home stores and even supermarkets, has mixed reviews, but if you have some around the house, it can’t hurt to try it before you go out and buy another solution (see Resources below).
  • The quicker you can remove the chewing gum, the better. Try to get it off before it has time to bake in the sun or get encrusted with other elements.
  • For best results with any method, make the person who got the gum stuck to your car in the first place be the one to clean it off.


  • Never scrape off gum with a razor blade--you will also scrape off your car’s paint.

Items you will need

  • Canned air
  • Ice cubes
  • Gum remover
  • Bug and tar remover
  • Goo gone (optional)

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