It seems to be common knowledge that using peanut butter is good for removing chewing gum from hair or the bottoms of shoes. Is this true?

Some sources:

  • 2
    Claim source please (as a link)?
    – user5341
    Jun 7 '11 at 17:23
  • I think a reasonable answer to this question, refer to my discussion with Hendy below, is that you should try it. There is no possible harm trying it can do. The best you are going to get is anecdotal evidence.
    – picakhu
    Jun 7 '11 at 21:30
  • @picakhu: I diagree. What's the difference between the videos shown below and citing Mythbusters as a source, as was done HERE and HERE? Simply that Mythbusters is more respected/trusted? The more visual evidence provided, the less likely it becomes that many independent YT authors are just conspiring to show a fake solution and perpetuate the myth. There's also a value in combining this information for future reference. If the only answer is "to try it," how can we reliably recommend this method for someone who needs it?
    – Hendy
    Jun 7 '11 at 21:40
  • @Hendy, in this instance you are probably right, the sources are reliable. But can you really generalize the way you are doing? I think the discussion about video evidence should go into meta.
    – picakhu
    Jun 7 '11 at 21:52
  • @picakhu: I didn't think I was generalizing. I'm talking about this particular question and whether the evidence found reasonably answers the question. If this was video evidence for being able to walk on water, it would be a completely different story.
    – Hendy
    Jun 7 '11 at 21:55

Seems true. Loads of vidoes on Youtube, though many of the first ones I found only started showing footage after peanut butter was already in the hair, thus you couldn't really see the gum.

HERE is one that seems to illustrate it working, though you only see footage after peanut butter is already obstructing the view. It does look like gum being removed at the end.

It seems that anything oily may work as well. HERE is a shot of a mother using extra virgin olive oil and shows the gum before, the oil on the hair/gum, and the gum coming out. Assuming you trust there was no funny business when the video cut, that's a fairly conclusive video.

HERE is another with what looks like real gum and recommendations for either olive oil or peanut butter.

HERE is one more, where if you buy they didn't do anything funny before hand, they removed gum quite easily with olive oil but also mentioned that peanut butter works as well.

I realize these are sources from YouTube, but with a lack of peer-reviewed journal publications, I figured videos answering the question would be great, though they require trusting that they're not all conspiring just to get more people to pointlessly fill their hair with oily substances...

  • @Hendy, I presume its not a stretch to actually test this theory. Especially if you need a haircut.
    – picakhu
    Jun 7 '11 at 19:15
  • @picakhu: Absolutely. Though the problem with any of us testing this theory is that to share the results will simply be another anecdotal story or video documentation. Tell you what, I could try to get some hair from my next haircut (I was actually going to go today) and make my own video from scratch. Still, you'd have to trust the video and thus it's about as good as any of the ones up there.
    – Hendy
    Jun 7 '11 at 19:22
  • There are limits to what scientists can leave to normal humans to do. Scientists do not need to perform this type of experiment unless it has some significance.
    – picakhu
    Jun 7 '11 at 20:56
  • @picakhu: Agreed. My statement about peer reviewed journal publications was mostly tongue-in-cheek. I'm more speaking to the reliability of YT videos. There's enough there that seem to show this working in real time that I consider the question answered. I couldn't tell if you were suggesting I, myself, actually do this, or the OP, or what. Do you have a particular suggestion about my answer?
    – Hendy
    Jun 7 '11 at 21:27
  • 1
    I'll verify it. Co-worker used peanut butter to remove gum from shoe. Worked amazingly well.
    – Apreche
    Jun 8 '11 at 12:04

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