Removing gum can be a nightmare, especially if it gets stuck on the carpet. If you live with children, or stock a lot of gum in the house because of habit, knowing how to get gum out of carpet is important.
There are several methods you can use to remove gum leftover from a carpet, from using ice cubes to all-in-one cleaning spray.
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1. Household Products to Remove Gum
If you often have gum problem, prepare several household products to remove the stain. For easy removal, prepare ice cubes, Ziploc bags, dishwashing liquid, and butter knife.
Appliances that produce heat, such as hair dryer and vacuum, are also necessary to remove gum from carpet. Also, prepare several paper towels, white dishtowels or old cloths, and sponges that you can discard.
For more stubborn gum stain, stock up some unique products that can break it down for easier removal. For example, you can use WD-40 spray, eucalyptus oil, acetone (such as in nail paint remover), and stain cleaner spray. You need to be careful in using them, since there are risks of damaged fiber or discoloration on the carpet.
Already have these products? Try these classic methods to remove gum from the carpet.
2. Removing Gum with Ice Cubes and Butter Knife
If the chewing gum stain is still new, use frozen temperature to help with manual cleaning. Put ice cubes in several plastic or Ziploc bags, and freeze the gum by placing the bags on it.
Once the gum freezes, scrape it with a butter knife or another blunt instrument that will not ruin the fiber. Putty knife is a more ideal tool, because it is easier to maneuver.
If there is a colored stain on the carpet, treat it with cleaning spray or stain remover pen. Let the product sits for five minutes (or as the label says) before you blot the wetness away with paper towels.
Avoid scrubbing action since it can damage the carpet and spread the stain wider. Finish by vacuuming the spot using wet vacuum mode.
This method works on gum that is still fresh or new. A new gum stain does not “bind” the fiber too much, which makes it easier to pick up when dry. However, it does not work if the gum is already hardened.
3. Removing Gum with Hair Dryer and Plastic Bag
Heat also works well for getting gum out of carpet, especially if the gum stain is already dried. Your goal is to make the gum “returns” to its sticky and pliable state, so the fiber is “freed” from the hardened substance. Later, you can remove the gum manually by sticking it to another surface and lifting it.
Use a hair dryer to heat the gum stain until it looks sticky again. Place a plastic bag or sheet on top of the gum, and slowly lift it from the carpet. You may not be able to remove all parts, but you can use the previous freezing method to remove the remaining gum.
If the stain is large, or if there are multiple gums, repeat the procedure until all of them are removed. To remove chewing gum from carpet more effectively, use the hot and cold methods alternatively if necessary.
4. Removing Gum with Dishwashing Liquid and Eucalyptus Oil
If the heat and ice methods cannot get bubblegum out of the carpet, upgrade your methods by using dishwashing liquid, eucalyptus oil, or even warm rubbing lotion. They contain substances that can help to dissolve stubborn gum.
Combine dishwashing liquid with any of these oil-based products for a better result. However, you need to clean your carpet properly afterward to avoid residue.
Here are the steps to use one of these products:
- Apply the dishwashing liquid directly on the gum. Use a white cloth to apply the product.
- Let it sits for five minutes before adding oil product. Use the clean part of your white cloth to slowly work on the gum stain until it softens.
- Carefully scrape off the gum with a butter knife or putty knife. Discard the gum from the blade before you scrape the remain away. Avoid forcing your way through the gum.
- Mix the dishwashing liquid with some warm water. Dab it on the remaining stain. Let it sits for five minutes before dabbing it with a white
Once the gum is removed, vacuum the wet spot until the fiber returns to its original state. Use wet vacuum setting to avoid damaging the appliance with moisture. Alternatively, you can use an iron with medium heat to smoothen the carpet (no steam!).
5. Removing Gum with Acetone or WD-40
Finally, if you need something more hardcore to remove chewing gum for carpet, use acetone or WD-40 spray. These products can break down stubborn gum with repeated application. Apply the product directly on the gum and let it sits for 10 to 15 minutes before you scrape the gum off with a toothbrush.
You can repeat this method until all the gum is removed. Clean the remaining stain using detergent and warm water. Dab the stain (not scrubbing) until the stain disappears. Vacuum the area to dry the rest of the spot and return the fiber shape.
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6. Tips for Gum Removal
When working with acetone, make sure to open all the windows for circulation. Use a disposable mask if necessary. Don’t lean on the stain too close, so your eyes are not hurt by the fume. Use the simplest and safest methods to remove the gum before trying the hard way.
Always use white cloth or towel to apply product and clean the carpet, especially if you use the harsh product. Colored cloth can cause a new stain on your carpet, especially if the carpet has vivid color. Also, be aware of discoloration risk when using the harsh product. Try it on a small section of the carpet first.
Gum is hard to remove, especially when it becomes dry on the carpet. You may need to use various household products to remove a stubborn stain.
Try the easiest methods first before moving to the harsher products to avoid carpet damage. Knowing how to get gum out of carpet is useful for anyone with children or habitual gum consumption.