How to remove gum from your carpet
Of all the things that can end up on your carpet, chewing gum seems to cause the most concern.
I was amazed when I read that the world market for chewing gum is estimated to be about 560,000 TONS of gum chewed per year, and it is a $5 billion dollar market.
That's a lot of gum!
And from a carpet cleaner's perspective, that would be fine if all of the gum ended up in the trash.
Unfortunately, that gum can end up swallowed, in hair, in clothes — and yes, sometimes it can end up in your carpet as a sticky, gooey mess.
Even if no one in your family chews gum, your guests might, and it can still make its way to your carpet from the soles of your shoes. I've seen it happen a lot.
You might be tempted to try picking at it by hand, but that usually ends up simply stretching out the gum — not removing it.
Here is how I recommend getting gum out of your carpet.
Removing Gum using Ice Cubes
Chewing gum is sensitive to temperature extremes. Using the ice cube method to freeze gum is most successful when the gum is fairly fresh — not old or ground into the carpet fibers.
- Place a couple of ice cubes in a plastic zip-lock or sandwich bag.
- Press the bag of ice firmly on the gum, and leave it for a few minutes until the gum is frozen and hardened — not just cold.
- Gently scrape the frozen gum from the carpet using a spatula or something like a butter knife. (Please don't use any sharp blades to scrape gum from carpet. This could damage the carpet fibers.)
- Start lifting along the edges of the gum and move toward the center, allowing the frozen gum to crack and break into fragments, and remove as much as possible taking care not to damage carpet fibers. Be gentle.
- At this point, most of the gum will be easily removed, and you can vacuum up the residual fragments if the gum is still frozen. If any stubborn residue remains, give me a call, and I'll be happy to advise you.
- Rinse the area with warm water, and blot the area dry with a solid white paper towel or rag (no colored dyes or fancy printing on it).
(Never scrub carpeting — only blot!).
When it comes to removing gum from your carpet, take your time and follow the ice method step-by-step. If you don't get all the gum out the first time, simply repeat the steps, and leave the bag of ice on the spot a little longer.
Eventually, all the gum should come out.
However, if the gum is old and ground in, removing it may be more of a challenge. This situation may require special solutions. Some articles on the internet recommend using WD-40 or some other home remedy. This method really depends on the type of carpeting you have, and it could end up discoloring or damaging certain types of carpet.
If you have a challenging gum stain, and the ice method does not work, please feel free to give me a call, and I'll help you assess your situation, and make specific recommendations for you.
I'm here to help!
I am happy to serve Texas residents and businesses in Spring, The Woodlands, Kingwood, Humble, and Tomball areas, as well as the greater Northern Houston area.
I take great pride in my work and my entire business. Since 2004, I have been committed to providing the highest quality workmanship and customer service in fabric care for your home or business, including cleaning carpet, upholstery, tile, and rugs.