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How to Get Gum Out of Carpet

Whether one is in the habit of chewing gums or not, they go through the mess of getting gum stuck to their beautiful carpet at least once in life. Reasons may be anything from a young one in the family making the mess to first the gum getting stuck to their shoe’s sole and then making its way to their carpet. In any case, getting the gunky stuff stuck to the carpet is an eyesore.

Therefore, one should have the knowledge of removing it from the carpet. While one may be tempted to pull the clingy guest by hand out from the carpet, this approach may be hard on the carpet’s delicate fibers. But they need not worry. There are several easy and less harmful methods with which they can throw this unwanted sticky thing out from their carpet.

Published: September 24, 2022.

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Ice Cube Method

The ice cube method prevents the gum from getting stickier than it originally was. One just has to place a few ice cubes in a plastic bag and press the bag onto the gum wad. The bag of ice should be left on the ice for at least a minute. This will freeze and harden the gum so one can easily pull it off.

Once the gum freezes, one has to gently pull it from the carpet with fingers, a butter knife, or a scraping tool.

Pulling should be started from the edges and continue towards the center. This should be done carefully to avoid any damage or removal of the carpet fibers. Once the carpet owner masters this technique, they can use it on upholstery messes and gummed-up clothes too in the future.

At this stage, most of the gum should be removed, but if a stubborn residue is left behind, one can root it out with a couple of drops of a rub featuring methyl salicylate.

One can now use a mild carpet-cleaning detergent to scrub away any discoloration or carpet stains left in the gum’s wake.

They should then rinse the area with warm water.

WD-40 Method

wd 40WD-40 is another household hard worker that can effectively remove gum out of carpets and rugs. This is actually a quicker method than the ice cube method because one doesn’t have to wait for the gum to be hardened. Chewing gums are hydrophobic, which means they aren’t dissolved in water.

Another hydrophobic object like WD-40 can break it. This is how it works.

One has to spray a generous amount of WD-40 on the chewing gum. The spray straw can be pointed as close as possible to the underside of the area, at the meeting point of gum and carpet. The user may need to use their fingers to work the WD-40 into the carpet fibers.

Then they should wait for 5-10 minutes.

Then they have to lightly scrub or wipe the gum in one direction with a small scrub brush or a rag.

They should add more WD-40 as required to remove any remaining gum from the carpet and should continue wiping in the same direction.

Vinegar Method

White vinegar is a popular household cleansing product. It’s not surprising that it can be used for removing gum from carpets too. Here’s how to use it.

  • One has first to warm ¼ cup of white vinegar in the microwave.
  • Then they should dab a clean white cloth or towel into the vinegar and then dab it onto the gum.
  • Then they should scrape away as much as gum as possible with a blunt knife or spoon.

The remaining gum should be brushed away with an old toothbrush (the remnants of the gum will gunk up the entire toothbrush, so, the user will want to toss it after the task is finished.)

Oil Method

One can use some oils to remove gum from the carpet. Oil reduces the stickiness of the gum.

This helps the carpet fibers to get rid of the gum. But first, they should test a small hidden area of the carpet with the oil to make sure the oil doesn’t harm the carpet. Some oils may bleach or discolor fabrics. One can try one of the following oils:

  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Peanut butter
  • Olive oil

However, one should also remember that after the gum is removed, one will have to clean the area thoroughly to remove oil from the carpet.

To start the cleaning process, one should always apply the oil with a cloth and should never pour the oil directly on the gum. By using a cloth, they can have good control over exactly where they are applying the oil. They should saturate the gum wad with oil by applying the oil repeatedly with a cloth.

Next, they should scrape the gum off gently by using a butter knife. The knife should be scraped over the gum in the same direction every time. Rubbing back and forth may harm the carpet fibers and even damage the flooring.

After each pass, the user should wipe the gum off the knife’s blade to prevent it from getting onto the carpet again.

Once the gum is removed from the carpet, the user should clean the area with water and dish soap to remove the residual oil. Mix a grease-fighting dish soap in a quart of water and scrub the carpet with a cloth dipped in this soapy mixture.

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Hair Dryer Method

Just as extreme cold (ice) can help remove the gum, extreme heat too can do the task.

The user has to turn their hair dryer on to its highest setting and blow the hot air onto the gum.

The gum should melt with the heat, and then the user can scrape it away with a scraping tool, plastic bag, or a paper towel.

After removal of gum, the user should clean the area with a carpet cleaning solution and blot it dry.

Rubbing Alcohol Method

Rubbing alcohol, also known as isopropyl alcohol, too can help carpet owners get rid of gum stuck to their carpets. It’s particularly useful when the gum is old and hardened. It helps break down the polymers in the gum and doesn’t even cause damage to the fabric’s color like other cleaning agents.

Here’s how it should be used:

  • Users should pour a generous amount of alcohol onto the gum so as to saturate the gum.
  • They should then allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • During this period, the alcohol will get time to soften the gum.
  • Once it’s softened, the user should try to pull it away with their fingers.

Acidic Substances Do the Trick

Users should understand that cleaning agents that are slightly acidic help dissolve chewing gum.

These include lemon juice, vinegar, and rubbing alcohol (this is a very weak acid). However, users should remember that lemon juice can even discolor certain dyes.

Comparatively, rubbing alcohol and vinegar are more color safe.

Which Other Solvents can be Used to Remove Gum from Carpet?

Other solvents that can remove gum from the carpet are dry-cleaning solvents, citrus-based degreasers, or mineral spirits.

Even a muscle rub product containing methyl salicylate can be used as a solvent.

These solvents will help break off gum polymers making the gum less sticky and easier to remove. Here too, the solvent should be taken first on a cleaning cloth and then should be applied to the gum.

Note: Before using any solvent, test it on a small hidden area of the carpet to make sure it’s not harmful to the carpet’s fibers.

While applying any solvent, the user should allow it to get absorbed into the gum. So, they should wait for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the hardness of the gum. During this period, the solvents will work their way into the gum polymers and loosen their structure and release the gum from the carpet.

After 5-10 minutes, the user should scrape off the gum using a butter knife with the scraping motion in the same direction for each pass to protect carpet fibers from getting damaged.

Finally, to clean residue from the carpet, the user should make a solution of 1 teaspoon of mild detergent and 1 quart of lukewarm water. They should remove any traces of the solvents with the soap and water mixture and then blot dry the area with a towel.

Should One Use Store-bought Gum Removers?

Yes, sure! There are many commercial products for removing gum from the carpet, and they work well.

Some of them do the job just like ice cubes and freeze the gum, which can then be removed with a blunt knife or scraper, while others act like solvents or use some other method to remove the gum from the carpet.


How to Remove the Stain?

Even after the gum is removed, a stain may be left behind on the carpet. To remove it, one should mix one part mineral oil with eight parts liquid dry-cleaning solvent.

Then they should apply a little of the mixture to the stain and press it down firmly with a sponge. This should not be rubbed, as rubbing can worsen the stain. The entire process should be repeated, and the stain should be blotted until it’s removed from the carpet.

Carpet owners should remember that while removing gum from their carpets, they should have patience.

Also, the earlier they start the cleaning process, the easier it will be. They may have to repeat the steps several times because they may not succeed in the first few attempts. But the gum will finally come off.

They should also remember that a small bit of the products they use goes a long way; so they should start with a small amount and slowly increase the quantity as required.

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