Unfortunately, one of the hazards of chewing gum is that it can easily get stuck to household carpets. It can become adhered to the carpet via a child that does not know any better. Or the gum may fall off a shoe that picked up the gum off a dirty sidewalk. There are numerous ways gum may end up in a carpet. However, there are also many ways to remove it from a carpet. However, it is best to choose a method that does not harm the carpet, such as by staining it or destroying the carpet’s fibers.
The most recommended method is to rub the affected area with an ice cube until the gum becomes brittle. Once the gum becomes brittle, scrape the gum off with a butter knife. This method leaves the least amount of residue and usually works on most fabrics. However, if it fails, then try one of the following methods:
- Peanut butter – Gently apply approximately 1 teaspoon of peanut butter (preferably creamy style) to the affected area. Then remove the gum with a moist washcloth. The peanut butter oil will make the gum less sticky, but it will most likely leave a residue too. So after removing the gum, use the tip of a washcloth to apply a carpet stain remover or a bit of dish washing soap mixed with water to remove the residue.
- Olive, corn, or vegetable oil – Just like peanut butter, any of these oils can reduce the stickiness of the gum. Apply about 1 teaspoon of oil and cover the gum completely. Then simply pick the gum up with your fingers. However, this method is among the least recommended due to its tendency to staining the carpet. The oil’s residue should be cleaned with a carpet cleaning vacuum immediately after removing the gum.
- WD-40 spray – Spray a small amount on the affected area and then briefly work it in. Once the gum is loosened, you can simply pick it up with your fingers. However, as with the peanut butter and other oils, the area must be cleaned after removing the gum, using a mild dish detergent and moist washcloth or else a carpet cleaning vacuum. It should also be noted that WD-40 is very flammable and proper precautions must be taken when using the product.
- Vinegar – A bit of vinegar applied directly to the gum can also help remove the gum. Just let the vinegar soak into the gum for about 15 minutes, and then scrape the gum off with a butter knife. However, make sure the vinegar does not make the carpet bleed first.
- Goo Gone – A commercial product made of citrus and other ingredients, Goo Gone is designed to eliminate sticky problems. It can be sprayed on to the affected area to loosen the gum. And then a washcloth is used to remove the gum, just like with WD-40. After removing the gum, simply use a moist cloth to clean the area. It should be noted that although this product does work well, it is also a bit more expensive to use than the aforementioned methods. Many of the homemade solutions work just as well as this product does.
Read instructions, test treatment first
Be sure to read the instructions before using any stain or gum remover product. Also, always test the treatment in a hidden area of the carpet before using it in a conspicuous area. Some formulas, including those for dish detergents, can bleach or stain a carpet, or harm the fibers. Never use a scrub brush, steel wool or too much elbow grease, since these can also damage the fibers or fabric.
Remember, the best way to remove gum is to harden it first, then gently scrape the gum off with a butter knife. However, there are numerous other household items and commercial products that may help, besides just the aforementioned methods.. You just have to find the ones that make the gum less sticky. The gum itself may also leave a residue, so always clean the area immediately after removing the chewing gum. Nonetheless, now that you know how to remove the gum, you no longer need to fear this particular hazard from chewing gum.