How To Get Chewing Gum Out Of Carpet?

Chewing Gum
Chewing Gum

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.

Recommended methods

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.

Penny Vincent

Author: Penny Vincent

Penny Vincent has been a professional writer for 3 years. She joined TheHousingForum Team in January, 2009. Penny enjoys spending time with family and friends, managing two small, home-based businesses, and sharing her vast knowledge with others.

12 thoughts on “How To Get Chewing Gum Out Of Carpet?”

  1. Thank you, that was very thorough and helpful. Ice didn’t do the trick, but I already had goo done and it worked perfectly. Thanks.

  2. Very informative article, Kelly! Marc, did you keep applying the ice until the gum became hard and brittle? Did you follow up with scraping the gum off the carpet with a butter knife?

    It should be noted that when cleaning gum off a carpet, you should never use a scrub brush or steel wool. You shouldn’t use too much elbow grease and roughness on the carpet’s fibers. Just harden the gum, then gently scrape it off with the edge of a butter knife.

    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.

    The peanut butter method works well for gum in a child’s hair too! I know, because this is how my mom used to get gum out mine and my sister’s long hair.

    1. Hi, Cory! That’s an interesting theory. Let us know how well the canned air works once you’ve tested it. However, using canned air would be most likely be more costly than using ice cubes for freezing the gum. And unless the gum is extremely sticky, it usually doesn’t take that long to harden the gum using ice.

  3. Goo Gone is the best. My daughter’s room has shaggy carpet and the gum was deep. Not only that, I think it was actually a blow-pop because it felt what I would think a crush, moisten, smashed into the carpet, blow-pop would feel like. I’m not sure why she mentioned Goo Gone as expensive because it is not, and one bottle lasts a long time, for me anyway. I also have the ‘professional’ grade too. So, without even icing it, I spayed Goo Gone on it, enough to let it soak and then pulled out what I could with paper towels. I did this two or three times and then I started rubbing hard with the paper towels. This creates a bunch of lint that acts like kitty-litter on motor oil. After I got all the gum and candy out, I vacuumed the paper towel lint and used Dawn to clean the residue left by the Goo Gone because it is orange oil based. That gives you that oil effect like the peanut butter but with the acidic nature of orange. Again about the expensive part, I used maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of an ounce of Goo Gone. It’s a large bottle of about 24 ounces and there are plenty of uses. I use it to remove the film from a pop-bottle label that my kids use as water bottles. (I’ve probably spent $70+ in lost or broken water bottles and I’m fine not getting my 5 cents back from recycling.)

    One word of caution, my carpet is a dark tan. Can’t say what it would be like on white/light carpet. You should really heed the ‘test in an inconspicuous spot’ warning.

    1. GisWig, thank you for sharing your Googone experience with us. First of all, I did not say that GooGone was expensive to use. I stated that it would probably be a bit more expensive than the other methods. From my online research, if you order an 8 0z. bottle of GooGone from the manufacturer’s official website, it costs $5.29 plus shipping and handling. Walmart sells a 12 oz. bottle for $9.29 online, but it is also sold in the offline WalMart stores. Walmart describes this product as “A spray gel for removing sticky, gummy, greasy, gooey problems. Use to remove chewing gum, crayons, stickers, makeup, candle wax, tape residue, glue, tar/bugs/sap from cars, carpet stains, and grease/soot.

      12 fl oz

      Fresh citrus scent!

      All organic; no harsh solvents

      Danger. Harmful or fatal if swallowed. Combustible. Eye irritant. Keep out of reach of children.”

      On the other hand, a gallon of vinegar being sold by Walmart ranged from $2.30 (for a gallon of all-purpose vinegar cleaning solution) to $3.83 for a gallon of Apple Cider Vinegar
      Heinz: Vinegar Distilled White, 1 Gal. A gallon of White Distilled Vinegar was $2.82. Vinegar can also be used for a wide range of purposes, such as removing adhesive labels from bottles, as well as cooking, cleaning the floor, and for the laundry.

      A 48 oz. bottle of canola oil is sold at Walmart’s for $2.82, while a gallon of vegetable oil sells at $7.36, with several different types of oils ranging in between these prices. All the oils can also be used for other purposes, such as cooking and lubricating items.

      And according to GooGone’s own tip for removing the gum from a carpet, a person should: “Pretest on an inconspicuous area. Remove excess gum by pulling it away from the surface. Apply Goo Gone®. Do not oversaturate carpet. Wait 3-5 minutes. Pull away from surface to remove. Use a clean, white cloth to blot out excess. Repeat process as needed. Clean area with soap and water, blot dry. HINT: It may help to use an ice cube to help solidify the gum before pulling off excess to begin removal.This tip was provided by GooGone”.

      So even GooGone suggests starting out by using ice to solidify the gum before using their GooGone products. And all of the other methods are safer for humans and pets in case of accidental ingestion.

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