Ever stepped on a piece of chewing gum and then, unaware, walked through your carpeted living room with your shoes on?

We’ve all been there.

After the who-on-earth-spits-gum-onto-sidewalks moment has passed, you start to wonder how to free your carpet of the sticky and nasty substance. Luckily, we’ve done the research for you.

Table of Contents:

Read on to learn how to get out of this sticky situation and get the ingrained gum, whether fresh or dried, out of your carpet.

How to get gum out of carpet using ice cubes

This method is most effective in situations where the gum wad is rather fresh and not deep-rooted into the fibres. Follow these steps to treat the gum and remove it from your carpet:

  1. Place a handful of ice cubes in a resealable plastic bag.
  2. Lay the bag over the gum stain and leave it there for a while. This will harden the gum, making it easier to take out.
  3. Use a butter knife or metal spatula to scrape the solid gum off the fibres. For stubborn areas, gently rub with an ice cube and then scrape what’s left of the gum.
  4. Dip a rag into a solution of mild dishwashing detergent and vinegar, and gently rub the spot.
  5. Blot the area dry using a clean white towel. Avoid walking on the area you’ve been working on until it is completely dry.
tip

Don’t have ice in handy? Don’t worry. Try spraying the gum from a short distance with compressed air from a computer duster. Also, if you happen to have dry ice, try placing a piece on the gum, it will cold-shock it almost instantly.

How to remove gum from carpet using oils

Being a hydrophobic material, chewing gum can’t be dissolved by water. The stickiness comes from the fact that gum contains polymers. So, to get gum out of something, you will need another hydrophobic material, like some sort of oil.

Apply one of the listed below to reduce the stickiness of the gum and get it out of your textile floor covering:

  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Olive oil
  • Peanut butter
  • WD40

However, make sure to thoroughly clean the residue of whichever oil you’ve chosen.

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Test the oil of your choice on a hard-to-notice area of the carpet before applying it on the gum wad. Some oils have bleaching properties which may lead to discolouration of the carpet.
  2. Apply oil to the gum using a cloth or a rag. Don’t pour oil directly on the gum stain to avoid accidental spilling. Instead, dampen a cloth and saturate the gum wad repeatedly.
  3. Scrape the gum using a spatula or a butter knife. Perform the scraping motions in the same direction each time to avoid damaging the carpet’s fibres.
  4. Dab the area using a mixture of 1 teaspoon of dish soap and 1 litre of water to remove any residue.
  5. Blot dry the carpet using a clean white cloth. Avoid walking on the carpet while it’s still wet.

How to lift gum off carpet using a hairdryer

Use this method with caution. The hot air coming from the hairdryer can melt the fibres if the carpet is made of wool or synthetic materials. To avoid damaging your rug, test on a small inconspicuous area of the carpet first.

  1. Point the hairdryer towards the spot and apply heat to soften the gum.
  2. Once the gum starts to melt, scrape it off using a plastic bag or a clean rag. The gum should stick to the bag or rag. Pay close attention to the fibres, if any melting occurs, don’t use this method.
  3. Reapply heat if the gum starts to harden and then scrape again. Repeat if needed.
  4. Dab the spot using a solution of water and dishwashing soap to remove any residue.
  5. Blot dry the area using a clean white cloth or a rag.

How to get chewing gum out of carpet using solvents

Another way to lift that bubble gum off your carpet is to use solvents. Solvents can dissolve the gum polymers, thus making your job easier. However, don’t forget to test the solvent on an invisible area of your carpet first. Try one of these:

  • Dry-cleaning solvent
  • Citrus based degreaser
  • Mineral spirits
  • Muscle rub (containing methyl salicylate)

Here is how to remove gum from your textile floor covering with the help of solvents:

  1. Using a clean cloth, apply the solvent of your choice to the gum stain.
  2. Give enough time to the solvent to dissolve the gum. Leave it for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Scrape off the gum using a butter knife or a spatula. Scrape in the same direction with each turn to avoid harming the fibres.
  4. Saturate the area with a solution made from 1 teaspoon of mild dishwashing detergent and 1 litre of lukewarm water.
  5. Blot dry the spot using a clean white cloth. Repeat the last two steps if needed in order to remove any residue.
  6. Let it fully dry before walking on the carpet again.
tip

Whichever solvent you use, don’t apply too much. Using too much may saturate the carpet and damage the carpet backing.

If your carpet appears stained after all the gum residue is removed, employ a grease removal method. Check our post on how to remove grease from carpet for a detailed explanation.

For more cleaning and maintenance tips, read our article on how to clean carpets. There, you will find tips on anything from vacuuming and stain removal to deep cleaning.

Professional carpet cleaning

Things didn’t go as expected? You don’t have enough time to remove the gum on your own? Let Fantastic Services help you out!

We offer hot water extraction which is the most advanced carpet cleaning method on the market. The heat used via hot water extraction will soften the gum and the residue will be sucked up during the extraction phase, ensuring your carpet is left clean and fresh.

Gum on carpet? We got you covered!
Click more to learn about our carpet cleaning service.

Learn more

Takeaways:

  • Always test the cleaning solution on an invisible part of your carpet, like inside the closet, to avoid damaging the carpet fibres.
  • Regardless of the cleaning method, make sure to remove the residue using a solution of mild dishwashing soap and lukewarm water.
  • Cold-shocking the gum works best when the gum has just gotten into the carpet. For ingrained gum, use one of the other methods mentioned in the article.
  • Consider getting professional help. The expert carpet cleaners have the experience and know-how to deal with tricky stains including gum.

***

Now you know how to get gum out of carpets. Tell us how the gum got itself on your precious carpet? Did you manage to take it out and how? Let us know in the comments below.

Header image source: Shutterstock / Parilov

Please, note that we cannot be held liable for any damages occurring from using the information in this post. The cleaning maintenance of your sheepskin rug is your responsibility and the cleaning method you choose is at your own risk. Factors, such as your rug’s age, any tanning process used, storage methods applied in the past will have an effect on the cleaning process results. Please read our full disclaimer here.

  • Last update: June 27, 2019

Posted in Carpet Cleaning Tips

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