Ugh. Gum on the carpet. What can be worse? Removing it is kind of tricky because the surrounding spot can become a gooey mess if you’re not careful. If you don’t get to the spot quickly enough, not only can it really stick, but someone else can walk over it dragging the gum across the room and grinding it deeper. So, what does one do in this situation? Put the carpet to the curb on the next bulk pickup day? That shouldn’t even be an option. Displaced gum doesn’t have to mean a death sentence for your wall to wall, it’s easy to remove and no one will ever know the difference.
You’ve probably heard that peanut butter is a wonder when it comes to removing gum from hair. Well, it’s just as wonderful for removing gum from the carpet. Just take a spoonful of peanut butter and massage it into the gum. Wait a few minutes and scrape away. Of course, now you’ll have to contend with peanut butter removal, but in the general scheme of things, it’s preferable and easier to remove peanut butter from the carpet than gum. If you let the peanut butter dry for a little while, it should be easy to vacuum, or you can sponge it off with a cloth or rag. If staining does occur, blot it with a little mild dishwashing detergent or some vinegar. Dab with a damp cloth or sponge to rinse.
If you’re thinking the peanut butter method might be a little messy, you can always try an ice cube. You can either place the ice cube directly onto the gum or if that’s too messy, place it in a Ziplock bag. The coldness of the ice cube will cause the gum to harden. Once this happens you should be able to scrape it right off the carpet with the help of a butter knife.
WD-40 also works well to remove gum. Spray it onto the gum spot and smoosh it around a little bit. Let it sit for fifteen or twenty minutes and then remove. The gum will slide right off the carpet! It may take two applications, but the gum should come right out. Lighter fluid is also something you can use, which you wouldn’t expect. This is not recommended around fireplaces or where people are smoking (or anywhere else it might be exposed to heat or flames.) With these latter two methods, you’ll probably want to test a hidden area of your carpet first to be sure no damage will be incurred. After the gum is removed, clean out any residue or leftover product with a damp cloth.
Warm vinegar might also work. Pour it directly onto the gum and let it sit for a while. Scrape off the gum with a butter knife and then wipe clean with a damp cloth. This method may take a few tries and require some heavy scrubbing but if one of the above methods isn’t available, you can give it a shot.
An oil soap, such as one that cleans wood, will also help to remove gum. Pour it onto a cloth and rub it into the gum. It may take a few tries, depending on how deep the gum is ground into the carpet, but the gum will come out if you persevere. Rinse with a damp cloth.
After the gum is removed, you may still have a stain on your carpet. If this is the case, put a bit of mild dish detergent or vinegar on a sponge or cloth and blot at the stain until it disappears. Then, blot with a clean damp cloth to rinse.
When cleaning your carpet, it’s important to note that violent scrubbing will wear away the fibers. Use elbow grease if you need to, but try not to create a worn spot. It’s for this reason that you’ll not want to use a scrub brush or scouring pad to remove the gum. Always be as gentle as possible.
If the stain isn’t easily removed, you can contact a professional. The carpet manufacturer might be able to recommend a product, or you can call someone who specializes in cleaning carpets. When applying any chemicals to your carpet, however, always test in a hidden area and follow the directions to the letter.
Don’t throw your carpet away because of a little careless gum chewing. Instead, try to clean the gum off using one of the simple methods mentioned here. It won’t take long and in most cases, you won’t have to spend a lot of money on expensive household cleaners. Why you can let the punishment fit the crime and have the careless chewer clean up the mess. Guaranteed it won’t happen again.