How to Remove Chewing Gum from Carpet

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How to Remove Chewing Gum from Carpet

Gum on the carpet

For people who love soft, clean carpets and rugs, removing clingy, sticky chewing gum may seem like a nightmarish and impossible task. Fortunately, in most cases, getting gum out of carpet fibers can be easier than one might imagine. Here are a few methods to try.

Note: It is important to get the gum off of the carpet as soon as possible, otherwise it could be harder to remove later.

Warning: Always test products and cleaning methods in an inconspicuous area first, to see whether they will damage or remove dye from your carpet.

Freeze It

The ice and spoon method is the most common way to remove gum from carpet. Alternatively, if you do an online search for “gum freeze spray” there are many products that you can use instead of ice. Here’s how.

What You’ll Need

  • Ice or gum freeze spray (specifically marked safe for carpets on the label)
  • Spoon or dull utensil
  • Carpet-safe cleaner (specifically marked safe for carpets on the label)
  • White cloth or paper towels

Directions

  1. Place a few ice cubes directly onto gum stain. Allow them to sit long enough to freeze and harden the gum. Or, spray the gum with gum freeze spray until it becomes hard and brittle.
  2. Use a utensil with a dull edge such as a spoon or butter knife to pop the frozen pieces off, or if it doesn’t come off all at once, to remove as much as possible.
  3. Repeat steps one and two, as needed, until most of the gum is removed.
  4. Test carpet-safe cleaner in an inconspicuous area.
  5. Spray the affected area.
  6. Gently rub the area with a dry, clean, white cloth or paper towels.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6, as needed.

Rubbing Alcohol or Methyl Salicylate

Rubbing alcohol breaks down the polymers in chewing gum. Methyl Salicylate, aka, wintergreen oil, is actually an ingredient in chewing gum. It can loosen gum from carpet fibers.

What You’ll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol or methyl salicylate
  • White cloth or paper towels

Directions

  1. Apply a few drops of rubbing alcohol or methyl salicylate to the affected area.
  2. Allow the solution to remain for a few minutes.
  3. Remove the solution with a dry, clean, white cloth or paper towels.
  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3, as needed.

WD-40 and Dish Soap

An alternative method, if neither of the above methods have proven successful, involves WD-40 and dish soap. The WD-40 loosens the gum from the carpet fibers. The dish soap gets the WD-40 out of your carpet once all the gum is removed.

What You’ll Need

  • WD-40
  • Soft bristle brush
  • White cloth or paper towels
  • Sponge
  • Dish soap
  • Warm water

Directions

  1. Apply a generous amount of WD-40 to the affected area.
  2. Allow the solution to remain for a few minutes.
  3. Use a soft bristle brush to remove the gum from the carpet fibers.
  4. Wipe the affected area with a dry, clean, white cloth or paper towels.
  5. Repeat steps 1 through 5, as needed.
  6. Once all the gum is removed, remove the WD-40 using a clean, white cloth and warm soap water.
  7. Finish up by cleaning the area with a clean, white cloth and warm water (no soap). This last step is to remove any soap residue, which could attract dirt.
  8. If the area is too wet to quickly air dry, use clean, dry, white cloth or paper towels to soak up excess moisture.

We’re Here to Help

Most of the time, people are able to remove gum from carpet using DIY methods, but for certain types of carpet, particularly clingy gum, or gum that has been on the carpet for a while, these methods may not work. Though you may be tempted to pry out the gum or scrub it out with harsh chemicals, this can result in damage to your carpet or rug fibers, perhaps even spreading the gum to a wider area. Instead, give us a call. With our professional cleaning solutions and specialized equipment, we have great success getting gum out of carpet.


This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.