Removing Chewing Gum From Carpets
Gum can be great for people of all ages and children tend to love it. However, with gum chewing comes risk and your carpet may just be the thing that gets hit. When gum ends up on your carpet it can be pretty gross, but the longer its there the scarier it can be. Add some squishing and it's a mess. The good news is you don't have to cry over it since there are several things you can do to remove the chewing gum from your carpet.
Freeze The Chewing Gum
There are several options for removing gum, but one of the first things you should do when you start to clean the gum is to use ice. Make ice cubes, place them into a plastic bag, and then rest them on the gum for about fifteen minutes. This should make the gum hard and you should be able to flake it off and clean it up.
Once the gum has been removed you can then clean the carpet to remove any residue or stains. One great option is to go with 1 cup of vinegar to 1 cup of water. Sprinkle a little salt over the area and use the vinegar water to gently rub the carpet.
This method usually works, but if the chewing gum has been squished into the carpet you may not be successful with the freezing method. There are a number of options to try next and most of it should be done according to what you have available around the house or what you want to purchase.
*Alternative: You can use a can of air to freeze the gum faster. Do this by flipping the can upside down and spraying at the gum. The "air" in the can is really a liquid that evaporates as it comes out, but when upside down these liquids come out as liquids. They are cold so be careful. You will then need to bang on the gum with a solid object such as a hammer to get the gum to break up.
Getting Gum Out With Peanut Butter
If you don't want to use ice, you don't have any, or it didn't get all of the gum out there are other options. One of them is peanut butter. While peanut butter is most commonly used to get chewing gum out of hair, it works the same way for carpets.
Gently rub the peanut butter into the gum. The oils in the peanut butter should soften the gum, remove any sticky, and sorta have it turn into icky mush. Now you can clean the gum residue and the peanut butter from the carpet.
Your solution of 1 part vinegar and 1 part of water and a soft cloth should be enough to clean it up. You will need to rinse your cloth often and make sure that you get all of the peanut butter out of the carpet.
*Alternatives: If you don't have peanut butter you can use shortening, olive oil, WD40 or oil soap as well. Goo Gone works in the same manner with a blend of orange and oils. Another option is lighter fluid. Make sure you use this option with plenty of ventilations, don't do it any where near a flame, and clean it up afterwards.
Warm The Chewing Gum
Another gum removing option is to warm it up. This is done fastest and easiest with a good hand held steam cleaner. It isn't a good idea to use a carpet cleaner because you don't want the gum to stick to the bristles or other parts of your cleaner. Instead use a hand held steamer and get the gum warm.
Then use a plastic bag or plastic wrap to pick it up. the idea here is that the gum will want to stick to the plastic more than it will want to stick to the carpet.
*Alternative: Even if you don't have a steam cleaner you can warm the chewing gum. To do this warm some vinegar in a pan on the stove and gently pour some over the gum. This should get it warm enough to be sticky again and you should then be able to use your plastic wrap to remove it.
Relax the Gum Away
Menthol also has the power to loosen gum from the carpet. You can use a muscle relaxer such as Ben Gay to get it done. You can also use Vick's Vapor Rub. In fact, any product that smells heavily of menthol is likely to work well.
Final Tips For Removing Gum From Carpet
Here are some final tips that should help you get the gum out of your carpet and keep your carpet looking great.
- Don't scrub the carpet. Your carpet's life depends on you treating it fairly gentle. Make sure you avoid scrubbing since harsh treatment can flatten fibers, break them, and cause odd spots in your carpet.
- It's always a good idea to test any chemicals or cleaning solutions in an out of the way spot just in case. In rare instances some things can cause bleaching or discoloration. This is especially true if you decide to use carpet cleaners.
- A little dish soap and water can also be used to clean up stains.
Getting gum out of your carpet is never fun, but you can do it and you can do it without ruining your carpet. Choose methods you feel comfortable with. Pick the least messy option first and try and get it out that way. Then try others as needed. It all depends on the gum, the carpet, and how embedded it is as to how easy it will be to get out. Try and get as much out as possible and avoid cutting it out of the carpet whenever possible.