Sticky Situation: How To Remove Gum From Carpet

Gum seems to stick to everything, and it's never easy to remove. If you end up with gum stuck on your carpet, it's important that you go about removing it in the right way so you don't just make matters worse. Follow these steps to effectively remove gum from your carpet.

Step 1: Ice and Scraping

You want to manually remove as much gum as possible before you start attacking the carpet with any cleaning solutions. To accomplish this, place a few ice cubes in a re-sealable bag, then hold the ice against the gum. It should harden, and you should be able to more easily scrape it off the carpet using a blunt knife. You can even pick hardened bits of gum off with your fingers.

Step 2: Applying Oil

Anything water-based won't dissolve gum. This is what makes it so tough to remove; you have to use something oil-based to dissolve it. Grab some canola oil or vegetable oil from your kitchen, and apply a few drops to the gum. Rub the oil in with your fingers, and the gum should dissolve into a slippery material that is much easier to remove from the carpet. Use a cloth to wipe up as much of it as possible. If there is still some sticky gum remaining, add a few more drops of oil and keep blotting up the resulting residue.

Step 3: Removing Oil and Gum Residue

When you've removed most of the gum residue manually, it is time to address the oily spot left on your carpet. Luckily, this is pretty easy. Prepare a small bucket of warm water, and add a generous squeeze of grease-cutting dish soap. Dip a sponge into the solution, and apply it to your carpet. Rub it in gently (don't use so much pressure that you risk fraying the carpet fibers). Let it sit for a couple of minutes, and then blot it up. You might need to repeat this process 2 – 3 times.

Step 4: Soaking Up Moisture

Encouraging the spot to dry quickly will help prevent molding and odors. Once you have blotted up as much moisture as possible, sprinkle some baking soda over the spot. It will absorb the moisture out of the carpet. Wait about a day, and then vacuum up the baking soda.

With any luck, these instructions should leave you with a carpet that looks as good as new. Note that these steps will be more effective on shorter-fibered carpets than on long, shaggy ones. If there is still a hint of a gum stain, contact a professional carpet cleaning company like Spotless Carpet Cleaners & Janitorial Services Inc. They should be able to remove the residual stain for you.