Removing Gum from Carpets, Fabric, Hair & Other Surfaces
Chewing gum can be a great way to freshen your breath, satisfy a craving, or keep yourself occupied when you’re bored. But if gum gets into your carpet, your hair, or the tread on your shoes, it can be a nightmare to get out. Luckily, the home cleaning team at Maid Right® has a few simple tricks that make it easy to get gum out of sticky situations. The next time you find gum somewhere it shouldn’t be.
3 Ways to Remove Chewing Gum
There are three ways that you can get chewing gum out of fibers and hair, remove it from irregular surfaces like running shoe soles, and lift it from flat surfaces like walls and tabletops. One uses ice to freeze chewing gum, another uses oils to stop gum from sticking to surfaces, and the third uses solvents to break down the polymers that make gum so hard to remove.
When removing chewing gum, we recommend trying the ice strategy first, moving on to oils, and then using solvents as a last resort. This will help reduce the chance of a messy clean-up (oils and solvents will need to be cleaned up after) and limits the use of harsh chemicals (many solvents create harsh fumes or leave behind toxic residues). You should also test oils and solvents on hidden areas first to make sure they don’t cause staining.
- Removing Gum with Ice. Gum is much easier to remove from surfaces when frozen. Use an ice pack or a sealed bag filled with ice cubes and place it over top of the gum. Wait until the gum is frozen solid, then use a spatula, credit card, or a butter knife to gently lift the gum from the surface. Use a mix of dish soap and water to remove residues.
- Removing Gum with Oils. When ice isn’t enough to get gum out of carpeting, fabric, or hair, you can move onto oils. Oils make it harder for gum to stick to fibers and hairs, making it easier to remove gum from these types of surfaces. Use a cloth to apply olive oil, peanut butter, or cooking oil to the gum and the area around the gum, then use your spatula, credit card, or butter knife to lift the gum up from the fibers or hair. You will need to clean the surface thoroughly afterward with soapy water to get rid of the oils.
- Removing Gum with Solvents. Your local hardware store will sell solvents designed specifically to remove gum and other sticky items from surfaces. Solvents will break down the polymers in gum that make it so sticky, allowing you to more easily remove it. Never use solvents to remove gum from a person’s hair, and always read and follow all safety instructions. After using a solvent, you will need to thoroughly clean the surface using soapy water.
Looking for help with tough home cleaning challenges? Call (855) 624-3744 and connect with the team at your local Maid Right today for a free home cleaning estimate.