You know how annoying it can be when you step in gum. The way it adheres to the sole of your shoe, making a huge sticky mess that can be almost impossible to fully clean. Chewed gum on any hard surface will present a tough challenge for removal, but what about when it gets on your nice new carpet?
If you can’t quite get it off your shoe, what chance do you have to pull it out of the fibers of your wool rug or carpet? Well the first thing to remember is NOT to do just that. The prevailing rule of thumb is to attend any accidents or spills on your carpet immediately, but in the case of gum it’s how you do it that can be the difference between success and a damaged carpet.
So the next time a wad of gum gets stuck to the carpet, here are some handy hints to help you get it out.
Wiping it Off
When gum is softest and most malleable, it can be easier to pick up off the carpet. So if you happen to see the stain as it’s been freshly chewed and stuck to the fibers you have an advantage. But don’t worry, if you find that the gum has been sitting there longer and it’s firmed up slightly, you can still soften back it up.
Take your hairdryer and gently warm it back up, just be careful not to burn or singe your carpet fibers in the process.
While the gum is warm and soft, take a plastic bag and start to scrape it off the surface of the carpet. Do it slowly and gently, allowing for the gum to attach to the surface of the bag. Keep scraping at it until the gum has been fully removed.
This process might take some time as you want to be delicate and gentle so as not to damage any of the carpet fibers while you work.
Freeze the Gum
One of the more popular methods for taking gum out of a carpet’s fibers is by applying ice to it. Since you do not want to try to pulling the gum from the fibers, this method relies on making the offending matter harder and, thus, easier to remove piece by piece.
Start with grabbing a handful of ice and dropping it into a plastic bag. Take the ice and apply it right on top of the gum, letting it sit on top of the stained area for a period of time until the gum hardens from the cold. Doing this will make the gum easier to pick up in pieces.
Grab a standard scraping tool and start to scrape away the gum from the carpet fibers. Be careful not to use anything with a particularly sharp edge as you could inadvertently cut the carpet by mistake.
As the gum is coming out, spray any residual stain with a household cleaner or make your own by combining 1 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of water.
Use a clean cloth or towel to soak up the liquid from whatever cleaner you use and pat until that area on the rug is completely dry.
Lubricate the Gum
This solution may sound a little strange (and you might even be reluctant to do it), but it works. You just need to be more diligent about cleaning up after you’ve finished removing the gum.
The trick here is to use WD-40 or similar lubricating additive. Cover the stain entirely with the spray. After you’ve well and truly covered it entirely, let it sit for about five minutes.
Next take a small brush and scrub at the gum repeatedly. The key to success is to scrub at it in the same motion repeatedly. Don’t rub it around or scrub away at it back and forth. Continue doing this until the gum starts to come up.
You may need to spray the gum a few more times until the stain is totally removed. Spray, scrub, repeat. Spray, scrub, repeat. Do it until the gum comes up entirely.
Try not to saturate the carpet fibers too much or you may not be able to get the WD-40 out. To do that, apply some detergent to the area and then rinse with warm water and sponge the spot delicately but thoroughly. Keep working on it until the stain is gone.
Sometimes you can’t do it all by yourself and it’s time to call in the experts to remove carpet stains. Carpet cleaning that removes allergens can also remove gum, stains, and just about anything you throw at your carpet’s fibers each and every day. If you can’t get the gum out yourself, get a professional cleaning.