How to Get Gum Out of Carpet (Six Easy Methods)

How to Get Gum Out of Carpet (Six Easy Methods)

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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There’s nothing more annoying than finding gum stuck on your freshly cleaned carpet. Moreover, gum’s pliable texture means it will tightly bond with the carpet’s delicate fibers. So you know how hard it will be to remove the gum stain and how much time it will take.

While you may be tempted to pull the clingy carpet dweller by hand, this approach may cause collateral damage to your carpet. Read on to learn how to get gum out of the carpet safely, easily, and quicker. Try these methods on an inconspicuous area to ensure they won’t damage or discolor your carpet.

1. Ice Cube Method

Freezing the gum

Image Credits: wipeout.ie

To keep the sticky situation from worsening, give lodged-in gum wads the cold treatment with ice cubes! The freezing method is usually successful when the gum just got into the carpet and is not deeply ground into the carpet fibers.

Step 1: Freeze the Gum

Place a few ice cubes in a plastic bag and rub the bag over the gum until the gum is hard. The plastic bag keeps the melting ice from wetting the carpet. Freezing the gum causes the molecules to contract and relaxes the gum’s bond to the carpet. So, ensure the gum is frozen and solid to lift it off easily. You can also spray the gum with compressed air at a close range.

Step 2: Scrape the Gum

Once the gum is hardened, gently lift it off the carpet fibers using your fingers, a butter knife, or a scraping tool. Start lifting from the edges moving towards the gum wad center. Take care, so you don’t remove the carpet fibers and the frozen gum. Most of the gum should be out at this point but if a few pieces or stain remains, use the following steps.

Step 3: Clean the Gum Residue

Use a rag or sponge to apply lacquer thinner to the remaining pieces. You can also use citrus-based adhesive removers. Then, carefully blot or scrape the remaining bits.

Step 4: Remove the Gum Stains

Even after removing the gum, there might be a stain left behind. Mix eight parts liquid dry cleaning solvent with one part mineral oil to remove gum stains. Use a sponge to apply a small solution to the stain. Do not rub, as this could worsen the stain. Repeat the application until you remove the gum stain from the carpet.

Step 5: Rinse and Dry the Area

Finally, rinse the area with a little bit of water and blot dry the excess moisture with a towel.

2. Using WD-40 to Remove Gum from Carpet

WD-40 is another household workhorse effective for removing gums from the carpet and rugs. Gums such as chewing gums are hydrophobic, meaning they can’t be dissolved by water. So, to break it up, you should dissolve it using another hydrophobic material, like WD-40.

WD-40

Image Credits: seimi-equipments-marine.com

The WD-40 method is quicker because you don’t have to wait for the gum to harden. Here’s what to do:

Step 1

Spray a plentiful amount of WD-40 on the gum stain. Point the spray straw closer to the underside of the area where the gum meets the carpet.

Step 2

Allow the sprayed stain to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 3

Using a fingernail brush or a rag, scrub or wipe the gum in one direction. Choose either left or right and keep scrubbing in an easy motion.

Step 4

Add more WD-40 as necessary as you keep scrubbing or wiping in the same direction to remove the remaining gum from the carpet.

Step 5

To clean the spot, spray the WD-40 directly on the stained area.

Step 6

Dip a clean sponge in warm water and apply the sponge to the gum stain directly.

Step 7

Gently scrub the area until the stain gets invisible.

3. Vinegar Method

White vinegar has several uses around the home, and it’s no surprise it can be used to get gum off the carpet. Here’s how to use vinegar to remove chewing gum from the carpet

Using Vinegar to remove gum from carpet

Image Credits: bobvila.com

Step 1

Apply a small amount of vinegar to the gum wad.

Step 2

Gently work the vinegar into the gum using a soft-bristled brush or a piece of cloth.

Step 3

Allow it to sit for 10 to 20 minutes.

Step 4

Use a dull knife or a scraping tool to scrape away the hardened gum.

Step 5

Repeat the process until the gum is cleared entirely.

Step 6

Blot-dry the vinegar with a clean cloth.

4. Using a Hairdryer to Remove Gum from Carpet

Your hairdryer will come in handy when you’re wondering how to remove gum from the carpet. You can also use it to get wax out of carpet.

Image Credits: gharpedia.com

Step 1

Turn on the hairdryer and adjust it to the highest heat setting.

Step 2

Aim the dryer directly at the gum, hovering some inches away.

Step 3

Watch the gum carefully and wait until it begins to melt

Step 4

Scrape away or bolt the softened gum using a plastic bag. The gum should stick and release from the fibers upon contact with the plastic bag.

Step 5

Lift the chewing gum slowly from the carpet, taking care not to damage the carpet.

Step 6

Repeat the process until you remove all the gum. 

Step 7

If the spot is stained, clean it with a carpet cleaner or carpet stain remover, then blot dry.

5. Using Oils to Remove Gum from Carpet

Removing gum from carpet using oils

Image Credits: readytrodiy.com

Step 1

Test the oil on an inconspicuous carpet area to ensure it won’t discolor or bleach. This ensures you will not make a bigger stain on the most visible part of the carpet. Oil reduces the gum’s stickiness allowing it to release from the carpet fibers. Try these oils for gum removal

  • Eucalyptus Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Peanut Butter

Step 2

Apply oil to the gum using a piece of cloth. Don’t pour the oil directly on the gum. Instead, soak the gum wad with oil by constantly applying the oil with a piece of cloth. It is easier to control where you apply the oil when you use a cleaning cloth.

Step 3

Scrape off the gum gently using a scraping tool or butter knife. Scrape the knife in the same direction and wipe off the blade frequently to avoid re-applying the gum to the carpet.

Step 4

Clean the spot with detergent and water. There may be residual oil left from the gum removal process. Dip a piece of cloth in the soapy solution and scrub the carpet until it’s clean.

6. Using Other Solvents

Dry-cleaning solvents for carpets and upholstery, such as citrus-based degreasers or mineral spirits, can also be used to remove gum from the carpet.

Using other solvents to remove gum from carpet

Image Credits: thisoldhouse.com

Step 1

Test a small amount of the solvent on an inconspicuous carpet area to ensure it won’t stain or damage the carpet.

Step 2

Apply the cleaning solvent to the gum wad using a clean cloth. The solvent dissolves the gum polymers making them less sticky and easy to remove from the carpet.

Step 3

Allow the solvent to sit for about 10 – 15 minutes to get absorbed by the gum before attempting to remove it.

Step 4

Scrape off the gum gently with a butter knife or plastic spoon. Scraping motion should be in the same direction to avoid damaging the carpet fibers.

Step 5

Clean any remaining traces of the cleaning solvent. Dip a sponge in a water detergent solution and scrub the spot until it’s clean. Finish the cleaning process by blot-drying the area with a towel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Removing gum from carpet

Image Credits: wikihow.com

i) What Dissolves Chewing gum?

A slightly acidic cleaning solution can dissolve chewing gum. Weak acids such as vinegar, lemon juice, and rubbing alcohol are effective. However, lemon juice can cause discoloration when used with some dyes. Rubbing alcohol and vinegar is more color safe.

ii) How do I Get Old Black Gum Out of Carpet?

Use oils or cleaning solvents. Apply a little oil or cleaning solvent on the gum and let it rest for a few minutes. Then, sponge the gum or scrape it off gently with a butter knife.

iii)How do I get Gum Out of a Wool Carpet?

The freezing tip also works on getting off gum stuck in wool carpets. Freeze the gum and scrape it away with a scraping knife without worrying about a solvent damaging the wool.

iv) Can I Use Gum Removal Methods to Remove Chewy Sweets from the Carpet?

To get chewy sweets off the carpet, blot the candy with a cloth dipped in cold water to loosen the sticky bond, then scrape off any large bits of candy. Next, apply a carpet cleaning solution or any stain remover. Leave it for a few minutes, then blot dry the stain remover.

 Bottom Line

Gums and carpets tend to bond well, although it seems they have a love-hate relationship. Unfortunately, with the hurly-burly of daily life, you can’t tell when you’ll fall victim to this sticky substance. When it comes to removing gum from the carpet, a few options are at your disposal. So, if one method doesn’t work, try the next one.

The optimal approach depends on the type of carpet and gum and how long the gum has penetrated the carpet’s fibers. Use ice cubes to remove large pieces of fresh gum, and try solvents and oils for older or ground-in gum stains. Lemon juice also helps remove any residues from the carpet after removing the gum.

Featured Image Credits: electrodry.com.au

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.