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Every year, more than 100,000 tons of chewing gum is consumed—though not all of it ends up in the trash. This sticky treat can get wedged in the most inconvenient of places, and it’s not always easy to clean up. While it can be tricky to remove from certain surfaces, it doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. If you need to remove gum from your carpet, you can easily do so in a few simple steps.
When it comes to removing gum, there are a few options at your disposal. If one option doesn’t work, definitely try moving onto the next. The optimal approach may depend on the type of gum and carpet and how long it’s been penetrating the carpet’s fibers.
In some (but not all) cases, you may need nothing more than your favorite carpet cleaning spray. When dealing with gum, it’s best to use a carpet cleaner that’s formulated to remove difficult stains such as paint.
Spray your solution directly onto the gum, and as recommended by the product’s directions, wait a few minutes, and then use a scraping tool to remove the remains. Make sure to use a blunt scraping tool such as a spatula; you should never use a knife, as this can damage the carpet.
Ice in a Bag
Chewed gum is sensitive to temperature extremes, which is why two of the three methods on our list pertain to hot and cold temperatures. With this particular method, you’ll want to place several large ice cubes in a sealed sandwich bag and press the bag firmly against the gum stain until it hardens.
After it hardens, use a small scraping tool to remove the gum from the surface of the carpet. Dispose of the gum residue and clean the area with a carpet cleaning solution. Finally, blot the carpet dry with paper towels.
The Hair Dryer Trick
In keeping with our temperature theme, the next method involves extreme heat. Turn your hairdryer on and adjust it to the highest heat setting. Point it directly at the gum, hovering a few inches away from it, and wait until the hardened residue begins to melt. Then, scrape away the weakened gum using a scraping tool, paper towel, or plastic bag. Clean the area with a carpet cleaning solution, and then blot it dry.
If at First, You Don't Succeed…
If you have a particularly stubborn gum stain, you may need to try a combination of the above methods to get the job done. If all else fails, try using WD-40 as a carpet cleaning solvent. White vinegar may also do the trick for your worst carpet stains.