How To Remove Gum From Carpet

Edd H. English

Anyone who's lived with a teenager or worked in a store will probably know the feeling of having gum in the carpet. Cue half an hour of swearing and scraping, especially if the gum has dried! But thankfully, there are a few simple methods to remove gum from carpet.

We'll detail each method below. All of them are quick and easy, and use resources readily available in most homes. Here's how to remove gum from carpet.

Hallway carpet

Using Alcohol

It is possible to use rubbing alcohol to remove gum from carpet. Also known as isopropyl alcohol, rubbing alcohol is used as both a household cleaner or a medical disinfectant. Here's how to get gum out of carpet with alcohol.

Saturate the area of gum with the rubbing alcohol. Leave it to work for around five to ten minutes to allow the gum to soften. After some time has elapsed, it may be possible to remove the gum by hand.

If it's stuck a bit more firmly or pressed into the fibers, use something like a butter knife to gradually scrape the gum out. Going slow is paramount here, as vigorous scraping could damage the carpet fibers.

More alcohol can be used if the gum still feels firm. Again, leave it to sit and soak for a few minutes. Once the gum has softened sufficiently, it can be levered out using the knife. Remove any final traces, and then dab the area with a cloth to soak up the residual alcohol.

Spray bottle in hand

Using A Solvent

Another tried and tested method of how to remove gum from carpet is by using some form of solvent. WD-40 is probably the best solvent for removing gum from carpet.

To start, liberally spray WD-40 all over the piece of gum. Then, leave the solvent to work for several minutes, and it will gradually loosen the gum. Next, use a small nail brush to gently start to scrub the gum out.

Make sure to work in the same direction when scrubbing the gum, either right to left or left to right. This prevents the gum from being spread further. Keep this motion consistent throughout the whole process.

Repeat as many times as needed, spraying the WD-40 onto the gum and then scrubbing with the same consistent motion until the gum has been removed. It will then be necessary to clean the area.

Using a spray detergent or a degreasing agent, cover the area. With warm water and a clean sponge or cloth, wash the section of carpet until any stains from the gum or WD-40 have been removed.

Using An Ice Pack

This method is one of the best ways of getting dried gum out of a carpet, but will also work for fresh incidents. Take a small zip lock bag and fill it with some ice. Then press it against the gum. The ice will essentially freeze the gum, making it easier to remove.

After a few minutes, gently scrape the gum away using something like a butter knife. Be careful not to scrape too hard, otherwise the gum may be spread deeper into the carpet fibers. Then use a multi-purpose cleaning fluid to clean the stained area.

Once the cleaner has tackled the stain, cover the area with a clean cloth or a rag. This will absorb any excess fluid. Pat the area dry, and the gum should be gone.

Hairdryer and hair tools

Using A Hairdryer

The final method of removing gum from a carpet involves a hairdryer. This works best for fresh spillages of gum. As soon as possible, use the hairdryer over the top of the gum. The goal is essentially to melt the gum, particularly the adhesive component.

When doing this, be careful not to burn or melt the fibers of the carpet. Take a gradually approach if the area gets too hot. As the gum begins to melt, grab a plastic bag and use it to pick up the gooey gum. The heat will encourage the gum to adhere to the plastic, making it easier to remove. Repeat the process until the gum has gone.

A Note On Cleaning Agents

Many of these methods require the use of a chemical cleaner to remove residual gum stains or solvents or rubbing alcohol. However, if harsh chemicals are cause for concern, a homemade cleaner can be made quickly and easily.

Simply mix some distilled white vinegar, a teaspoon of Borax powder, and a cup of hot water in a spray bottle. Top up with cold water and add a sliver of dish detergent. Essential oil can also be added for a pleasant scent.

Following these four quick and easy methods is a surefire way of how to remove gum from carpets.

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Thanks for reading!