How to Clean Chewing Gum From Carpet

Ugh! How did gum get there? Gum and carpet fibers tend to bond well and seem as though they’ve become friends for life. Here are a few ways to break their connection and rid your carpet of the gooey, sticky nuisance.

Freezing Method

You Will Need:

  • Ice
  • Plastic bag
  • Spoon or dull knife

Steps to Remove the Gum:

  1. Fill a small plastic bag with a few pieces of ice.
  2. Rub the ice over the gum to freeze it hard.
  3. Use the spoon or dull knife to scrape it away. Dispose of the removed gum immediately before it softens and sticks again.
  4. Repeat until the gum is removed.

Hair Dryer Method

You Will Need:

  • Hair dryer
  • Plastic bag
  • Soft cloths

Steps to Remove the Gum:

  1. The exact opposite of the ice method, this method heats the gum to make it pliable so it can be scraped away.
  2. Use the hair dryer to heat the gum. Be careful not to overheat the area or it may burn the carpet fibers.
  3. Once the gum is softened, gently pull it out of the carpet fibers.
  4. It may help to cover your hand with a plastic bag or rubber glove so you can use your fingers to work the gum out of the carpet. Remove as much as possible, then move onto the next method to remove the remaining residue.

Method to Remove the Remaining Residue

You Will Need:

  • Choose one:
    • Peanut Butter
    • WD-40
    • Oil soap (such as those used for cleaning wood)
    • Muscle Pain Reliever (ex: BenGay)
  • Soft cloths
  • Soap
  • Water

Steps to Remove the Gum:

  1. Once you’ve removed a large portion of the gum, you are ready to tackle the residue left behind. This should be minimal.
  2. Apply one of the above items to the remaining gum. Each of these have a lubricating quality that will help release the gum from the carpet fibers.
  3. Apply the chosen product to the remaining gum.
  4. Work it in gently with your fingers.
  5. Blot or pull gently on the fibers with the soft cloth to remove the gum. It may also be helpful to scrape at it with your fingernails.
  6. Once the gum is removed, you will need to clean the area to remove the residue from the cleaning product.
  7. Mix a small amount of soap or dish detergent with warm water.
  8. Blot the area with a soft cloth that has been moistened with the mixture. Continue blotting until the area is clean.
  9. Rinse by blotting with a clean cloth.
  10. Press on the area with a dry cloth to remove any excess water.
  11. Allow the area to dry completely.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Warm vinegar is another cleaner that can remove gum. After applying it, allow it to set for awhile to give it time to work. Rinse with clean water.
  • There are commercial products designed for removing gum. These are available in the carpet cleaning section in the cleaning aisle and from janitorial stores.

Comments

  1. Ray says:

    Tools needed: dry ice, whist broom, metal blade (putty knife, dinner knife, or screwdriver).

    Remove as much of the excess gum as possible. Freeze the gum for about two (2) minutes, with the dry ice and at the same time, freeze the tip of the metal blade. Break the gum into a powder using the metal blade, brush the residue into a dustpan and discard it. If an additional treatment is needed, repeat the process.

  2. Christy says:

    This tip works for carpet or hair. Use any kind of peanut butter, preferably smooth and not chunky. Rub the peanut butter on the gum. The oil in the peanut butter will dissolve the gum base. Wash with soap and water soon after because peanut butter may leave a spot on carpeting.

  3. Cameron says:

    Actually, even regular ice cubes can help to make the gum brittle enough to chip off of the carpet fibers.

    I like to use a can of air duster though. It’s easy to obtain, it’s small, and it freezes stuff quickly. This also works better than peanut butter, because there is no oily residue left over that will attract dirt.

    The trick is to ignore the warnings on the can and turn it upside-down. When you press on the cap, instead of releasing compressed air, you will get liquid CO2. Don’t spray it on your hands – you’ll get frostbite.

    Once the gum is frozen, scrape at it with a butter knife. If it starts to soften, spray it again.

    I’ve also used this on various candies stuck in carpet.

  4. Bob says:

    Chewing gum can be removed with peanut butter. This is especially helpful if a child goes to bed and ends up with it in their hair. The gum is dissolved with peanut oil. The oil causes the gum to turn to something like sand. To test, chew some gum and put some peanut butter in your mouth. You’ll wonder where the gum went.

  5. Kris says:

    I stumbled on De-Solv-it, which can be found in most grocery or home building stores. It is amazing on anything that is gummy. It actually will totally dissolve the gum whether it is in hair or on clothing. Well worth a try.

  6. Peter says:

    Well done; the WD-40 worked great. Thanks.

  7. TW says:

    After removing the largest quantity of the stuff, I just used paint thinner and a rag to remove the remains of some I’d tracked onto my carpet. This worked instantly, surprising me how fast it dissolved the thinned remains of the gooey stuff. But show some caution in how much you use, or you’ll be smelling if for quite some time. It might be wise to rinse the area after cleaning with a solution of dish soap just to avoid any possible spotting. I find the paint thinners to be much less stinky than WD-40, which works great too, but I avoid it due to it’s lingering odor.
    Good luck.

  8. Judith says:

    The gum had been trodden into the carpet. I picked and rolled up what I could, then used bath oil to loosen the remainder. Bath oil dissolves in water so was easy to wash off with a little dishwash liquid. Good result.

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