I love carpets! Don't you?
I love them almost as much as I hate getting a stain on my carpet. I'm sure you know that feeling...
And gum is one of the worst stains! They seem impossible to clean. And for a good reason... most stains are organic (like any food stain). But this one isn't. So... it drives a lot of people crazy!
Another reason why a lot of people fear gum is because they're following (or have followed in the past) tutorials that don't help at all. As a matter of fact... they can make removing part of the gum almost impossible.
A couple of months ago, a team at Carpet and Rug World started a huge project. We tried to find out the best way of cleaning 28 types of stains (ketchup, crayons, wine, vomit, dog pee, you name it!). We found out the most appropriate method to clean each one of those stains. You can check out the final guide here. This is a screenshot of that guide:
In this post we're going to learn how to remove gum from carpet in 4 simple steps: Step 1: You have to freeze the gum with an ice pack. Step 2: You have to scrape the gum with a butter knife or a dull scraper. Step 3: Remove the stain with a soapy solution. And Step 4 (In case you need to) Use WD-40 or vinegar what might be left of the stain.
Let's take a look at each one of these steps separately!
Don't use the "Hairdryer method"
Some blogs are recommending a method called the "Hairdryer method". The idea is to heat the gum and remove it when it becomes sticky again.
Don't use this method! I think people who are recommending it haven't even tried it. Using this method might help remove some of the gum, but it will make the remaining stain a lot harder to remove. So much in fact, that you might never remove it completely.
Gum stains typically sit on the very top of the carpet fibers. If you heat it, some of the gum will fall down deeper inside the carpet's fiber. And although it might help remove the top layer, you're actually making it harder to clean.
Let's take a look at a method that actually works. It's super simple! We'll be done in just a couple of minutes.
This is our starting point:
The first thing we're going to do is to freeze the gum.
By placing an ice cold pack on top of the gum. This should help the gum freeze in a couple of minutes.
If you need to change the ice pack a couple of times, do it! The biggest mistake people make when cleaning gum stains on carpets is to remove the ice pack too soon. The gum needs to be frozen, so let it freeze!
Once the gum is frozen, scrape as much as possible using a butter knife or a scraper. The cooler it is, the easier it will be to remove big chuncks of it.
And try to be gentle! As in many things in life... slow and steady wins the race.
Now that you've removed as much gum as possible, it's time to take care of the stain that the gum might have left (or the small gum pieces that might still be on the carpet).
In order to do so, we'er goint to use a soapy solution. Mix one table spoon of dish soap (you can also use hand soap, but grease fighting dish soap will work better) with a quart of water.
Dip a cloth on the soapy solution and gently scrub the carpet with it to remove the stain. Be careful! We don't want to spread the stain!
This should remove most of the gum from the carpet.
If there's still gum on the carpet, proceed to step 4.
Most of the times, the gum should be completely removed from the carpet. However, depending on how long ago the gum fell on the carpet, there could still be some gum on the carpet.
If that's the case, this final step will remove it completely.
We're going to use a degreaser to remove the stain. We strongly recommend using WD-40 Degreaser because it's very inexpensive and very effective. But most of them will work fine.
Spray a little bit of the degreaser on top of the stain and scrub with the cloth right away just like you did before.
Use white towels
I strongly recommend using white towels when scrubing the degreaser. Why? Because some degreasers could cause dye transfer from a color towel to your carpet. And that's a hard stain to remove! Use a white towel to make sure that doesn't happen to you.
Use white vinegar if you don't have a carpet degreaser
You might not have a carpet degreaser home. If that's the case, you can use white vinegar as a substitute. Will it work? Yes. Will it work just like a carpet degreaser? Well... No. It does work, but it's not going to be as effective as a degreaser. You can always try using vinegar and then buying a degreaser in case you didn't get the stain out completely. But I really think any carpet owner should have a degreaser home. It really isn't that expensive: check price on Amazon
And that's it! Your carpet should be clean and the gum out of it for good.
One last piece of advice before you go...
I always say that there are two secrets to an immaculate carpet. The first is to own a good carpet steam cleaner (check the best carpet steam cleaners of 2021). And the second to always clean a stain as soon as possible. And gum is no exception! The sooner you clean it, the easier it will be.
So go get that gum out! You already know how :)
I'm Tony and I consider myself a carpet cleaning expert! I've tried the 5 most common professional cleaning methods myself, and I've reviewed thousands of carpet cleaning & installation companies. I'm currently exploring the DIY Cleaning and Installation world. It's not that hard and it's a lot of fun!