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How to Remove Gum From Your Carpet

Having carpets means that you may find yourself facing a wide array of issues — whether it's dirt, stains, or spills, the threats to your carpet can feel never-ending. In fact, sometimes it can feel like every piece of dirt and grime finds its way into your home no matter how clean and cautious you try to be.

Of all the things that could find its way into your carpet, you may think that gum is one of the most difficult to remove. Whether you chew gum or not, it still could find its way into your household through friends, family, or even through the soles of your shoes. The truth is that gum is quite popular, and one day your carpets may just become a host to this unwelcome guest.

The good news? As the owner and operator of Barry's Cleaning, I have years of cleaning expertise under my belt — and I know a few tricks to remedy this situation.

These years of experience have allowed me to cultivate the best methods of removing even the stickiest of situations out of your carpet — and I'm always happy to pass these tricks of the trade on to you.

First, if you find yourself face to face with gum in your carpet, it is very important to refrain from trying to yank or pull the gum from your carpet. This will result in the gum stretching and leaving sticky residue all over your carpet's fibers instead of the gum truly being removed.

ice cubes for getting gum out of carpet

For best results — and no residue — we recommend a simple solution: Ice.

Whether you're at home or at work, ice is easily accessible and it's free!

Here is how I recommend using ice when removing gum from your carpet.

Removing Gum using Ice Cubes

Gum is sensitive to temperature extremes. This means that when ice is placed on the rubbery substance, it becomes more solid. This reaction is what will allow us to remove the gum from your carpet with ease.

Note: This method is best used for freshly fallen gum, and it may not work as well with gum that has been embedded in the carpet over time.
  1. Collect some ice and place it in a ziplock bag.
  2. Hold the bag of ice on top of the unwanted gum for a minimum of 5 minutes. The goal is to completely freeze (harden, not just make it cold) the gum.
  3. Begin the removal process by using a dull object — like a spatula or a butter knife — to work at the gum. Ensure that you refrain from using sharp objects as they may fray the carpet fibers in the process.
  4. Start lifting at the edges of the gum, moving towards the center of the gum wad. During this process the gum may crack and break into smaller pieces — this is expected. Avoid pulling or ripping the gum up from the carpet, as this may cause unwanted damage to the carpet fibers.
  5. Most of the gum should be removed by now. If any small, frozen pieces remain, a vacuum cleaner can finish the job and clear your carpet of any debris.
  6. Rinse the area with warm water following the gum removal. When rinsing, it is important to blot the area dry with a paper towel or rag (Avoid towels with any colors or fancy printing - plain white works best).
    (Also, never scrub your problem areas — only blot!).

Remember: This process can take time. It is important to be patient and to work carefully at removing gum from carpet.

If you find that after one attempt the gum was not fully removed, feel free to repeat the steps and redo the routine as many times as you feel is necessary.

Eventually, you should find the gum has been totally removed.

However, there are going to be times in which gum finds itself fully pressed into your carpet or rug after days of being left unnoticed. These situations are much harder to deal with and can prove a challenge to those trying to resolve the issue.

Fortunately, there are still options to recover your carpet and return it to its gum-free condition.

The Use Of White Vinegar To Remove Gum

In instances where the ice method will not work, you may want to try the white vinegar method. Yes — the same white vinegar that has been used for countless generations as a cleaning staple within the household. Not only is this product a valuable disinfectant and odor remover, it can also aid in removing gum from even the toughest of situations. Because this method is natural, it ensures that your carpet is not stained or damaged by the use of harsh chemicals. That means your family and pets stay safe and healthy.

To start the procedure, all you will need is a quarter cup of white vinegar and a colorless cloth or rag. Begin by heating the vinegar in the microwave until warm. Use your cloth or rag to blot — not scrub — the affected area until thoroughly saturated. Once the area has been adequately coated in vinegar, begin gently lifting the gum at the corners, working inward. Again, go slow and be patient, applying more heated vinegar as needed. In a few moments, the gum should be completely removed from your carpet.

The WD-40 Method

When it comes to those really tough and embedded gum mishaps, some have found resolve using the WD-40 method. Simply apply the WD-40 to the gum as close to the underside as possible. Once the solution has set for a minimum of 5 minutes, begin wiping the gum from the carpet in the same direction — continuously — until the gum has lifted from the carpet.

This method has proven to be effective; however, if not cleaned properly the residue from the WD-40 itself can attract dirt to the area and cause discoloration as well as potential staining. Fortunately, the residue can easily be removed through the use of a household degreaser (such as dish soap) and warm water.

If you find yourself in a challenging gum situation, and neither of the methods above provide the resolve you need, please feel free to reach out. I am happy to go over the issue with you and tailor advice specific to your situation.

I'm here to serve you, and I'm always happy to help you with your carpet cleaning needs!

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