Gum – the nemesis of any clean carpet. As many parents of kids know, gum has a funny way of ending up in all sorts of places, including on your carpet. While it is generally fairly difficult to remove gum from carpet, it becomes increasingly more difficult to remove the longer it is left there. Not only is gum harder to remove after being neglected, it is also likely to be stepped on and pushed deeper into the carpet. Simply pulling the gum out of the carpet can damage the carpet fibers and end up causing a bigger problem than was originally there. Here we’ve compiled a list of techniques to help remove gum from your carpet in a way that will help preserve the fibers and keep it looking pristine.
Freeze Gum to Easily Remove it from Carpet
An easy way to rid your carpet of gum is to freeze the gum. Grab either an ice pack or a bag filled with ice, place it on top of the gum, and leave it there for about 30 minutes. Once you lift the ice the gum should be frozen and hard. Gum that has been cooled becomes more brittle and less sticky, and should lift out of the carpet fibers easier. The best way is to break the cooled gum into pieces and work it out one piece at a time. Be careful not to pull out any fibers while pulling the gum from the carpet. Once the large pieces have been removed, hot soapy water can be worked into the carpet to remove any residues that have been left behind. Once you are finished, blot with clean towels to prevent any residual soap from attracting dust.
Use Heat to Remove Gum from Carpet
First, place a clean cloth over the gum. Then, using a hairdryer, you’ll want to heat the area around the gum to soften it. The gum will then begin to stick to the cloth that is placed over it. One thing you will want to be careful of is over-heating. If the heat source is too hot, the gum could create melt marks in the carpet. Additionally, carpet fibers could overheat and melt. Once the gum has been heated, lift the cloth and continue to blot to remove more pieces. Once you can no longer blot out the gum, pick out the remaining pieces with your fingers. Be careful not to pull too hard on any of the carpet fibers. Finally, use a small amount of soap to remove any leftover residue.
It often works best to use heating and freezing in tandem. Start by freezing the gum and breaking away as many pieces as you can, then heat the gum and continue to blot with your cloth. Repeat as necessary until the gum is no more.
Solvents to Remove Gum from Carpet
Most department stores carry a type of gum/goo remover. Make sure to carefully read the instructions before using the solvent to make sure it is safe to use on carpet. The best technique when using a solvent is to add a small amount to the carpet and gently work it in with a brush. Most solvents will either remove or dissolve the gum, so have either a cloth or vacuum on hand to remove loose pieces. However, make a note that you’ll want to work quickly, as many solvents have harsh chemicals in them that can damage your carpet if used in excess. A wet/dry vacuum can be very helpful in extracting gum after using a solvent, and will help to remove the chemicals of the solvent from the carpet.
Removing Tough Remaining Gum Residue
Even after trying the techniques listed above, there is still the possibility of the gum leaving residue once it has been removed. If you are having trouble removing gum residue from the carpet, try using a small amount of wd-40 to help lubricate and release the gum residue that remains. Follow up with blotting some hot soapy water over the area, and the area should be good as new. Vinegar can also be used to loosen up stubborn pieces of gum, however, it is always best to test a small area before fully committing.
Gum stains may seem like a simple nuisance, but they can be very damaging to the area of carpet it has affected. While the above methods can work, it is possible that attempting to tackle this problem yourself can make things worse. It is always best to schedule an appointment with our carpet cleaning professionals. Clean Earth specializes in all types of spot and stain removal for carpets, without damaging the carpet backing or any of the fibers. For any inquiries, feel free to give us a call at 888-471-6653 or visit our website cleanearthrestorations.com.