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How to remove chewing gum from carpet

Tara Hall by Tara Hall

Chewing gum is notoriously sticky so it’s no wonder dropping it in your carpet can feel like the end of the world. But take a look at these tried-and-tested methods and relax knowing that you stand the best possible chance of getting it out.

Before attempting any kind of cleaning, you should consult your carpet care guide. Different materials and carpet types react in different ways so it’s important to check the following methods are appropriate and won’t damage your flooring.

Ice cube method
Take a plastic bag and fill it with ice. Place this on the chewing gum and leave until frozen solid. Then use a blunt knife to scrape off the gum and dispose of any excess immediately. Repeat the process and remove as much as possible.

If this hasn’t completely removed the chewing gum (there may still be a stain) then try the opposite approach…

Hairdryer method
Heat the area with a hairdryer. Be very careful not the scorch the carpet, particularly if your carpet is made from polypropylene as it may melt. When the gum is softened, pull at the gum with a gloved hand or tweezers. Do this until all of the gum is removed, heating up again if necessary.

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How to remove the remaining residue
Now you’ve removed all the gum itself, you might find there is some remaining residue. To get rid of this, apply either peanut butter or WD40 to the stain and work in with your fingers. Note, before applying anything to your carpet, check the care instructions.

Carefully and without applying too much force, pull on the carpet fibres with a lint-free cloth. Scraping with tweezers might also be helpful. Then when the residue has gone, you’ll need to remove your chosen carpet cleaner.

To do this, add washing up liquid to warm water and blot with a cloth until the area is both free of chewing gum and peanut butter or WD40. Blot with a clean cloth rinsed in warm water, and take away the moisture with another dry, clean cloth.

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