Housekeeping Tips

The Trick to Removing Gum from Carpet

Consider this scenario: This past weekend you hosted a family gathering with everyone from your grandma, your aunts and uncles, to your youngest niece and nephew. Everyone is having a great time catching up and enjoying each other’s company. While the adults congregate in the kitchen, the children are in the spare room getting into some mischief. Finding some bubble gum they decide to have a friendly competition on who could blow the biggest bubble. The bubble blowing contest ends with a nice blob on the carpet and isn’t discovered until the next day. Now that the gum is good and stuck, how do you remove that sticky goo from your carpet fibers?

Here is the trick for removing gum from carpet:

Equipment you’ll need:
  • Gloves
  • Scraper or putty knife
  • Gum remover product such as Goo Gone or similar product, peanut butter, or ice cubes
  • Paper towels and hand towels
  • All-purpose carpet spot cleaner
  • Small bucket filled with cool water
Steps to Remove Gum from Carpeting:
  1. First, put on a pair of cleaning gloves.
  2. Using a scraper or putty knife, remove any loose gum that is not stuck in the carpet fibers. Be careful not to tug too hard on the gum so that you do not accidently remove any carpet fibers.
  3. Apply the gum remover product of your choice to the surface of the gum. Goo Gone and other similar products can work well for this, but other household items like an ice cube or peanut butter can do the trick, too. This step will depend on which type of gum remover you use:
    1. Gum remover product (such as Goo Gone): Apply the gum remover product and allow to rest for a few minutes. It should soften the gum and release it from the carpet fibers. Be sure to follow recommendations on the manufacturer’s label.
    2. Peanut butter: Apply enough peanut butter to cover the gum entirely. Work the peanut butter into the gum with your fingers. The oils in the peanut butter should help to soften the gum.
    3. Ice cubes: Place enough ice cubes on the gum to cover it completely. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, allowing the gum to freeze and harden.
  4. Using the scraper or putty knife, carefully remove the gum from the carpet fibers.
  5. Gently wipe the area with a paper towel to remove any remaining gum.
  6. Blot the area with a hand towel to remove any moisture from the carpet.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 as necessary.
  8. Once the gum is completely removed, spray the area with an all-purpose carpet spot cleaner. Allow the product to absorb into the carpet for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer.
  9. Rinse the area with clean water to remove any spotting chemical residues.
    1. Pour clean, cool water from the cleaning pail onto the spot, covering the entire area. Using a dry hand towel, apply pressure to the spot using your hand to soak up any remaining water.
    2. Repeat process using a dry hand towel until all the moisture is removed.
  10. Remove cleaning gloves and thoroughly wash your hands.