If you have kids, there’s no telling when you will stumble across an old gum stain on your carpet. Out of all the stains you may have to deal with. Chewing gum is probably the worst. It’s sticky and therefore hard to remove on surfaces such as the soft fibers of a carpet.
Chewing gums have a pliable texture, and they easily bond with carpet fibers. The longer a chewing gum stain stays on your carpet, the stronger the bond it forms with the fibers. If you have recently discovered an old gum stain on your carpet, here is a quick guide on how to remove it.
Steps to Remove Old Gum from Carpet
For old gum stains, we will use the hairdryer method. Most of you are probably accustomed to the ice pack method, but that is only ideal for fresh gum stains. Old gum has already dried and bonded to the carpet fibers. An ice pack won’t be of much help since it will harden the gum instead of loosening it up.
What You Will Need
A plastic bag
A strong carpet cleaner
A small brush
Step 1 – Turn on the Hairdryer and Point It at the Gum Stain
The heat from the hairdryer should loosen up an old gum stain that has dried up on your carpet. It is important to be careful with the hairdryer. Hold it a few inches away from the gum, and make sure you check the condition of the stain. The minute the gum softens up, stop and move on to step two.
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Step 2 – Scoop the Old Gum with a Plastic Bag
As soon as the gum loosens up and starts to melt, scoop it off with a plastic bag. A plastic bag should stick to the gum and enable you to pull it off from the carpet fibers. You may not get all the gum out in one go. Feel free to repeat these two steps severally till most of the gum is removed.
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Step 3 – Clean the Residue
If the gum has been on your carpet for a while, it won’t come off without a fight. Some residue will be left behind after the above steps. However, it shouldn’t be a match for a strong carpet cleaner. Pour some carpet cleaner on the stain and agitate the residue with a brush. Clean until the stain is gone.
Step 4 – Rinse and Dry the Area
You can then finish your project by rinsing the stain and drying out the excess moisture using paper towels.
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What Dissolves Gum in Carpet?
Even though the heat from a hairdryer can loosen these stains, there are instances when you may need the help of a strong solvent. Here is a list of ingredients that can dissolve old gum stains;
- WD-40 – This penetrating oil can dissolve gum stains and loosen them up from the carpet fibers. If a hairdryer proves ineffective, you can spray WD-40 on a gum stain, let it sit for a while, and then scrape it off.
- Acetone – It’s a clear and colorless solvent commonly found in nail polish remover. This, too, can dissolve old gum stains on a carpet. Be careful with acetone as it can discolor carpet fibers.
- Rubbing Alcohol – If you are interested in a product that will quickly break down polymers of gum particles, rubbing alcohol is an excellent choice.
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Removing old gum from a carpet requires patience, and you may have to use several techniques. You could start with the hairdryer method, and if the gum stains are stubborn, you can introduce rubbing alcohol and WD-40, which will dissolve and make it easier to remove.