Have you ever gotten gum stuck in your carpet? I haven’t (Silly Putty yes, but not gum). Still, I wouldn’t know what to do if I found a wad of gum smashed into my carpet – probably run for the scissors to cut it out. And then maybe stab whoever dropped the gum.
Here are some tips I found in an article on the ICS Cleaning Specialist website about removing gum and adhesives from carpet. The tips come from Doug Berjer, Marketing Manager for CFR, a manufacturer of commercial carpet cleaning equipment and solutions.
This information is meant for professional cleaners who deal with big facilities like schools, theaters and hotels, but it will work for you at home as well. Mr. Berjer says that removing gum and other sticky stuff is challenging because it can reappear, sometimes days after you thought it was removed and gone. This is because some of the sticky residue remains in the carpet.
4 Steps for Removing Gum from Carpet
- Scrape: Scrape off as much of the gum/adhesive as possible. Freezing the gum and “chipping” it off is also an option.
- Heat: After scraping the matter from the carpet, a sticky residue usually remains. Often this can be removed with hot-water carpet extraction or steam vapor applied over an absorbent towel (the residue transfers to the towel).
- Chemicals: Either a non-volatile dry solvent, a volatile dry solvent, or a gel solvent can be used to remove any remaining residue. Allow for dwell time, and then agitate the area using a scraper. This works the solvent into the residue. Rinse with hot water and detergent.
- Other: Other options include placing a paper towel directly on the adhesive. Then place a clean cloth over the paper towel and iron over it until all the adhesive is lifted onto the paper towel. Sometimes applying a cloth soaked in water and vinegar and placing it on the problem area overnight may also remove the adhesive.