COIT's Guide to Removing Gum Stains
Gum stains aren’t the easiest stains in the world to tackle. But just because you encounter gum spots in your home, doesn’t mean you can’t get rid of them. It’s not as hard as you think to get your home’s surfaces back to normal. Coit offers some do-it-yourself techniques to help with gum stain removal.
The History of Gum
Before we jump into Coit’s specific gum stain removal techniques, it’s interesting to note how gum came to be. So the next time you encounter a few gum spots, you’ll know a bit more about where gum originated. The first signs of gum were actually in Ancient Greece. Greeks chewed mastiche, which is made from mastic tree resin. The Mayans also loved gum, as they chewed sap that came from sapodilla trees. Modern-day gum has obviously evolved from the days of tree sap, as there are countless types of chewing and bubble gum, in all kinds of flavors, to choose from.
What is Gum Made Of?
To understand how to remove gum stains, let’s take a look at the ingredients of gum.
The basic ingredients in your average gum spots are:
- Gum base
For many years, chicle was the main ingredient in gum base. Modern-day chewing gum actually uses rubber as the main ingredient now. This rubber is actually a synthetic rubber that chemists learned how to make in the mid 1990’s.
The softeners in gum are made of vegetable oil or glycerin. The purpose of the softener is to make sure the gum stays chewable.
Most people probably wouldn’t want to chew gum that didn’t have a little sweet kick to it. Sweetener is added to keep consumers with a sweet tooth happy. The sweetener can be natural or synthetic, depending on the type of gum. Natural sweeteners like sugar, beet juice, and corn syrup can be found in gum, while synthetic sweeteners like aspartame and sorbitol are also common.
The various flavorings that are added to gum, like peppermint, spearmint, and fruit, can also be both natural or synthetic. When gum is being manufactured, flavoring is the final ingredient that’s added.
There is often a small amount of preservatives used in gum. The main reason that gum manufacturers use preservatives is to keep the gum fresh.
In the US alone, 2 billion dollars worth of gum is sold every year. Approximately 374 trillion sticks of gums are produced! Now the next time you see gum spots, remember that there’s a 35% chance that it’s manufactured by Wrigley. Wrigley has countless brands that are sold all around the world, though there are also 115 other competing chewing gum companies. And if you’re looking to get some extra exercise, chewing gum actually burns 11 calories per hour!
Gum Stain Removal
When you’re wondering how to remove gum stains, it’s important to remember that the sooner you act, the better. Once gum gets stuck onto the surface, it will be more difficult to remove. Coit offers a step-by-step guide to answer the question of how to remove gum stains that will keep gum spots under control.
COIT’s Guide to Removing Gum Stains from Carpet
There’s nothing quite like discovering a glorious gum stain on your freshly cleaned carpet, is there? With the hustle and bustle of daily life, there’s no telling when a gum stain will cross your path. But when it does, don’t panic! Coit offers this handy guide that will help you remove gum from carpet.
How to Get Gum Out of Carpet – Method # 1
Like most stains, when you try to remove gum from carpet, your best bet is to do so as soon as possible. The longer the gum stain sits in your carpet, the harder it may be to remove
Give this do-it-yourself method a shot the next time you’re wondering how to get gum out of carpet:
- Place a few handfuls of ice in a zip lock bag.
- Put the bag of ice directly onto the gum stain. This will harden the gum so it’s easier to remove gum from carpet.
- Use a scraping tool to fully scrape the gum from the carpet.
- Sponge the gum stain directly with cleaning fluid such as 409.
- Cover the gum stain with a clean white towel or rag to soak up any remaining liquid and continue patting dry.
How to Remove Gum from Carpet – Method # 2
Another approach to answering the question of how to get gum out of carpet is simple. Grab some WD-40, a fingernail brush, and spray detergent or a degreaser. Follow the steps below.
- Spray a generous amount of WD40 directly onto the gum stain.
- After applying the WD40, let the stain sit for a few minutes.
- Use the fingernail brush to remove the stain, scrubbing the gum stain in the same direction (choose right to left or left to right – just continue in the same motion you start).
- Keep applying WD40, followed by a vigorous scrub with the brush.
- Repeat as necessary.
- To clean the area, spray the detergent/degreaser directly onto the affected area.
- Rinse a clean sponge with warm water and apply the sponge to the carpet.
- Gently clean the area until the stain is no longer visible.
How to Get Gum Out of Carpet– Method # 3
Your hairdryer will actually come in handy for method 3 when you’re wondering how to remove gum from carpet.
- As soon as you discover the gum stain, grab your hairdryer and aim it directly onto the gum.
- Watch the gum carefully, as you don’t want to melt the carpet fibers.
- Once you see that the gum is beginning to melt, use a plastic bag to scrape up the melted gum. Upon contact, the gum should stick to the plastic to help you remove it.
- Continue until the stain disappears.
So the next time you encounter a sticky situation, remember that Coit offers three simple ways to answer the question of how to remove gum from carpet.
Remember to always do a spot removal test on a portion of carpet or upholstery that is normally not visible.
These are suggested treatments only and COIT can't be held accountable for any damage sustained by the use of the treatments in this spot removal guide.
COIT’s Guide to Removing Gum Stains from Upholstery
When it comes to keeping upholstery clean, it’s no easy task. With the wear and tear of daily life, the upholstery that covers furniture is bound to need a cleaning every once in a while. On top of that, with your busy schedule, it’s hard to find time to deep clean stains, right?
So what do you do when yesterday’s gum ends up stuck to your new sofa? Have no fear – with a little help from COIT, you’ll learn a few do-it-yourself ways to remove gum from furniture. Check out these methods below.
How to Remove Gum from Upholstery – Method # 1
The first do-it-yourself method that will help you remove gum from upholstery involves a can of compressed air, a dishcloth, and some dish soap, as well as a scraper or butter knife.
- Upon encountering gum that’s stuck on your upholstery, try to act as quickly as possible to prevent the gum from sticking.
- Using the can of compressed air, spray directly onto the gum until it freezes.
- Using a butter knife, scrape the gum off of the upholstery. The gum should break into pieces as you scrape it off, so you may want to have a tissue handy to catch any of it that may fall away.
- Using a handheld vacuum, vacuum any remaining gum residue away.
- Take a cloth soaked in warm, soapy water and apply it directly to the affected area of the upholstery. Doing so will clean the surface and remove any remaining gum.
- Place a fan in front of the upholstery to dry the stain.
How to Remove Gum from Furniture – Method # 2
If you’ve tried that and you’re still wondering how to remove gum from upholstery, here is another at-home method you can try.
- Cut a piece of duct tape.
- Place the sticky side of the duct tape directly onto the gum and pull away.
- Keep repeating until the gum has lifted off the upholstery.
Remove Gum from Furniture – Method # 3
If you find that there is still gum residue on the upholstery, here is another answer to the question of how to remove gum from upholstery.
- Grab a clean microfiber cloth.
- Pour a generous amount of solvent-based tar and adhesive remover directly onto the microfiber cloth.
- Before you apply to the affected area, test a small part of the upholstery to make sure the solution doesn’t cause discoloration.
- Once you apply the cloth to the solution (after testing), put pressure on the area in a circular motion.
- Follow this procedure up by cleaning the affected area with upholstery cleaner.
If these do-it-yourself stain removal procedures still leave you wondering how to remove gum from upholstery, you may want to consider investing in professional upholstery cleaning. Coit offers a variety of specialized services that are specifically designed to refresh and revive your home’s furniture.
Remember to always do a spot removal test on a portion of carpet or upholstery that is normally not visible. These are suggested treatments only and COIT can't be held accountable for any damage sustained by the use of the treatments in this spot removal guide.