How to Get Gum Out of the Carpet

If it hasn’t happened to you yet, just wait!

Sooner or later you will be faced with the challenge of removing chewing gum or some other adhesive residue from your carpet.

Most people are intimidated by this prospect, and eventually they just call a dry cleaning carpet company to deal with the situation. However if you like to do it for yourself, the process of removing gum from your carpet is really very simple.

First of all, the method you choose may depend on the conditions you face. For instance, if the gum has been recently deposited on the carpet, it may be necessary to just  freeze it and scrape it off. You can do this by placing a plastic bag with ice over the fresh gum, leaving it there for about 15 minutes until the gum hardens, and then scraping it off with a suitable scraper, like a dull dinner knife or a spatula.

If you have gum that had hardened after residing on your carpet fibers for many days, or if you have the residue of deposits from something like duct tape that had been placed on your carpet to cover electrical wires, for instance, you will need to use some sort of solvent.

There are many household solvents and detergents that have been used successfully to do the job, but unless you are very careful, you may just do more harm to your carpet, and leave residues that will reappear in short shrift.

My recommendation is that you go to a janitorial supplies store and ask for a natural organic solvent containing d-Limonene. These are usually derived from citrus essential oils, and may come as a solution or a gel. Ask for the gel.

Now all you need to do, is put a little of the gel over the gum deposit. Then use a sharp instrument to punch holes or lines into the gum so that the gel may migrate down into it. Leave it there or about 10 to 15 minutes for the reaction to take place, and then using your dull knife or spatula, scrape off the hardened, now brittle, gum deposit.

If necessary, repeat the process. All the gum or adhesive should now come off the carpet fibers.

The final step is to rinse the carpet spot where the gum or adhesive used to be.

The reason why I recommend the gel instead of the liquid gum remover, is that unlike liquids, gels will not soak down to the backing of the carpet and cause de-lamination. It will also remain on the surface of the carpet fibers and thus be much easier to remove completely.

You don’t want to leave solvent residues in your carpet.

Of course, if you prefer, just call in the professionals.

I love to see the amazed expression on the face of some clients after I remove gum that had accumulated on their carpet over a long period of time, and seemed impossible to remove.