How to Remove Gum Stains From Various Surfaces

Updated February 16, 2022
Hand removing sticky chewing gum from black textile

Snapping on a piece of gum is all fun and games until it ends up in your carpet. You might think that gum is the stuff of nightmares when it comes to cleaning. But it's easier to remove than you think. With a bit of cold and a little ingenuity, you can get gum out of any surface with minimal effort.

Remove Gum Stains From Fabrics and Home

Chewing Gum on the carpet

Chewing gum is a great sweet treat that's fun to chew on. But if it gets out of your mouth and into your home, the gum base creates a sticky mess. This is especially true for gum that has gone through the dryer. Thankfully, you can use multiple successful ways to get gum from your clothing and anywhere else with everything from ice to acetone. Get the deets on how to remove gum stains from various other surfaces with a few materials around your home.

  • Olive oil
  • Ice pack
  • Plastic spatula
  • Spoon
  • Microfiber cloth
  • White vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Soft bristle brush or toothbrush
  • WD-40 (also works to remove tape residue)
  • Acetone
  • Duct tape
  • Leather soap
  • Mousse
  • Comb

How to Remove Gum Stains From Carpets

The problem with gum is it gets everywhere, especially if someone stepped in it. When it gets all over your carpet, get them clean with a bit of ice.

  1. Place an ice pack over the gum for 5-10 minutes to harden it.
  2. Take the spoon and scrape away as much gum as you can. The shape of the spoon can help you scoop into those fibers.
  3. Create a mixture of equal parts dish soap and vinegar, or use WD-40.
  4. Apply the cleaner to the area.
  5. Scrub the area.
  6. Allow it to sit for 10 or so minutes.
  7. Take a damp cloth and blot the area until the cleaner is gone.
  8. Allow the carpet to dry.

Gum Stain Removal From Upholstery and Mattresses

Did you notice a bit of gum on your couch? Don't let it sit. Instead, you need to act fast. The method you used for cleaning the carpet can also work on the couch. You can also try a bit of duct tape.

  1. Cut a piece of duct tape.
  2. Put the sticky side over the couch stain.
  3. Pull up the gum.
  4. Repeat until all the pieces of the gum are gone.
  5. Add a bit of soap and water to a cloth.
  6. Rub the area until any residue is gone.
  7. Allow it to dry.

Steps to Get Gum Stains From Leather

Gum is notorious for getting on everything. For example, you can transfer the gum from your couch onto your leather jacket just by sitting down. Now you have two stains to deal with. Don't worry, just grab a bit of soap to clean the leather.

  1. Put ice on the gum for a few minutes.
  2. Use a spatula to pry the gum away. Be careful not to use for so you don't scratch the leather.
  3. Add a bit of leather soap to a cloth.
  4. Buff the area until all the gum residue is gone.

Get Gum Stains Out of Shoes Easily

The sole of shoes is a popular place to find gum, whether you stepped in a bit outside or from your kindergartener spitting it out on the floor. Either way, you can try a little acetone to remove it.

  1. Apply a bit of acetone directly to the gum.
  2. Allow it to sit for a few minutes.
  3. Pry the gum off with a toothbrush.
  4. Wash the area with soap and water.

If you have leather or suede shoes, you might want to use a gentler cleaner like white vinegar or soap and water to remove the remaining residue.

How to Remove Gum From Metal

When removing gum from a stainless steel surface like a refrigerator or a stove, you don't want to use metal to pry it off because this could leave scratches and gouges in the finish. Instead, you want to reach for a bit of olive oil.

  1. Pour olive oil on and around the gum.
  2. Allow it to penetrate the surface for a minute or two.
  3. Use a rubber spatula to gently pry the gum away.
  4. Buff with a microfiber cloth to buff away any remaining residue and shine the stainless steel.

Get Gum Stains Off Hardwood Floors

Much like carpet, gum gets tracked onto your hardwood floors pretty easily. But you don't want to disrupt the finish of your floors.

  1. Create a mixture of ice water and a few drops of dish soap.
  2. Work this over the gum for a few minutes with a toothbrush.
  3. Use a spatula to scrape up the hardened gum.
  4. Use the soapy toothbrush to remove any remaining residue.
  5. Wipe with a clean cloth and dry.

Get Gum Out of Hair

Gum in hair is irritating. However, it's like a rite of passage if you have children. There will be at least one moment when you pull gum from their hair. You can use a few different methods, but a good one requires a bit of mousse and a comb.

  1. Coat the hair in the mousse.
  2. Allow it to sit for a minute.
  3. Comb down the length of the hair.
  4. Wash hair as normal.

Tips for Removing Gum Stains

When it comes to removing gum stains from your home and hair, you might be at a loss of what to do. Check out a few tips for getting gum out successfully.

  • Don't panic. Gum is relatively easy to remove with patience.
  • Don't immediately start pulling on the gum. This can create more of a mess.
  • If in doubt, get the gum cold. This makes it hard and less sticky.
  • Try canned air to freeze the gum if you don't have ice.
  • Always test the cleaner on a discrete area to make sure it's not going to affect the color of your carpet, upholstery, or clothes.
  • For stubborn gum, try an adhesive cleaner like Goo Gone

How to Remove Gum Stains With Ease

The moment you spot gum on your couch or floor, you might start to freak. But actually, gum can be removed pretty easily with a few home remedies and a bit of perseverance. If you're in the mood to get rid of other types of residue, learn how to clean sticky rubber.

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How to Remove Gum Stains From Various Surfaces