How to Remove Gum from Carpet

Chewing gum is a popular candy that comes in a variety of flavors. But after the bubble-blowing fun is over, those sticky wads don’t always find their way into a trashcan. Unfortunately, they sometimes end up on the carpet.

When gum gets stuck on a carpet, it may be tempting to pull out a pair of scissors to cut it away. But, just as if you cut gum out of someone’s hair, you might leave a glaring bald spot behind. And unlike hair, carpet doesn’t grow back.

Thankfully, the experts at Jon-Don have prepared a couple of effective methods for removing stuck-on gum from carpet that you can chew on.

How Does Gum Appear When Stuck on Carpet?

Freshly chewed gum may be pink or white and appear as a hard or sticky blob on carpet. Sometimes, softened gum can be simply scraped away from the carpet fibers using a utility knife without any difficulty or damage.

If, however, the gum has been on the carpet for a while and people have walked over it, it becomes much more challenging to remove. Because it’s so sticky, gum easily grabs onto dirt and grime. Over time, that pink or white blob will turn into a thick, black smear that’s a real eyesore.

You’ll commonly see chewing gum stuck to carpet in places like movie theaters, arcades, retail stores, and schools. Professional carpet cleaners, especially if they do commercial cleaning, should have a plan to tackle this sticky mess. 

How to Remove Gum from Carpet: Step by Step

Gum is hydrophobic, meaning it resists water. So you’ll need a cleaning agent that can break down its sticky binders and make it easier to remove.

Option 1: Matrix® Orange Power Gel

  1. Use a bone spatula to remove loose gum residue.
  2. Apply Matrix® Orange Power Gel undiluted to the area (be careful not to over-apply as this may cause delamination). Work into the spot with the Gum Getter tool.
  3. Rinse the area thoroughly with warm water.

Option 2: Matrix® Citrus Force ASD

  1. Use a bone spatula to remove loose gum residue.
  2. Apply Matrix® Citrus Force ASD undiluted to a spotting towel. Tamp and blot the towel against the spot with a tamping brush. Avoid over-application, as this can cause delamination.
  3. Agitate the spot with the Gum Getter Bone Spatula to loosen and remove the sticky residue.
  4. Rinse the area thoroughly with warm water.

Note: Old, hardened gum may take a couple of applications of either of these methods to remove. If it doesn’t come out the first time, repeat the steps or increase the dwell time.

Considerations to Keep in Mind When Removing Gum from Carpet

Avoid the Urge To Yank

Aggressively pulling at gum stuck in the carpet, especially if it’s old, will assuredly damage the fibers and you may even end up with a bald patch. Work gently and use the proper cleaning solution and tools to get the job done properly.

Use a Freeze Spray on Hardened Gum if You Can

Extra-old, dried gum will often turn black and become very hard. If that’s the case, you may be able to freeze it off using a product like Matrix® Glacier Gum Remover. Simply apply the product to the spot to freeze, then gently scrape it off with the Gum Getter Bone Spatula before cleaning the area as normal. If there’s remaining gum, follow up with either of the cleaning methods outlined above.

FAQs About Gum Stuck in Carpet

Curious about what’s appropriate to use or not to use to get a gum wad out of the carpet? Here are a few quick answers to some common questions about gum removal.

Can You Use White Vinegar To Remove Gum From Carpet?

While white vinegar is a useful cleaning tool around the house, it’s very acidic and has the potential to damage delicate carpet fibers. If there’s no other choice, properly dilute vinegar and test it on an inconspicuous area of the carpet before trying to remove the gum.

How Do You Remove Hard Candy from Carpet?

Removing hard candy is a matter of dissolving the sugar using water and following carpet cleaning best practices thereafter. Once dissolved enough, gently try to remove the piece of candy, scraping any remaining residue with a bone spatula then cleaning the area as normal.

Can You Freeze Gum Off of the Carpet With an Ice Cube?

You can place a couple of ice cubes in a plastic bag and gently press it against the stuck-on gum to freeze it. This should make it brittle enough to gently scrape off the carpet. Keep in mind that freezing gum this way takes significantly longer than using a quick-freeze solution, like Matrix® Glacier Gum Remover.

Will Peanut Butter or Goo Gone Remove a Gum Stain?

Peanut butter is not effective for gum removal from carpet. In fact, it could very likely worsen the problem and create more mess to clean.

As for Goo Gone, it’s a household cleaner used for removing sticky residues. According to the manufacturer, Goo Gone can be used on carpet; however, you should always test products on an inconspicuous area of the carpet before using them. Goo Gone can also leave a residue behind that should be thoroughly cleaned. Do not use this product on silk, leather, suede, rubber, faux stainless steel, drywall, unfinished wood surfaces, or unsealed stone.

Professional Carpet Cleaning Training with Jon-Don

Interested in learning more about professional carpet cleaning? Jon-Don offers a two-day IICRC Carpet Cleaning Technician course that will teach you the science behind carpet cleaning so you can tackle cleaning challenges and carpet stains like a pro. For upcoming classes and to enroll, visit our course page.

Looking for more spot and stain removal tips and guides? Check out our Carpet Spotting and Stain Removal Procedures Library for more expert insight into how to handle even the toughest carpet and upholstery cleaning jobs.

Bone Spatula
Provided by Jon-Don SKU# CA-BS-EA
Matrix® Glacier Gum Remover
Matrix SKU# MX-GCGR...

Starting at $8.53

In stock
Matrix® Orange Power Gel
Matrix SKU# MX-OPGS...

Starting at $12.56

In stock
Gum Getter Bone Spatula
Provided by Jon-Don SKU# CA-GG-EA
Matrix® Citrus Force ASD
Matrix SKU# MX-CFASD...

Starting at $59.84

In stock

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