If you have children, then you know what a mess they can make in your house. And possibly the worst possible thing to have get into your carpet is chewing-gum. But you don’t have to panic, says Christopher Meyers from Christopher’s in Merrifield, Virginia, who’s put together a step-by-step video to show you exactly how to remove the gum from your carpet.
Meyers starts with a piece of well-chewed bubblegum on his demonstration carpet and pushes it in… grinding it slightly, the way it would happen if someone were to step on it. Sound familiar?
Use a spoon
The first tool that you want, oddly enough, is a simple spoon from your kitchen. Use the rounded side of the spoon to remove what chewing gum you can. You’ll be surprised to find that some of it will come off in this step.
But be careful, Meyers warns, because you can get too enthusiastic with this step and you can pull fibers out along with the gum. What you want to do is pry as much of the gum as you can gently away from the carpet, and make sure that none of
the carpet is coming along for the ride. What that would do is create a fuzzy spot on the carpet, which will be unattractive and you’ll forever be reminding your kids of why your carpet doesn’t look great. Save your family relationships by being careful at this stage!
If the gum isn’t cooperating with you and isn’t releasing from the carpet, don’t keep going: if it doesn’t happen at first, it won’t happen at all. One option at this point is to call in a professional. That’s what a lot of people do and it ensures that the job will be done well and that your carpet won’t be damaged.
Ice works too
Once you’ve gotten as much of the gum removed (using your spoon) as you can, it’s time to move on to the next stage. Locate a small screwdriver (the one on a pocket knife will work) and an ice cube. Put the ice cube inside a food handling glove to protect both your hand and the carpet (as the ice melts from the warmth of your hand, the water may damage the carpet still more!).
What the ice cube will do is harden the gum. Part of the reason that it’s gotten matted into your carpet is that it’s sticky, and it stays sticky as long as it stays warm. So creating cold will remove that stickiness. Just hold the ice cube as closely against the chewing gum as you can. And while you’re doing that, with your other hand, use the small screwdriver to pry the gum away from the carpet. The demonstration carpet is looped pile and Meyers shows how he’s doing it gently, again without pulling the fibers away along with the chewing gum. (A few will probably come anyway; try and keep them to a minimum.)
Then on to the scissors
So by now you should be seeing some improvement. At this point you’re going to take a pair of scissors and snip off the gum, keeping the scissors flat against the top of the carpet. This should remove just about all of the gum. Use the blade to cut out any remaining bits that are clinging on. Be patient and be thorough.
Clean it up
Unless you’re dealing with sugar-free gum (and even if you are), the final step needs to be detergent. Why? Because gum has sugar and sugar attracts dirt. Make sure that you always have a detergent on hand that’s appropriate for your carpet (the manufacturer can advise you as to which one is right), and apply some of the detergent to the spot where the gum was. Take a white absorbent towel and blot it, and keep blotting until you’ve got all the moisture and detergent up.
So the demonstration procedure was successful and Meyers got all the gum out of his carpet. But, he notes, his demonstration carpet is a looped pile carpet—which means that the pile has been pressed down by all the blotting with the towel. Your final step, therefore, is to get a spoon from your kitchen and insert its rounded edge between either the carpet fibers or (as in this case) the carpet pile loops. All you have to do now is press them one way and then the other, in one direction and then in another direction. What this does is lift them. Do this for a while, also, until the area you cleaned matches the rest of the carpet both in looks and in the way it feels.