How to Remove Chewing Gum Stains

It's fun now, but gum stains can really burst your bubble.
It's fun now, but gum stains can really burst your bubble.
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A stick of gum can be relaxing and calming. Of course, that peaceful state of mind­ may end with a sticky stain. When that happens, here's some advice to chew on.

When you get into sticky situations with chewing gum, use the above tips to get you out of them.

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After you identify the affected material, follow the steps on these pages to get rid of that gum stain:

Fabrics

Follow these steps to remove chewing gum stains from fabrics such as Acetate, Acrylic Fabric, Burlap, Carpet/Synthetic, Carpet/Wool, Cotton, Fiberglass, Linen, Modacrylic, Nylon, Olefin, Polyester, Rayon, Silk, Spandex, Triacetate and Wool:

  • Freeze (the method of using ice against the stain to make it easier to remove) until gum gets hard.
  • Carefully scrape (the method of using a scraping tool to gently lift off excess solid or caked-on stains) or rub the matter from the fabric.
  • Sponge with a cleaning fluid.
  • Apply a dry spotter to the stain and cover with an absorbent pad dampened with the dry spotter.
  • Let it stand as long as any stain is being removed.
  • Change the pad as it picks up the stain.
  • Keep the stain and pad moist with the dry spotter.
  • Flush (the method of applying stain remover to loosen staining materials and residue from stain removers) with a dry-cleaning solvent.

If stain remains:

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  • Reapply the dry spotter and cover.
  • Check the stain every 5 minutes and press hard against the stain when you are checking.
  • Continue the alternate soaking and pressing until all the stain has been removed.
  • Flush with the dry-cleaning solvent.
  • Dry.

Household Surfaces

Follow these steps to remove chewing gum stains from household surfaces such as Acrylic Plastic, Aluminum, Asphalt, Paint/Flat, Paint/Gloss, Plexiglas, Polyurethane and Vinyl Clothing:

  • Freeze until gum gets hard.
  • Carefully scrape or rub the substance from the surface.
  • With a clean cloth dipped in warm sudsy water, wipe the surface until all traces of the gum have been removed.
  • Rinse well and wipe dry.

Bamboo and Cane

Follow these steps to remove chewing gum stains from Bamboo and Cane:

  • Freeze until gum gets hard.
  • Carefully scrape any excess.
  • Wipe with a cloth dipped in a solution of warm sudsy water to which a few drops of ammonia have been added.
  • Rinse well and allow to dry.

Felt

Follow these steps to remove chewing gum stains from Felt:

Since felt is not woven, but rather fused together, take every precaution in removing any excess gum as chunks of the felt may come with it.

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  • Freeze to harden the remainder.
  • Gently brush (the method of stain removal using a stiff-bristled brush) with a sponge or fine-bristled brush (such as a toothbrush). This should remove any excess that remains on the surface.

In extreme cases:

  • Very carefully rub a razor blade with the nap. This will remove any stubborn matter, but will also remove some of the felt fibers.

If stain persists:

  • Make a paste of cornmeal and a small amount of water and apply it to the stain.
  • Give it plenty of time to work.
  • When it is dry, carefully brush it off with the nap.

Fur

Follow these steps to remove chewing gum stains from Natural Fur and Synthetic Fur:

  • Take care not to remove the fur when removing the gum.
  • Freeze to harden the remainder and gently rub it with a dry sponge or brush to remove the remaining gum.
  • Very careful treatment with spot remover wipes or disposable cloths, works well.
  • Another effective treatment is to dampen a sponge or cloth in the suds of a mild detergent and wipe in the direction of the nap to remove any sugary residue.
  • Take care not to over-wet the pelt or backing. Allow to air dry.

Leather

Follow these steps to remove chewing gum stains from Leather:

  • Carefully scrape excess gum.
  • Mix a solution of mild soap in lukewarm water.
  • Swish to create a great volume of suds.
  • Apply only the foam with a sponge and scrub gently until matter is removed.
  • Dry with a clean cloth.
  • Follow with leather cleaner or saddle soad to condition the leather.

Linoleum, Vinyl Tile and Vinyl Wallcovering

Follow these steps to remove chewing gum stains from Linoleum, Vinyl Tile and Vinyl Wallcovering:

  • Freeze the gum to harden it.
  • Use a dull tool such as a metal spatula to scrape the brittle matter without gouging the surface.

If there is any residue:

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  • Try rubbing it with a cloth dipped in cleaning fluid.
  • Wipe gingerly, then rub with extra fine (number 000) steel wool.
  • Wash the area and wax when dry.

Suede

Follow these steps to remove chewing gum stains from Suede:

  • Very carefully scrape to remove excess.
  • Gently rub an artgum eraser over the remaining substance.
  • If any stain remains, cautiously rub the spot with an emery board or extra fine (number 000) sandpaper.

You are removing a fine layer of the hide, so work slowly and carefully.

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Wood

Follow these steps to remove chewing gum stains from Wood:

  • Take special precautions in removing any excess so as not to remove any of the finish.
  • Rub gently with a cloth dipped in the suds of hot soapy water.
  • Rub only on the portion that is stained.
  • Rinse by wiping with a cloth dipped in clear water.
  • Wipe dry immediately and polish or wax as usual.