Your little rascals won’t tell you how or why it happened, but one thing is for certain: that bright pink wad of Bubblelicious is not coming out of your living room rug without a fight. Don’t worry—there’s no need to resort to scissors to fix this cleaning mishap. Here are three easy methods for how to get gum out of carpet.
How to get gum out of carpet with ice
To remove gum from carpet, turn to your freezer, says cleaning expert Mary Marlowe Leverette. This method is particularly effective if the sticky stuff has landed on your mat in one solid piece (as opposed to gum that has been smushed deep into the fibers after your toddler trampled on it a couple of times). Here’s what to do.
1. Place a few ice cubes in a sealed plastic bag, and set it onto the gum stain for a couple of minutes to freeze and harden the gum.
2. Then use a very dull knife or a spoon to gently scrape off the gum, removing as much as possible. You may be able to get rid of all the gum using this method, or you may need to call for reinforcements (see below).
How to get gum out of carpet with vinegar
For gum that’s especially embedded into the carpet, try this method from Leverette.
1. Mix a solution of 1/2 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and 1/4 cup white vinegar.
2. Use a soft-bristled brush to work a very small amount of the solution into the stain.
3. Let the solution sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then blot it up with a clean white cloth dipped in plain water.
4. Keep blotting with a clean area of the cloth until no more solution or residue is transferred to the cloth.
5. Allow the carpet fibers to air-dry completely, then vacuum the fabric or carpet to fluff the fibers. Easy-peasy.
How to get gum out of carpet with a blow-dryer and deep-heating rub
The experts at the International Chewing Gum Association (yep, it’s a real thing) recommend the following steps to remove the sticky stuff from your living room rug.
1. First, try using the ice method to remove any excess gum off your carpet.
2. Then heat the remaining gum on your carpet with a blow dryer for one to two minutes. This will help the gum return to its sticky state.
3. Using a plastic sandwich bag, remove as much gum as possible (the now pliable texture of the gum means it should stick to the bag). You may have to apply more heat if the gum hardens.
4. Continue to use the plastic bags to remove the gum.
According to the gum pros, this process should lift 80 percent of the gum from your rug. They then recommend using a “deep heating rub” to remove the rest. We reached out the organization to see exactly what kind of product they’re talking about but have yet to hear back. Some home experts recommend using WD40 on the gum or a carpet cleaning solution, but we suggest trying the vinegar method mentioned above. Good luck! (And maybe don’t buy your kids any more Bubblelicious for a while.)