The Chewing Gum Dilemma
What happens when gum gets into clothing or other fabric?
We’ve all had this happen.
Walking along and enjoying the day and we notice a bit of stickiness underfoot.
We stop, awkwardly lift the affected foot, and inspect the bottom of our shoe. Yep, there it is. A glob of chewing gum. It has attached itself and has seemed to have taken up permanent residence underfoot.
Getting a bit of gum on the bottom of our shoe may be a common occurrence and yes, it is a little gross as well, considering it spent many minutes in someone’s bacteria-ridden mouth. Hey, we all have bacteria!
But the procedure for removal is easy, as you grab something to scrape it off and no doubt just go about your business, with the friction of the show hitting the ground eventually removing the residue.
However, when gum gets into clothing or other fabric, that’s a different challenge.
Removing gum when it is warm or at room temperature is very challenging. Without special solvents that the professionals use, you might just make a mess of the chore. So you make the best of what you have. And that’s something cold.
With gum on the carpet or an area rug, use an ice cube in a small, zip-lock bag. Rub the ice cube on the gum until it starts to harden and when it seems hard enough, break the gum off the fibers. Just don’t force the issue as you could physically damage the fibers. If you are successful in removing most of the gum, you now need to deal with the residue. A very small amount of dry solvents, such as rubbing alcohol, on a white cloth can help remove the residues. Contact your favorite carpet cleaner for complete advice and to avoid damage.
For clothing or garments, you can be a little more aggressive. Put the affected item in a bag and stick it in the freezer for several hours until completely frozen. Immediately after removing the item from the freezer, break off the gum. Any remaining residue can be removed with typical laundry pre-treatment products and then, of course, put the item in the washing machine. Upon removal, before drying, make sure there is no remaining sticky residue. If there is, use a dry solvent on the spot and wash it again.
Sounds like a lot of work? It is. That’s why when you need anything cleaned, it pays to call a pro!
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