Friday, 1 July 2011

How to get chewing gum out of carpets

I know, totally gross. We've lived in our house since January 2010 and when we moved in there were some spots of old black chewing gum on our nice mangy old cream carpet.

So, I did what any girl would do...ignored them! Until I found the Ask Anna blog and followed her oven cleaning tips and realised she knew her stuff! Who better to ask than ask Anna?!

Anyhoo, so I asked her and I'm not surprised that the answer she came back with was I've never been dirty enough to have chewing gum on my carpet!

"Thank you for this question!  I actually don't have any personal experience with getting gum out of carpet and I wasn't able to find any clear answers online.  I did find a couple answers that I like and would try if it were my carpets.  I think they will be helpful for you."

So, I followed the link and tried the suggestions. Now I'm telling you so that you need never have crusty old chewing gum on your cream carpet!

First method:
"Peanut Butter! If you get gum in your hair, on your clothes, or in your carpet, definitely peanut butter is the way to get it off. The oils in the PB break down the sticky-ness of the gum and make it a snap to remove. Oh, then use regular old carpet cleaner or a 1 part vinegar to 1/2 part soap & water solution (1 cups of vinegar to 1/2 cup of soapy water) to clean the peanut butter residue. Good luck!"

I don't have peanut butter....urm...try lovely lady next door. Nope, she doesn't have any either. In fact she's never even tried peanut butter! Hmm, ok, well we'll move on and I can't tell you if this works or not!

Second method:
"You can try taking ice cubes and put it on the gum to try and freeze it or at least harden it, then the gum should almost break off the rug. Just keep putting ice on to keep the gum cold and it will harden."

So, I got me a little baggie of ice and laid it on the chewing gum on the carpet. Oh, this would be a good time for a pic....*goes back to the start and adds pics in*
While that's freezing I went onto the third method but to save my head exploding I'll pretend we've fast forwarded 15 minutes and tell you what happened when I took the ice off the chewing gum.

Nothing had happened. I rubbed a bit of laundry liquid onto it to see if that would do anything. (It wasn't mentioned on the tips, I was freestylin' it at that point!)
It didn't do anything either.  So I guess unless you can put the item that has chewing gum on into the freezer, it's not gonna work.

Third method:
"I've been told olive oil will remove gum also."

That's it, the sum total of the third method....hopeful much?

Anyway, so I thought in for a penny in for a pound.
The two opponents squaring up
I got some kitchen towel and dabbed a bit of oil onto it.
It was at this point my husband looked over and said 'You're not actually going to put that on the carpet are you?!'. 'Urm, yes dear Dusband' was my reply. Men eh?
After the first two swipes the chewing gum looked like this:
 Then I swapped to a J cloth and scrubbed a little (with more oil of course, it seems to soak in and disappear!)
I attempted to add more oil to the gum and..urm...take it from me, don't pour.....just dab gently even if it does take a million dabs!
Oops! Anyway, then it was time for DIY knife. I love my DIY knife, we're tight. I've carried him from move to move with me and he's been invaluable for cleaning under skirting boards, fastening screws, scraping things, opening things. There's nothing this knife can't do. Except be found. Never mind, I used a nice shiny posho knife instead hoping Dusband would glance and assume it was DIY knife!
Anyway, so I gently scraped just to get the oil really into the fibres and then I rubbed it again a couple of times gently like a woman possessed. Here's what it looked like when I'd finished.
Cue angels singing, sunlight streaming onto my face, upturned basking in the glory of chewing gum out of the carpet. It worked! Dusband and I were both so amazed that if we hadn't actually done it ourselves (one of us from a purely spectator position) then we wouldn't have believed it!
However, remember that big oil spill?
Urm, yeah, great. So I did what any normal sane person would do. I got the bicarb soda out to soak it up.
I rubbed it in.
I hoovered it up, then I got a bit of laundry liquid, rubbed it into the oil patch then using an ice cube from method 2 (I was too lazy to go downstairs and get real water) I rubbed the laundry liquid and ice cube until that patch of carpet came clean.
It's still wet here and it has dried nicely. The only issue I do have is that all this rubbing has lifted the pile of the carpet so this patch looks new! Who woulda thunk it?
Anyway, so the first patch that didn't work with the ice? I oil'd that too.
Before

Two swipes

A few swipes

A few more scrubs

Time for un DIY knife!

Amazing right?
Anyway, so then I got some laundry liquid and some ice and 'washed' that little patch and here's the after.
Hurray! Finally, a definitive answer of how to get chewing gum out of carpets. Thanks Anna!
p.s. I do realise I somehow managed to get my after photo a bit higher than my before....back to picnik I go!
Ah, that's better...the miracles of modern technology!

Anyway, I'll share this with Anna so she can tell the world of the oil!

I might also link up to the following parties:








13 comments:

  1. That's awesome! I'm so glad you found something that worked and that I was able to learn a new trick. :) Make sure you link this up to my party on Monday!

    Anna
    www.askannamoseley.com

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  2. It worked! I will need this someday I'm sure!

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  3. Brilliant! I would love it if you would link up to my Tuesday Confessional link party going on now: http://www.craftyconfessions.com/2011/07/tuesday-confessional-link-up-2.html. I hope to see you soon!
    ~Macy from Confessions of a SAHM

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  4. I love the personality in this post. A little comic relief will do us all good. :)

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  5. Thanks Stephanie, I just write how I think...scary though that is sometimes! x

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  6. Wow, that’s superb, Stephanie! Good thing you only have two spots on the carpet. Imagine if it is five or more; it will be too laborious, dabbing olive oil, scraping using a knife, and soaking with baking soda in every spots!
    Lyda Tavorn

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  7. That’s true, Lyda. But I guess it’s next to impossible to have five or more spots in just a single day; unless it’s done by the whole family on purpose. Haha! But I think it would be better if you dust it off with sand, so that it would stick to the gum and removal will be easier.

    Deidra @MinuteManIntl.com

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  8. Thank you so much! This worked perfectly for me!

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  9. I think it’s not necessary that it should be olive oil. You can also try others that are available in your kitchen. A drop of kerosene also works. It really feels good that you can find remedies from your household/kitchen stocks. Better yet, you can still ask for professional help if you think you need some.

    Tripp @HeirloomRug-Cleaning-Daytona.com

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  10. Tripp’s got a point. Kerosene’s also a good remedy for stuck chewing gum. I’ve already tried it and it’s really effective. Just scrub the gum with a cube of ice to harden it. Then, drop a little amount of kerosene to let the gum slide off the fabric.

    Katherine Perry

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  11. We've just done this at home. Life saver! Our landlord need never know...

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  12. Finally, I found this tips on your blog. I have a carpet and there was a lot of chewing gum on it. Now, I can now clean this by the help of your post. And for those who has a big office or shop, you can hired this abattoir and meat shop cleaning Perth service because I tried to hired them on my meat shop and I'm not fail to choose them.

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