What’s worse than finding a stain on your sofa, a cushion or on a favourite rug? Finding a sticky piece of chewing gum stuck to it! If you’re lucky, you may be able to simply peel it off – but what do you do when it won’t budge and has caused a sticky mess?
Luckily, it’s not quite as bad as it looks. Once you’ve finished telling the kids off about causing the mess and inconvenience in the first place, here’s the best way to approach a chewing gum incident on your home’s upholstery fabrics and carpets.
1. First off, try to remove as much of the gum as you can. Try scraping it off using a blunt knife edge and without damaging the fabric. Be gentle and don’t tug or stretch the fabric.
2. Chewing gum will come off much more easily when it’s hard and brittle, so a handy tip is to use ice to cool the area. If a cushion or a small item is affected, you could simply pop into the freezer. On bigger areas, put some ice cubes in a thick plastic bag and place this onto the gummy area until it has hardened. Make sure the plastic is not too thin, otherwise it is likely to stick to the gum, making the problem worse! If you don’t have a plastic bag to hand, you can try applying the ice directly to the chewing gum; however you don’t want it to drop onto the upholstery fabric or gum.
3. Once all the chewing gum has been removed, you will be left with nothing more but a stain, which should be straightforward to tackle.
4. Using a clean cloth or paper towel, sponge or dab the area with a dry cleaning solution or a proprietary chewing gum remover that is safe to use on upholstery. Do check the solution on an inconspicuous area first to make sure it is safe to use on that particular fabric and does not harm or discolour it.
5. Blot the stain until the solvent is absorbed, and repeat Steps 4 and 5 until the stain has been removed from the item inn question – sofa, chair, carpet or rug.
6. If stain removal has not been entirely successful, then follow this procedure: Mix a solution of warm water and a tablespoon of washing up liquid or laundry detergent, adding a tablespoon of white vinegar.
7. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the chewing gum stain with the soapy solution, then blot until the liquid has gone. Repeat until the stain has been completely removed from upholstery or carpets. Be careful not to over-wet the area any more than necessary.
8. Using clean, cold water and a fresh white cloth, sponge the treated area to remove the remainder of the soapy solution, then blot dry.
Article written by Sara Louisa Bryant, independent content writer for Apple Clean, who were consulted over the content provided.