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How to remove chewing gum

Stepped on chewing gum? Don't let it stick around – read our guide to find out how to remove chewing gum from carpets & a variety of surfaces.


Reading Time: 5 minutes


As you’ve probably noticed, chewing gum tends to find its way anywhere you don’t want it to be: walls, floors, windows, doors – even the TV. While these unpleasant messes are often at least partly down to kids forgetting how to dispose of gum correctly, the unfortunate truth is that the stuff is just so sticky that it will attach itself to anything and everything.

If you’re struggling with chewing gum removal, or even getting rid of residual chewing gum stains, the answer to your problem may be simpler than you think: here’s what you need to know about removing chewing gum from carpets, other surfaces, and furniture!

Removing chewing gum from hard surfaces is easier with a good scraping tool, but it’s important to avoid damaging your belongings – try using a rounded metal or plastic spatula. Always scrape away from your body to avoid accidents!

How to remove chewing gum from carpets & other non-washable fabrics

Removing chewing gum from clothing is relatively easy – once you’ve got the gum off, any residual stains can easily be removed in the washing machine using a good detergent. However, for fabrics that you can’t pop in the machine, such as carpets, chewing gum removal can be a bit of a nightmare. There is a knack to removing chewing gum from carpets, however – here’s a simple method you can try.

  1. Start removing chewing gum from carpets and rugs by hardening the chewing gum. You can do this by pressing an ice cube against the gum for a few minutes. You can put the ice in a resealable plastic bag first, to make it easier. You’ll notice that many removal methods and techniques begin with this tactic – when the gum is hard, it’s much easier to lift off surfaces than when it’s soft and flexible.

  2. Once the gum has hardened, very gently start to ease it from the carpet. Don’t rush – if you yank and tug you’ll bring some of the carpet’s fibres off with the gum, so just take it slowly.

  3. To deal with any leftover stains, mix some OMO liquid laundry detergent with some warm water, apply it directly on to the stain, and rub gently. Apply a little more water to flush out the soapy suds.

remove chewing gum

How to Remove Chewing gum on painted walls

While gum can simply be peeled from walls, if you’re dealing with painted interiors rather than papered walls, there is the risk that the paint will peel off along with the gum. There are two methods you can try to reduce this risk, although it doesn’t hurt to keep a small amount of matching paint handy just in case.

  • The first method you can try is to freeze the gum using an ice cube (place it in a resealable plastic bag first, as before) and then gently pick it off, hoping that the paint stays put.

  • Another method works by lubricating the gum and thereby lessening the bond between gum and wall. A cleaning product like HANDY ANDY Power Cream Bathroom Spray could work as a chewing gum remover, as the acidity can work away at the integrity of the gum. As always, it’s important to check the label on your product to ensure that it is suitable for your surface – and test a small, unnoticeable area of your wall before tackling a larger area to be certain. Wipe a small amount of the cleaner on the gum (without freezing it), and gently try to edge it away from the wall. If any stains remain after the gum has been removed, use a regular pencil eraser to gently scrub them off.

How to remove chewing gum from wooden tables

Finding chewing gum stuck to the underside of a wooden table is a remarkably common occurrence if you’ve got teenagers in the house – just think back to when to when you were at school and the desks were covered in old gum. For some mysterious reason, wooden tables just seem like the most obvious place to dispose of gum when you’re younger.

Chewing gum removal from wooden tables can use the same method as before – using ice to freeze the gum. Make sure to place the ice in a resealable plastic bag – water or ice could damage the finish of a wooden surface.

Another method involves using oil to try to loosen the gum – you can use regular cooking oil from your kitchen. Apply the oil to a cloth and rub it into the gum, then onto the surrounding wood. The oil should loosen the bond between the two, helping it to almost slide off. There may be a few small bits remaining – these can be gently picked off.

Many people make the mistake of thinking chewing gum removal is a complete nightmare, but with surfaces it’s actually very easy – certainly much less stressful than trying to get gum out of a child’s hair, for example. Leftover stains can be tackled easily with a decent quality soap or detergent – it’s a piece of cake!

Originally published