Stain Removal for Chewing Gum

When it comes to stain removal for chewing gum, taking the gum itself out of the equation is only half of the battle. Even when the sticky stuff is gone, a stain usually remains behind, the result of any of the many ingredients that make up chewing gum. 

Chewing Gum Stain Removal

Stain Removal for Chewing Gum on Washable Fabrics

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • An Ice Pack or Package of Frozen Vegetables
  • Credit Card or Putty Knife
  • Heavy Duty Liquid Laundry Detergent
  • Liquid Chlorine Bleach/Powdered Oxygen Bleach

Removing a chewing gum stain from washable fabrics is a two-step process.

The first part of the process is removing the gum itself from the fabric, while the second is removing any residual stain that is left behind.

Chewing gum is often colored with food dyes that can transfer to fabrics, and when food dyes are not the problem, the waxy nature of gum can cause an oil stain that can discolor fabrics.

To remove chewing gum stains from washable fabrics, follow the below instructions for your fabric's type.

For washable fabrics that can be washed with chlorine bleach,

  1. Place the fabric item in the freezer for several hours to solidify the gum. If the item is too large or bulky to place in the freezer, place an ice pack or package of frozen vegetables over the chewing gum for several hours until the gum is solidified.
  2. When the gum is solid, scrape it off the fabric using a credit card or putty knife. Pre-treat the stain with heavy duty liquid laundry detergent, working the detergent into the stain.
  3. Fill a washing machine or tub/sink with the hottest water safe for the fabric; add one cup of liquid chlorine bleach to a washing machine, or half a cup for a tub or sink.
  4. Add heavy duty liquid laundry detergent according to label instructions.
  5. Allow the item to soak in the washer or tub/sink several hours or overnight, then wash as usual.
  6. Hang to dry - drying in a dryer could set a stain that is not completely removed permanently.
  7. Check the item to see that the stain is removed; if not, repeat steps 3-6 until the stain is removed.

For washable fabrics unsafe for washing with chlorine bleach,

  1. Follow steps 1 and 2 from the directions for bleach-safe items.
  2. Make a paste of powdered oxygen bleach and water.
  3. Work the paste into the stain, and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse the paste from the fabric; if the stain has not been completely removed, repeat steps 2 and 3 until the stain is gone.
  5. Wash as usual using heavy duty liquid laundry detergent.

Stain Removal for Chewing Gum on Carpets and Upholstery

What You'll Need Before You Start:

  • An Ice Pack or Package of Frozen Vegetables
  • Credit Card or Putty Knife Carpet and/or Upholstery Cleaner
  • Cuticle Scissors
  • Soft Brush (for upholstery)/ Carpet Brush (for carpets)
  • Clean White Cloth

Stain removal for chewing gum when it comes to carpets and upholstery can often be more challenging than for clothing and other fabrics. Removing the chewing gum without damaging the surface can be difficult on textured surfaces like upholstery and carpets, and getting any oil or dye stains out without removing color from the surface can also present problems.

The key to getting the chewing gum out without destroying your carpets and upholstery is to make the gum easy to remove. That means eliminating as much of the sticky, icky qualities that make chewing gum chewy as possible.

Here's how:

  1. Apply the ice pack or frozen vegetables to the chewing gum.
  2. Check it periodically to determine whether the gum has hardened.
  3. On upholstery, use a credit card or putty knife to scrape the hardened gum off the fabric's surface.
  4. For carpets, use cuticle scissors to cut away the gum, cutting the carpet as little as possible. Use the carpet and/or upholstery cleaner as directed on the label to remove any dye, residue or oil left behind after the chewing gum is removed.
  5. Work the carpet/upholstery cleaner into the carpet or upholstery with the appropriate brush.
  6. Wipe with the clean white cloth.
  7. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the stain is removed.

Stain removal for chewing gum isn't instant, but using the right tools and cleaners, you can rescue your washable fabrics, carpets and upholstery from a piece of gum gone rogue.