Many people have a bad habit of throwing chewing gum on the floor or ground. It’s not easy to get rid of – especially if it gets stuck on a material such as concrete. It is possible to remove gum stain from concrete; the level of difficulty depends on factors such as the length of time the stain has been there and its level of penetration into the surface.
While it does require some patience, the removal of sticky gum residue from concrete doesn’t have to take all day. Even if you manage to get the gum itself off, there still may be some stickiness left behind.
Here are the steps you need to take to get rid of the gum stain:
It’s a good idea to clean the entire area before you begin. The concrete should be free from dirt and debris.
- Pull off as much of the gum as you can. It’s easier to remove when it’s dry and solid. If it’s still moist, it will be messy to deal with. One method of drying gum is to freeze it with ice. Place an ice cube or two inside of a plastic bag and rub directly onto the chewing gum. The plastic is useful as it acts as a moisture barrier to protect the surface from over-wetting. A freeze-dry aerosol can might be helpful as well.
- When the spot is dry, you must lift it off. Try using a plastic scraper or old credit card. Only use a knife if neither of these works. If you use a knife, gently saw at the edge of the brittle gum until it dislodges from the concrete. Keep re-freezing the gum to ensure that it remains solid.
- After the solid piece of gum is removed, there will still be some stickiness and staining left behind. Some bits and pieces might have broken off and remained on the surface. Spray it with a lubricant like WD-40 and allow it to soak into the gum and the surrounding area. Wait about five minutes, and then use the scraper or putty knife to lift off the remaining residue.
- There still may be a stain left from where the gum penetrated into the concrete. Use vinegar to get rid of the stain. Dip an old toothbrush into a pot of vinegar and scrub the stain.
- Thoroughly wash over the concrete with clean water and let it dry. It’s recommended that you wash concrete with warm water.
Warning: DO NOT try more than one treatment on the same area until the chemicals from the previous attempt have been washed away.
Eliminating Multiple Gum Stains from Concrete
While the aforementioned steps are ideal for removing a single gum stain, the process isn’t ideal for large areas with a lot of gum stains, such as school parking lots, garages, sidewalks, etc. For a large job, powerwashing is always a good choice. If you don’t have one, some companies rent them out. Use hot water at high pressure to dissolve the stubborn gum blobs on concrete. Ideally, choose a washer that is rated anywhere from 2,200 to 3,000 PSI.
Remove Gum Stain from Concrete: Paint Stripper Method
If the gum stain is old and difficult to remove, consider using a paint stripper formulated to work on concrete:
- Make sure you’re using the right kind of stripper. Apply it onto the area with the gum stain, as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Leave the stripper on the gum stain for at least twenty minutes.
- Use a scrub brush or old tooth brush to clean the spot up. The scrub action should hopefully remove the gum stain as well.
- When the gum stain has been removed, wash the concrete thoroughly with a hose. Give it awhile to dry. If there is any stain leftover from the first cycle, try the process again.
Remove Gum Stain from Polished Concrete
If you have stains on your polished concrete countertop or floor, there are a few different approaches for removal. You can still freeze it off with an ice cube wrapped in a plastic bag. However, it’s imperative that you scrape it off as gently as possible; do not risk scratching the polished surface.
To remove the leftover stain, use a mixture of liquid laundry detergent with warm water and soap, which are safe to use in non-porous and porous forms of concrete. All it takes is about two tablespoons of liquid laundry or dishwashing detergent mixed with regular soap and water in a medium sized container. Submerge a clean cloth in the solution and gently scrub the gum stains off the countertop or concrete floor. Repeat the process until the stain is fully gone.
Use concrete specific cleaning products or PH balanced wipes to keep concrete clean. Always be on the lookout for chewing gum and get rid of it immediately before it begins to penetrate through the concrete surface. Fresh gum is a lot easier to deal with.