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Last Updated: , Created: Saturday, January 17th, 2004

Removing chewing gum

Do you need to remove chewing gum? It can be found in the strangest places and the removal process will depend on what it is stuck to.

Let's start with gum stuck to the bottom of a chair or table, on a hard surface. If it is still soft, start with a scraper of any kind to push off most of it. If it is extremely hard, start with a chisel and actually shave it off. Trying to remove hardened gum in one big hunk will probably do damage to surface it is stuck to. Once you are down to a thin residue, you can use various solvents to remove the rest. One of the best my staff tried was Super DeGooper. (Don't you just love the names of these products?)

When gum is stuck to a carpet you have probably heard the suggestion using ice cubes to freeze it before trying to scrape it off. That is actually a good suggestion as it will cause gum to get hard and flake off. One trick is to put that ice in a plastic bag so that it doesn't get the rug wet while you are working on the gum. Don't use a sharp scraper on a carpet; the edge of a spoon is probably best. If there is a bit of residue left after doing this, use the same cleaning solvents to remove the colouration, but be sure to test any cleaner first in a corner of the room to see if it will affect the colour of the carpet.

If you have a lot of gum at home, just imagine how much there must be on the floors and under tables in shopping centres. The second photo above shows a special cleaning head that is squirting out a special very hot liquid. This is how hundreds of pieces of gum are removed every day in stores and shopping centres. Daniel Henderson from Unique Building Services in Toronto showed us how it works -- actually they go by the name of the Gum Busters. They can remove gum from concrete, wood, carpet, tile -- just about any surface, quick and easily. First they steam the gum using the heat to soften it up, then they add a cleaning liquid and a bit of brushing -- and move on to the next piece of gum.


Keywords: Floors, Carpet, Cleaning, Rug, Tables, Gum

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