A car isn’t just a mode of transportation for most people. It is your personal space that needs to be kept clean for healthier day-to-day functioning. A great element of the car that helps keep it clean is the carpet or mat that comes on the floor of your car.
While this carpet is very helpful in keeping the base of your car away from all the dust and grime that can transfer from dirty shoes or pets, it can also be extremely annoying to find out that the carpet has been ruined because of that stray piece of chewing gum that fell out of someone’s mouth or got dragged in with your shoes.
The first reaction may be that of panic, but don’t worry! It is tougher to remove chewing gum than just simply vacuuming stray debris, but it can be done. Here is a handy guide with tricks that you can use to get your car’s carpet back to looking as good as new.
Method One: Freeze It!
The basic rule when it comes to removing any type of stain or spot is to get to it as soon as possible. Similarly, it is relatively easier to remove gum from the carpet if you get to it soon after it falls on the carpet. If it stays on the carpet for longer, there is more of a chance that people will trample all over it or that it will become hard and tougher to remove.
This method will come in useful if you find yourself in a similar situation and are wondering how to get that icky gum out of your car’s carpet.
Start off by taking out a good amount of ice from the freezer. Take a ziplock bag and place the ice in it. You can also use a piece of dry ice. The bag needs to be put directly on the area where the gum has fallen on the carpet. The main objective behind doing this is to harden the chewing gum.
Again, it is important to note that this freezing is most successful when the gum has just been stuck on the carpet and isn’t deep in the carpet fibres. Another point to be noted is that the gum has to be frozen solid and not just cold.
Get a scraping tool like a butter knife or metal spatula to fully scrape the frozen gum off the carpet. Keep in mind that you need to be as gentle as possible as you move the knife in a scraping motion. It should crack and break into fragments so that removal is easy. Repeat the steps if required.
If there is some residue remaining, use a cleaning fluid on a sponge to get it out before covering the gum stain with a clean rag or towel that will soak the excess liquid. Pat dry and you will have a clean car carpet!
Method Two: Use Solvents
For this method, you will need a dry cleaning solvent or a degreaser to help dissolve the polymers of the gum. This means that the chewing gum won’t be as sticky and will come off the car carpet with greater ease.
The solvent can be applied to the gum stain directly or with a cleaning cloth but keep in mind that it is important to test a small amount of solvent on a hidden area so that there is no staining. Give the solvent some time – about 5 to 10 minutes – for it to work its magic.
Now that the gum isn’t sticky anymore, just use a scraping tool like a butter knife to gently remove the gum without causing damage to the fibres. Finally, use a solution of warm water and a little bit of detergent to clean the surface and remove any traces of the gum or the solvent that you used.
Cover with a towel or rag – just make sure it isn’t coloured so that it doesn’t release any pigment and cause more damage. Pat dry!
Method Three: Get Out the Oils
As was the case in the previous hack, it is important to conduct a patch check when you are looking to use any oils on your carpet as some varieties may harm the fibres of the carpet. Also, make sure that there isn’t going to be a huge oil stain that will end up being more problematic than the initial gum stain.
The logic being using oil to remove the stickiness of the gum and letting it come off the car’s carpet with greater ease. The more commonly used oils for this purpose are eucalyptus oil, olive oil or peanut butter. The carpet will have to be cleaned thoroughly after the gum is removed.
When you are applying the oil to the carpet, use a cloth. This is preferred to directly pouring oil on the carpet as it means you’re avoiding an unnecessary mess. Saturate the gum with oil by applying oil with the cleaning cloth repeatedly.
Follow the previously mentioned technique of scraping with a butter knife to lift the gum off the carpet. Wipe the gum off the knife blade each time so that it doesn’t get back on the carpet. Follow up by cleaning the affected area with soapy water and removing the oil that remains on the surface. Then dry the wet area completely.
You can also try using your hairdryer to melt the gum stain but it is important that you monitor it closely so that you aren’t burning any of the carpet fibres. A plastic bag can be used to pick up the gum that has melted and the process should be repeated till it goes away completely!
Is that stray piece of dried gum on your car’s carpet still bothering you? With all the knowledge that you’ve gained after reading this, getting rid of that sticky substance should not be a challenge at all. This means a cleaner car without the unnecessary stress of taking the carpet out to a professional cleaner. Use any of the three methods to get a spotless carpet and I promise you, you won’t have any regrets. It is time for you to take matters into your own hands and save some money along the way!