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The 1 trick to know for removing chewing gum from your clothes or carpet

Got kids who like chewing gum? Then you might find yourself picking up the sticky substance when it accidentally gets stuck on furniture and clothes at home. So what's one to do when you find gum on a pair of slacks or tracked onto our carpet? Just cool it …literally, just use some ice. Our experts will tell you how it works.

How to remove gum from washable clothing

Brian Sansoni of American Cleaning Institute offers this easy solution.

  • Apply ice or cold water to harden the gum, then scrape it off with a dull knife.
  • To remove any residue, saturate the spot with a prewash stain remover or dry cleaning solvent, following package directions.
  • Rinse.
  • When all gum is gone, launder as usual.
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How to remove gum from upholstery (Silk, antique and vintage upholstery should be professionally cleaned.)

Michael Jacobs of Service Pros Local reaches for ice to remove gum from upholstery.

  • Freeze the gum using an ice cube wrapped in a plastic bag. That way, no water gets on the upholstery.
  • Using a dull knife, gently scrape off the frozen gum.
  • To remove stubborn residue, use an adhesive remover (like Pros Choice Pro-Solve Gel) following package directions. (Test it first in an inconspicuous spot to make sure there’s no color change.)
  • Wash the spot clean by lightly dabbing with a mixture of 1 teaspoon dishwashing detergent and 1 cup of water.
  • Blot to dry.

RELATED: How to remove red wine stains from clothes, carpets and furniture

How to remove gum from your carpet

Jack White, vice-president of technical services for Rainbow International, uses similar techniques to remove gum from carpet, but adds one crucial ingredient: patience.

  • Be patient when removing gum from carpet.
  • Scrape away as much of the gum as possible, using a dull object like a spoon.
  • Apply a dry-cleaning solvent like Goof Off and allow time for the solvent to soften the gum.
  • Using a white cotton cloth, pull or wipe the gum away from the carpet.
  • Repeat this process until the gum is completely removed. This may take time, but be patient.

A word of advice: Before cleaning carpet yourself, check the carpet’s warranty, says White. In most cases, warranties are voided if you do not have professionals clean the carpet.

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