Chewing Gum Removal Techniques

Discarded gum seems to get stuck everywhere, the seats of buses and trains, playgrounds, car parks and on every street. And then it sticks to you! So what are the best methods of removing chewing gum?

Chewing gum litter is such a big problem that many home-spun methods of removing chewing gum have developed. They are often cheaper and simpler than the many commercial cleaning products that are available. It can also be difficult to know what the chemical ingredients in commercial chewing gum removal products will do to your clothes.
Getting Rid of Single Blobs of Gum

1. Salt and Washing up Liquid

This popular method is useful if the gum has spread out on the material of a garment. Add a little washing up liquid to the gum and then add salt. Rub the gum with another piece of material to remove it.

2. Freezing the Gum

This technique than can be used to remove chewing gum from shoes, clothes, carpets, mats and even hair. If the item will fit, put it in the fridge or freezer for several hours, or even leave it overnight. Once frozen, the gum should become brittle and be easy to scrap and chip off.

Chewing gum on larger items of clothing, carpets and people can be frozen with ice cubes in a plastic bag.

Solvents such as white spirit and lighter fluid can be used to remove any remnants of gum that are left. Be sure to check that the solvent doesn’t harm the material by applying a small amount to a hidden area, such as a hem or an old piece of carpet.

A normal machine wash or dry-clean should finish the job for clothes and carpets can be shampooed.

3. A Beaten Egg White

Once the bulk of the chewing gum has been removed (e.g. by picking it out or freezing), rub a lightly beaten egg white into the remains for a few minutes. Continued rubbing should then result in the chewing gum being removed completely.

Chewing Gum Removal Over Large Areas

Chewing gum litter is a massive problem across the UK, despite the wrapper which can be used to dispose of it without any mess and the litter bins which are on every street corner. Blobs of chewing gum can be found on pavements, streets and pedestrian areas in almost every town and city.

Discarded chewing gum in the UK has been classified as litter by legislation which came into effect in 2005. This means that people can be fined if they are caught throwing gum away carelessly and that Local Authorities have a duty to clear it up.

Another problem with power washing is that the gum can sometime just be moved and then stick somewhere else.

The latest custom made gum removal machines use a combination of steam (sometimes under pressure) and chemical detergents to lift wads of gum off of hard surfaces. This type of process destroys the gum completely and the machines often include brushes and/or a vacuum to clear up the residue.