Chewing gum can be a nightmare to remove, especially from the pristine interior of your car. Here’s a few tips I’ve used to successfully remove gum from a variety of materials, without causing damage or lasting stains.
How to Get Gum off of a Car Seat
Care needs to be taken when dealing with leather, as it’s a soft material susceptible to staining and discolouration from cleaning products. It’s important to test all methods in our article on a hidden section of the leather, just in case any discolouration or change in appearance occurs.
- Firstly scrape off as much of the chewing gum as possible, using a plastic scraper or a credit card. A metal blade may cut the material, for this reason we recommend not using a metal blade.
- Mix dish soap and water together, using enough dish soap to create a lot of suds.
- Using this mixture, soak for a few minutes.
- Using a lint free towel, dampen slightly then proceed to wipe away. It should wipe away easily, without leaving residue.
The oily properties of peanut butter allow the gum to become less sticky, making removal much easier without the mess. For this to work ensure you’re using creamy peanut butter.
Before proceeding, attempt to scrape away as much material as you can. This is so the oils in the peanut butter can penetrate all the way to the base, making removal much less messier!
Some peanut butter will stain leather or leave lasting marks – test on a section of your seat that won’t be seen just to be sure!
- Firstly cover the area completely with the peanut butter, either using your fingers or an old toothbrush.
- Wait a few minutes for the oils to get to work, therefore soaking into the gum. Try to avoid covering the leather if possible.
- Using a damp towel, wipe away the peanut butter. It should be easy to wipe away, but if there are any remnants, applying saddle soap and rubbing in a circular motion will remove the leftover deposits.
After successful removal from your leather upholstery, I strongly recommend using leather conditioner to ensure the material remains supple and prevents staining.
Preventing the staining from working further into the fabric when dealing with cloth is crucial – the last situation you want to be in is pushing stains further into the fabric. Fortunately our tips below make removal a breeze, and can be easily found around the house.
Taking a few ices cubes, putting them in a bag then freezing the area is a mess free way to remove gum from cloth seats. This method also prevents you from pushing any stains further into the cloth, providing you freeze the area fully.
- Start by putting a couple of ice cubes in a plastic bag, then pressing on the affected area.
- Ensure you fully freeze the area by applying ice for several minutes.
- Once frozen, use a plastic scraper or a credit card to remove the gum. If completely frozen it will remove from the cloth without leaving any residue. If remnants remain, simply re-freeze the area and scrape it again.
A great multi-purpose cleaner, and readily available – perfect for some DIY gum removal! The vinegar will break down the synthetic rubber, reducing stickiness for an easy cleanup.
- Scrape as much of the residue as you can, using a plastic scraper or a credit card.
- Dip an old toothbrush into the white vinegar – without diluting.
- Rub in circular motions on and around the stain, and leave the vinegar to settle.
- Begin to scrape again with a credit card, it will come off in one large lump if the vinegar had enough time to work its magic.
Any household penetrating oil will work – ensure it won’t stain the cloth and isn’t naturally dyed.
- To begin, soak the affected area trying not to cover the fabric too much.
- Leave it to settle for a minute or two – not long enough for the penetrating oil to dry up.
- Wipe away with a paper towel. It’s really that easy!
Alcantara which is used in cars interior (commonly referred to as suede) is a soft and durable alternative to natural suede. Unfortunately moisture, and more importantly staining can become difficult to remove.
Ethyl Alcohol and Ice will remove the stains without damaging the alcantara interior.
- Put a plastic bag of ice over the stain, and wait until the material has become fully frozen.
- Remove the pieces carefully with a plastic scraper or credit card. Be extremely careful to not damage the alcantara, as it’s a soft material.
- Treat the area with ethyl alcohol, and use a dry microfiber towel to blot dry.
If any staining has occurred, it’s better to remove it sooner rather than later. Read our full guide on cleaning car seats.
How to Get Gum off of Car Paint
Removing any sticky substances from car paint can be tricky, as you don’t want to risk scratching your gleaming bodywork. Below are a few methods that have worked perfectly, and are easily found around the house.
Bug and Tar Remover
Effective at removing many different contaminants that find their way onto your vehicles paint, it’s also perfect for removing chewing gum.
- Spray the staining with bug and tar remover, ensuring the area around the gum is fully covered.
- Allow the solution to soak for a few minutes.
- Gently scrape the base with a plastic scraper, or a credit card.
It helps to spray as you work under the stuck on gum, as it will lubricate the surface between the scraper and paint.
Don’t use a metal scraper! This will damage your vehicles paint.
Can of compressed air
Gum becomes brittle when frozen, reducing its sticky properties. Therefore makes for a mess-free removal, perfect for car paint.
This method works best for a clump, it’s not so effective when it’s spread out and become streaky.
- To get started, turn a can of compressed air upside down, and begin spraying the gum directly.
- Keep spraying until it becomes visibly frozen.
- You can now begin scraping with a plastic scraper, it will break off into chunks cleanly from the cars paint.
If the area begins to thaw, you can always re-apply compressed air.
Another great alternative is using peanut butter. The oils in the peanut butter reduce the stickiness allowing for clean removal.
- First start by applying a thick layer of creamy peanut butter to the gum.
- Leave the peanut butter for around 10 minutes, the longer you leave it the further the oils can penetrate and work their magic.
- Using a damp lint-free towel, rub the affected area which will remove all staining cleanly.
If there is remnants, re-apply some peanut butter and leave for another 10 minutes. Sometimes the oil in the peanut butter can’t work in deep enough to be effective the first time.
Remove Gum from Seat Belt
Seatbelts are webbed to provide strength, ensuring your safety. However not ideal if the chewing gum manages to work its way into the weave of the seatbelt. Follow our tips below to avoid pushing any staining further into the webbing:
Freezing gum to remove it cleanly can work on multiple materials, seatbelts included. To get started:
- Get a can of compressed air, turn upside down and spray directly onto the suck on gum.
- Keep spraying until it’s visibly frozen.
- Try and pick off using your fingers, or a plastic scraper.
Sometimes there will be some residue left over, you can keep freezing the area until all residue is removed.
How to Remove Gum from Carpet in Car
Like most staining it’s crucial to remove it from carpet as soon as possible. The longer the gum remains on the carpet, the likelihood of being worked deeper into the pile increases.
As soon as you discover the staining, using your hair dryer makes removal simple. Perfect if you’re caught in a pinch and don’t have other tools used in this guide.
- Turn the hair dryer up to full heat, and aim directly on the stain.
- Watch carefully, as you want to heat up the gum without melting it further into the carpet pile.
- Once you see it beginning to melt, grab a plastic bag and begin to pick it up off the carpet.
- Continue until the stain disappears – remember to be cautious not to use too much heat.