I have to admit that I’m an ice chewer. I especially love some good pellet ice. While I rarely chew gum I have had the surprising experience of both chewing gum and ice at the same time. It’s a strange experience. What happened was that the gum essentially changed from a sticky cohesive material into small flaky bits in my mouth. It was almost as if the gum suddenly turned into confetti. It was unpleasant but after waiting a moment the gum warmed back up and worked its way back to a few solid gooey masses.
Gum today is more of a plastic than a natural tree gum. The main ingredient in gum is gum base. Gum base is made up of polymers, plasticizers, and resins which are all synthetic. When gum gets cold it is converted to a more hard-like plastic state.
When gum gets stuck to your car seats or carpet it can turn into a nightmare of a mess, especially when it has sat in the hot sun and gotten smeared around. The simple trick to getting gum off car seats or carpet is to freeze it. The most common method for doing this is to place a plastic bag of ice on top of the gum. Once the gum has hardened up you can scrape it off with a plastic tool or card. Something hard enough to pull the gum away but not too hard like metal that it might damage the material of your upholstery, leather, or carpet.
With some luck this will be all that is required to get the gum out of your car or truck. Unfortunately this more often than not will only get you 90% of the way to a completely clean surface. Continue ready to learn all of the tips, tricks, and techniques to get your upholstered or leather seat, carpet, or other interior surfaces completely clean of bits of gooey gum.
Other people online will suggest things such as peanut butter, vegetable oil, or WD-40. While they may work they’ll leave you with a different problem to resolve and may prove more difficult to fix than the original problem. I don’t recommend any other method than what’s outlined above. If you don’t have the products necessary to resolve the problem properly cover the gum with a clean rag or towel you don’t mind ruining and wait until you have what you need to do the job properly. Covering the gum will prevent it from sticking to you and your clothing in the interim and hopefully help prevent it from getting embedded any further into your seat or carpet.
Freezing gum with canned compressed air is the easiest method for how to get gum out of a car seat or carpet. Using ice in a plastic resealable bag also works well but will require a little more patience. Freezing the gum should allow you to quite easily remove the gum without much difficulty in many cases. If you find that freezing doesn’t get the job completely done you’ll need to step up to a solvent such as Goo Gone or Citrol 266. When you’re done you’ll want to clean the area with a proper cleaner and protectant. Check out our “Recommended” page for the best products regarding cleaning and protection.
Photo Credit: Ryan McGuire