Don't Get Snippy! How to Get Gum and Sticky Candy Out of Carpet Without Scissors

Colorful gum stuck to a wall - Seattle Gum Wall by Mark Fischer

The Seattle Gum Wall at the Pike Place Market.  Photo Credit: Mark Fischer

Big Sticky Problems

Do you reach for the scissors when gum, sticky candy, or drinks land on the carpet and get ground in? Resist that impulse – we've got some cleaning tricks up our sleeve that will help you remove sticky spots without damaging your carpets or upholstery.

Most homeowners have been there – one child drops a piece of gum or candy, and another runs right over it. Before you know it, the sticky substance is ground into the carpet (or upholstery fibers), and you’re sure you have no option but to cover that corner of the couch with a pillow or pull out the scissors to cut away at the damaged carpet.

Neither is necessary. You can usually remove sticky gum stains with tools you already have around the house.

How to Get Gum Out of Carpets and Upholstery

If you’re dealing with gum that has been ground into carpet fibers, the sooner you act the better (as is true with most spots). This quick, easy cleaning method should work:

  • Place a few handfuls of ice in a zip lock bag, and apply the bag of ice directly onto the gum. This will harden the gum and make it easier to remove it from the carpet.
  • Use a scraping tool to fully scrape away the gum.
  • Vacuum the area to remove any loose gum particles.
  • Sponge the stain directly with warm, soapy water, working in a circular motion.
  • Cover the area with a clean white towel or rag to soak up any remaining liquid, and continue patting dry.

The same steps can be used to remove other types of sticky candy from carpeting or upholstery.  If this method doesn't work, try a solvent-based tar and adhesive remover, such as Goo Gone, or try one of these other methods.

Or, if nothing works and the in-laws are coming over soon, you can always give us a call at COIT.  Our friendly technicians aren't specially trained and certified for nothing!