If you find yourself in a sticky mess, here are some tried and tested methods and tips for cleaning chewing gum messes.
Allowing your children to chew gum is a most probably a disaster waiting to happen. I banned gum for years in our house after a hair raising incident but my middle girl who happens to be a sensory seeker finds it rather therapeutic, so I’ve been somewhat lenient in recent months and allow it from time to time.
Last week we asked parents for their favourite life hacks and getting chewing gum off clothes popped up again and again. So if you find yourself in a sticky mess, here are some tried and tested methods and tips for cleaning chewing gum messes.
Freeze the gum.
The trick to removing gooey gum for clothes is to pop it in the freezer, I know right, who knew? Pop the piece of clothing in a plastic bag, place it in the freezer, and wait about an hour. Then using a butter knife gently chip away at the hardened gum slowly to remove it without damaging the fabric.
Freeze it even more.
For larger items that cannot be put in the freezer such as a sofa or carpet put some ice cubes in a ziplock bag and let them sit on it until the item becomes hard. Then you should be able to scrape or crack the gum right off.
Try melting it.
If you prefer not to put any lotions or potions on your carpet, use a hairdryer and wax paper. Simply blast the gum on a high heat and melt the gum down. Once it has softened, place the wax paper over it to help pull the gum away from the carpet. If there is any remaining debris, use some soap and warm water with a gentle scrubbing brush to try to lift it.
Try melting it even more.
Another gum removal hack that came up numerous times was to place a garment gum-side down on top of a piece of cardboard. Then press an iron on medium heat on the back of the garment. Do not move it around as it can spread the gum. The heat should transfer the gum to the cardboard as it melts.
If all else fails, try vinegar.
Heat up a small amount of white vinegar. Once hot, dip an old toothbrush into the liquid and rub it into the gum and it should help release it from the fabric. If that doesn’t work, pour the vinegar over the gum and sprinkle some baking soda on top and watch as the fizzy foam works through the gum.
And if it’s in their hair...
When trying to remove gum from hair, use a creamy style peanut butter or any kind of vegetable oil and work it into the chewing gum. The oils in the product make the chewing gum base stiffer, making it less sticky and more comfortable and easier to remove.