Monday, September 2, 2013

Best way to remove bubble gum from carpets and hair

Chewing- or bubble gum can be a pain to get off from carpets, hair or animal fur if done incorrectly. This how-to tutorial will describe an easy and safe way to remove gum from carpets, hair, animal fur or other delicate materials and surfaces.

best chewing gum removal way
Bubble gum or chewing gum that gets stuck on some less ideal places is probably something that most of us have experienced or will experience. In particular, those of us who have kids or pets or both are very likely to run into gum stuck on carpets, furniture, hair or the fur of the pet. 

Too often are the gum removed using improper way which often result in the surface that it is stuck against becoming damaged completely unnecessary. This is in particularly bad if the gum is stuck on the hair of a child or on the fur of an animal. In this how-to and tutorial, a completely safe and easy method is described which will definitely help in removing and getting rid of gum stuck on troublesome surfaces.

Bad ways to remove gums

There are obviously many ways to remove gums from various surfaces, however, some ways that should really be avoided is described in the following. These are all based on personal experience and are amazingly used by some, often with disastrous results. 

1. Sharp objects to remove bubble gum from carpets and hair
best razor gum removal

While it could be intuitive to use a knife or a razor blade to remove a sticky goo from a surface, this is not recommended for several reasons. Chewing gums are inherently very soft, sticky and easily form long fibers. Therefore, if you try to remove bubble gum using a blade, then the likely thing to happen is that you will damage the fibers of the surface, be it hair, fur or your expensive carpet. Even if you are very careful, the best you can do is to remove most of the gum but leaving trails and residue behind that are even more difficult to remove. In addition, it goes without saying that using sharp objects against a child's hair or an animal's fur is definitely a bad idea. Despite this, I have seen children with patches of hair missing due to their parents trying to remove gum from their hair!

2. Chemicals to get rid of chewing gum from hair and fur

best gum removing chemical
There are indeed all kinds of chemicals today, occasionally, some claim that they can be used to remove gums from carpets or hair. However, the use of chemicals for the purpose of removing gum is completely unnecessary and over kill. The chemicals all have the purpose of dissolving the gum itself, and it does not need to be said that improper use of the chemical will not only dissolve the gum but also the fibers of the carpet, or even worse, cause skin or hair damage to your child or dog.

There are obviously situations where chemicals can be useful, such as cleaning off gums from large flat surfaces, for example, tables or floors, but please do not use chemicals on your child!

3. Heat to melt away chewing gum from hair and carpets

best bubblegum heat clean
While it could be tempting to use various forms of heat sources to heat the gum up and hoping that it would be easier to remove, unfortunately, experience has shown that this will only make the whole situation worse. 

When bubble gum or chewing gum becomes warm, it will become even softer and eventually it will become almost like a liquid. When this happen, the gum will start to move toward all small spaces it can occupy filling all voids and small inhomogeneities on the surface. Therefore, by using heat, you will actually end up in a situation where removal is even more troublesome as the gum will have spread in such a way that it has a larger contact area with whatever surface it is stuck against.

The best easy and safe way to remove gum from carpets, hair and fur

best way clean gum carpet
Now with the band examples in mind, we can finally focus on the best way to remove bubble gum from your carpet, hair, animal fur or any other delicate surfaces.

The chewing gum that we are used to are, fortunately, today synthetic and therefore highly sensitive to temperature (the whole thing would be very different if it was made from natural rubber, but that would not stick to the same extent either). In any case, by chilling the gum down using ice cubes or ice packs, the gum will solidify and can after that be easily removed by a simple nudge. The procedure is extremely simple and safe and can be described in 3 steps.

  1. Take an ice cube or an ice pack and rub it against the gum. Be careful if you do this on something that does not tolerate water, in that case, make sure you protect the surface using a plastic film and use an ice pack instead of ice cube.
  2. Once you feel that the gum has gone stiff and does not easily deform when you squeeze it, remove the ice.
  3. Gently grab the gum with your hand and twist it back and forth while pulling it upwards. If all goes well, the gum will lose its grip onto the hair or carpet and come off very easily.
By following the above simple 3 steps, removal of gum from most surfaces is actually very easy. The important thing to remember is that if the gum does not come off during step 3, then instead of using excessive force which may only break the gum and leave smaller fragments that are even more troublesome, repeat steps 1-2 instead. By doing this sufficiently many times, the chewing gum should come off in one piece leaving very little to no residual that can be easily brushed off.

In addition, the above steps can be used not only on tricky surfaces such as carpets, hair, or fur, but also on flat surfaces, such as furniture and it should in all cases be much better and more gentle to the surface than using chemicals or sharp items.

Summary of the best way to remove bubble gum from surfaces

Hopefully with this tutorial, removal of bubble gum or chewing gum will become easier next time you find it stuck on troublesome objects or surfaces. Certainly sticking bubble- or chewing gum onto the hair of other kids is a classical prank as well as sticking gum on other random objects. In my opinion, enough children have suffered already from adults trying to improperly remove bubble gum from their hair and I hope that in addition to your children, your pet, carpet and furniture will not suffer unnecessary due to sticky bubble gums!

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