There are few things worse to find on your couch than a sticky stain, like gum. You need to use the right gum removal methods, and they need to be safe for your sofa. In addition to using chemicals, there are many alternative methods using different cleaning solutions if you want to go with something more economical. All you'll need are materials that you likely have around your house.
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Using Gum Removal Chemicals
If the gum is still soft, take an ice cube and rub the gum vigorously to freeze and harden it. If it is already dry and hard, you can skip this step. Once the gum has hardened, carefully scrape the gum using a paint scraper or a butter knife. Be very careful not to damage the upholstery itself.
Next, take a clean rag and dampen it with dry cleaning solvent. Apply the solvent to the gum stain using the rag. Blot the stain using the other rag. You should alternate between applying the solvent and blotting the gum. Hopefully, this will take care of the gum, but if not, you can try additional steps.
Using Vinegar to Remove Gum
Combine 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of mild dish soap (such as Dawn) and 2 cups of warm water. Take two more clean rags and use one to apply the mixture onto the gum stain. Use the dry rag to blot the gum, continuing to alternate between applying the mixture and blotting the stain until it is gone. Soak another rag in cold water and use it to rinse the vinegar and soap off the couch. You can allow the spot to air dry or blot it with a clean towel.
Other Ways to Get Gum Off a Couch
There are a few other methods you can try to do the trick. You can use a specialty cleaning product manufactured to remove sticky stains. Read the label carefully to make sure it is fabric-safe. Test the product on an inconspicuous spot on the sofa before applying it to the gum stain to ensure it won't damage the material. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for using the product to ensure you get the best cleaning power.
You can also try a gentle heat transfer. Lay a brown paper bag on the gum and iron it on the lowest setting without steam. Check the paper bag frequently to see if the gum has stuck onto it instead of the sofa. Use the vinegar and water combination if any residue remains.
How to Remove Gum From Wood
If you have an incredibly messy child, there may also be gum stuck to your coffee table. To remove gum from wood, try the ice cube trick. Just be extra careful when scraping so that you don't scratch the wood.
You can also try rubbing the gum with vegetable oil, which won't work on fabric. Dampen a paper towel with the oil and then rub vigorously. You want the oil to penetrate the gum and get between the gum and wood.
Another method is to apply duct tape to the gum and pull it off quickly. Ideally, it'll come off with the tape. This method can damage fabric, though, so be careful if you apply duct tape. Lastly, peanut butter could work. Like with the oil, it's the fat that loosens the gum. Just dab and scrape gently.