Gum Sticks to Everything
The Problem with Gum
Although it tastes great and it can be great fun seeing who can make the biggest bubble, Chewing Gum and Bubble Gum are responsible for a lot of damage, the problem is of course that they stick to almost any surface and because of the dangers of swallowing Gum people spit it out willy-nilly wherever they are, even if there are bins nearby.
Gum gets everywhere especially if children have some, it gets in their hair their clothes it gets stuck to the carpet or even on the sofa and it can be a pain in the backside to get rid of.
The underside of tables and chairs are also a haven for used gum, people take it out of their mouths and stick it there because they are simply too lazy to take the three steps to the bin and dispose of it properly.
A Sticky Problem
Dealing with Gum
Although there are some products available on the market that help you to deal with the sticky problems caused by Gum, they can be quite expensive and difficult to find when you really need them.
There are however many items that can be found in most households today that can help with Gum removal from almost any surface including hair and clothing which are usualy the most difficult places to remove gum from without causing damage.
Temperature plays a large part in the stickyness of Gum, when it has recently been chewed and spat out it is still warm and at its stickiest, or if the weather is warm outside there is more of a chance that even old Gum will stick to you because it has softened in the heat.
When Gum is cold it goes Hard and loses its stickyness, making it less likely to stick to clothing, hair or any other surface.
Ice cubes or even the use of an Ice pack placed over the gum will harden bubble gum or chewing gum making it easier to remove from most surfaces. of course you may have to resort to other methods as well as using ice.
Gum In Hair
Peanut Butter Works Wonders
Removing Gum From Hair
Gum in hair is a nightmare often resolved by the most drastic method of grabbing a pair of sharp scissors and cutting out the offending hair, which leaves a distinctive patch on the head that takes a long time to grow back in, often afterwards the person involved needs to get a drastic haircut to cover up the scene of the crime.
It is important with all of the methods below to note that you pick the hair out of the gum and not the gum out of the hair, working with a few strands of hair at a time will help make it less painful and easier to manage.
There are a couple of methods to help remove gum from hair and save you the drastic haircut at the same time.
Peanut Butter or Peanut Oil, contains an ingredient that helps to loosen gum, apply thougroughly over the affected area of the hair, massage the affected hair between your fingertips and as the gum loosens pick it free from the hair.
Citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons contain a natural solvent, using the rind or peel from citrus fruits and rubbing them into the affected area will help to loosen the gum enough to allow you to pick it out of the hair.
As mentioned earlier in this article placing Ice directly onto the chewing gum makes it harden and loosen its grip on the hair.
Gum On Clothes
Removing Gum From Clothing and other Fabrics
Removing gum from clothing can be done using the same methods for hair although the peanut butter or citrus fruit rinds can cause the materials to stain.
instead of applying ice cubes to clothing though the best method for removing gum from clothing is to wet the item and place it into a plastic bag and put it in the freezer for an hour or two when the item of clothing has frozen solid, you can remove the gum easily, if necessary use a good stain remover to remove any traces of the gum.
Gum On Carpet
Tables and Chairs
Removing Gum from tables and chairs is quite easy because it has often been there for some time and has hardened, but for gum on wooden floors and walls it can be a little more difficult.
Ice, for fresh gum or even older gum on hard surfaces and if there are still some traces left a citrus spray or the rind of an orange or a lemon or even lemon juice should be enough to remove the rest.
Carpets and Soft Furnishing
Use ice cubes to harden the offending gum then gently scrape with the back of a knife, if there are still some traces of gum then a spray of lemon juice should help to remove them.
siddharth on November 27, 2011:
i tried the ice methord and it came success
Charlotte Anne from Iowa, USA on May 12, 2009:
My mother used to use butter, the same way you use peanut butter. It was slow, but it worked.
goldenapple951 on April 15, 2009:
I've tried the peanut butter and it seems to do the trick.
danjutsu from UK on March 22, 2009:
NIce one Jimmy or should i say, SEE YOU!!!. Sorry, couldn't resist it. I have banned gum from my house after an incident with my two kids, gum, hair and eventually some clippers set to number one!
Jason Menayan from San Francisco on March 12, 2009:
Great advice, Jimmy.
ocbill from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice on March 10, 2009:
I guess the optimal place to throw gum away is on something enamel based
jkfrancis on March 09, 2009:
We always used the peanut butter method to remove bubble gum from hair. I didn't thing it worked on other kinds of gum.
Iphigenia on March 09, 2009:
Good advice there. There was an art project in the London Borough of Camden about 10 or 12 years ago - artists painted those hard little wads of chewing gum that litter pavments. They incorporated the shape of the wad into the painting - so there were a lot of faces ! One person did celebrities, another his/her favoutire football team. There were also lots of flowers and abstracts. Special paint was used and something painted over each finished piece to protect it. Imagine they've all gone now - but they were exquisite. The event was linked to an awareness campaign about dropping litter.
Cathy from Oregon, USA on March 08, 2009:
Parents definitely deal with this challenge more. My kids didn't chew much gum when little, but my neice is a gum chewing-wadding-pulling and sticking prankster!! Wads of it are found in the most unusual and hardest to clean spots!!! Fun article