Few things are more frustrating than trying to get gum out of a car’s interior. That sticky, gooey mess seems like it’ll never come out! The good news is there are some tried and true things that you can do to help minimize the damage and make the gum removal process a success. If you’re unfortunate enough to be in this situation, here are some helpful tips that will have your car gum-free in no time.
First, tackle the task as soon as possible. The longer you wait the more of a hassle removing the gum will become. As soon as you notice the mess, schedule some time to address it.
Grab some ice. Similar to removing gum from hair, ice can be an excellent tool in getting rid of the sticky mess in your car as well. Apply an ice cube to the gum for about 2 to 3 minutes. This should sufficiently harden the gum and make it easier to remove. Use a knife or other thin tool to scrape the hardened gum from the upholstery or carpet.
Another handy tool for removing gum from fabric is lighter fluid. Simply squirt this onto a paper towel and gently rub the gum spot with the wet cloth. You may need to repeat this process several times to remove all traces of the gum.
For leather seats, an eraser can help rub away the sticky goo. Just make sure to use a plain white eraser, otherwise you may inadvertently end up with color transfer, which you don’t want.
Duct tape is another helpful gum-removal tool for both cloth and leather upholstery. Place a piece of tape over the gum, sticky side down of course, and pull off to remove. You may have to repeat the process using several pieces of duct tape to remove all of the gum.
If you prefer, you can purchase a bottle of Goo Gone, which is a liquid product designed specifically for tackling hard to remove, sticky substances from just about anything. Apply the Goo Gone to the gum, closely following the products instructions so as not to ruin the upholstery. Leave on for approximately 5 minutes and then wipe clean. The gum, or most of it, should come off easily.
Another home remedy for gum on leather seats is peanut butter. Simply rub it on the gum, let it adhere for a minute or two and then wipe both the peanut butter and gum away with a wet cloth.
If you’ve got a peanut allergy or just don’t want that smell in your vehicle, vegetable oil is another kitchen item that can help to remove gum from leather car interiors. Pour a generous amount of the oil onto a clean, white cloth and rub the gum with it vigorously. Once the gum is removed, wash the area with warm, soapy water to remove all traces of the oil.
For those who keep WD-40 handy in their garage or car trunk, this multi-purpose product is also effective at removing gum from leather upholstery. Spray the product directly onto the gum and allow it to sit for several minutes. Then, simply wipe it away using a damp cloth.
If you prefer not to apply additional products to your already tarnished upholstery, using a hairdryer on the cool setting can help to harden the gum. Once it’s at the appropriate consistency (i.e. no longer gooey and sticky), you can try and remove it by hand or using a knife or other thin tool.