Getting gum on your car seats can put you in a sticky situation, to say the least.
It will ruin the interior of your vehicle and stick to everyone who comes in contact with it. Thus, knowing how to remove gum from car seats is a must — if you don’t want to ruin both your upholstery and clothes.
Chewing gum is made from rubber ,and it’s almost impossible to remove when it gets stuck. However, with the right information, you’ll be able to get it off in no time and preserve the value and appearance of your car. In this article, I will walk you through the process of removing gum off cloth, fabric and leather seats.
How to Remove Gum From Fabric Car Seats
Compared to leather, removing gum from fabric seats typically requires more time and effort. However, cloth seats can withstand more pressure and you aren’t as likely to damage them if you’re using chemicals.
There are several ways you can go about removing gum from cloth seats, depending on the time you have and your budget. Next, I will share my favorite store-bought products and DIY hacks for getting gum out of your cloth car seats.
Goo Gone Pro
Goo Gone is a great product to keep handy around your home. It can dissolve and remove tough stains without leaving a mark. However, you shouldn’t use it on leather, rubber, suede, etc. Also, always test it on a small surface before applying it to a large area.
How to Use It:
- Apply the product to a clean rag or towel.
- Wipe around the area where the gum is stuck.
- Let Goo Gone sit for 3–5 minutes.
- Peel the gum and wipe the area with a clean cloth.
- Dip a new towel in hot soapy water and wash the seat.
3M Gum Remover
3M is arguably one of the most popular brands among car lovers. It’s great for removing paint overspray, wax, adhesive residue, dirt, tar, grease — and gum. Moreover, the company also has a product specifically made for removing gum. It features an aerosol formula and won’t cause damage to your car if you use it according to the instructions.
How to Use It:
- Apply the product to the gum.
- Let it sit for a couple of seconds.
- Wipe the area clean.
If you don’t want to go to the store, you can take advantage of these quick and easy DIY hacks.
Apply Hot or Cold Temperatures
Firstly, you can remove gum from fabric seats by placing an ice bag on top of it for 20 minutes until it hardens. When the gum has hardened, you can pick at it with your fingers and remove it.
You can also use the warmth of a hairdryer to get rid of gum. The hot temperature will cause the gum to rise and get softer, so you can easily reach and remove it with a rag. However, keep in mind that applying too much heat for long periods of time can cause damage to your car seats.
WD-40 is another product which is quite useful to have around the house. You can use it to clean tools, lubricate drawers, prevent rust, etc. Additionally, you can use the multi-purpose cleaner for scraping gum off your car seats.
- Paper towels
- Cloth towel
- Paper towels
- Upholstery cleaner
- Plastic scraper
First, put the gloves on, and place the ice on top of the gum to make it harden. Once the gum has hardened, try removing it by pulling it off with your fingers or using a scraper. If you don’t clear the whole thing on your first try, you can keep applying the ice to the area until you scrape most of the gum off. Apply the WD–40 to the areas where there’s still some gum left and keep scraping.
Next, use a paper towel to remove any excess WD–40 and spray the upholstery cleaner on your seat. Scrub everything in with a cloth towel, and use a wet sponge dipped in warm water to scrub off any excess product. Lastly, give the whole thing some time to dry off completely, and enjoy your clean seats!
My grandma has been using vinegar to clean anything and everything in her home for decades. It is often used to remove grime, dirt, grease from various surfaces, and it’s just as effective when it comes to cleaning fabric car seats. Also, it’s completely natural and non-toxic so you won’t have to worry about it ruining the interior of your car.
- Blunt scraper
- Spot remover or dry cleaning fluid
Apply ice to the gum until it’s solid and hard, then use a blunt scraper to remove as much of it as you can. Next, soak the tip of your sponge in vinegar, and go over the rest of the stain with it. Use paper towels to soak up the vinegar from your seat. If there’s nothing left on the seat (besides the oil spot) — congratulations, you did it!
However, if you’re dealing with a stubborn stain, you can keep applying the vinegar until there’s no more gum left. Lastly, apply the dry clean fluid, or spotter onto the oil stain and keep blotting to remove it and dry the area off.
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How to Remove Gum From Leather Car Seats
Although gum doesn’t tend to stick to leather as easily as it does to cloth seats — it can be trickier to remove it. Gum can stick to leather seats if you deliberately warm and press it into the material, or accidentally leave it to melt in your car. So, unless someone is trying to give you a headache or you’re driving a bunch of rowdy teens around — you should be in the clear.
However, you have to be more careful when using products on leather seats because they stain easily. Many store-bought products contain harmful chemicals that can eat away at your seats, or create stains that are nearly impossible to get rid of. Luckily, you can also use several household products to create your DIY gum remover. Also, the majority of the DIY solutions I have listed feature cheap ingredients that you probably already have in your home.
GoopAway is an eco-friendly, natural adhesive remover. It is derived from citrus plants, and works just as well as chemical-based removers. These properties make it perfect for leather seats, as it’s much less likely to cause damage or stain them. Although it shouldn’t cause any harm to the interior of your car, test the product on a small surface before using it.
How to Use It:
- Apply GoopAway to the gum.
- Let it sit for a couple of minutes.
- Wipe it off with a clean cloth.
Scotch tape is an effective way of removing gum from leather, especially if you don’t want to run the risk of ruining your seat. However, you will most likely have to apply it more than once before the gum starts coming off. Once you’re done, you can use a leather conditioner to smooth over any damaged areas.
How to Use It:
- Apply scotch tape to the gum.
- Press the gum firmly.
- Pull the scotch tape off.
If you don’t feel like spending money, but you need to remove the gum off your seat right now — soap is the way to go. Every household has it, and it’s by far one of the cheapest products you can find.
How to Use It:
- Scrape the excess gum with your fingers or a scraper.
- Mix soap with lukewarm water.
- Create a good amount of suds.
- Use a sponge to scrub the gum until it’s gone.
- Gently dry with a cloth.
Dish Powder and Vinegar
This combination takes advantage of the cleaning abilities of dish powder and vinegar to create a strong cleaning solution. Also, both ingredients are cheap and easy to come by, and you likely won’t have to leave your home to make this solution.
How to Use It:
- Add a tablespoon of vinegar and a tablespoon of dish powder in warm water.
- Stir it until it gets the consistency of a paste.
- Put the paste on a toothbrush and scrub the gum off slowly.
- Dry the area off using a clean towel.
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Getting Out of a Sticky Situation
When gum sticks to cloth upholstery, it gets into all the little nooks and crannies, making it seem impossible to remove. On the other hand, leather seats can easily get damaged by different cleaning products.
Chewing gum can easily ruin your car seats, and only the lucky ones will notice it quickly enough and remove it before it’s already stuck. However, even if it has had the time to sit and melt in your car, you can still find ways to get rid of it.
There are plenty of products and DIY solutions to help you get rid of gum — without leaving a mark on your car seat. Also, as you can tell, most of the methods I have mentioned feature accessible and cheap products. So, you won’t have to break the bank (or even leave your house for that matter) to get rid of the gum that’s stuck on your seats.
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