If your cleaning company is responsible for carpet spotting or overall carpet cleaning, you are eventually going to run across gum that is smashed into the carpet fibers. You may be cleaning up just a piece or two or if you are cleaning the carpet in a school or bowling alley, you may be removing gum every few feet. So is there a fast, easy way to remove these rubbery pieces of goo?
Begin by using a Scraperite blade and gently, but firmly scrape up as much of the gum as possible. This may remove the bulk of the gum, but don't forget you still need to remove any sticky residue that remains. For any pieces remaining, use a product such as Unbelievable Goo D-solv-r Pro (from Core Products).
Spray the chemical on a white blotting cloth and then blot the gum - do not spray it directly on the gum or the carpet. Once you have removed the gum rinse thoroughly with hot water. This will remove any of the chemical that is left on the carpet and help to prevent it from re-soiling. Some people have found that after using the scraper they can use a volatile dry solvent and hot water in their extraction machine to remove any remaining pieces of gum. The heat helps to soften the gum and remove any remaining residues. Or you can use a citrus gel, which is a non-volatile dry solvent. Just remember that you'll need to rinse the citrus gel to remove any residue. No matter which process you decide to use, do not apply too much chemical.
Another way to remove gum is to "freeze" it. Fill a plastic bag with ice and rub it over the gum. Then chip away the frozen pieces with your plastic scraper. After removing the pieces of gum you will still need to use your extractor to remove any remaining residue. There are also aerosol sprays on the market that will "freeze" the gum. Use these products with caution, as they can damage the carpet fibers. The process you use will naturally depend on how much gum you need to remove. If the area is heavily caked with gum it may be easier to use a scraper and then a good solvent with an extraction machine as opposed to the time it would take to either "freeze" or clean each spot with D-solv-r Pro.
As you are cleaning up the gooey mess from gum, remember to do a thorough job and remove as much of the residue as possible or the carpet will re-soil quickly and you may be called back by an unhappy customer who notices the carpet looks dirty!
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