Chewing gum can help you enjoy better-smelling breath and exercise your jaw muscles. But what do you do when it gets stuck to a car seat?
There are several ways to get gum out of a car seat, and the best option depends on the material of the seat. For example, you can use vinegar or ice to get gum out of a fabric car seat. But dish soap may be the better option when removing gum from leather car seats.
Gum can get on a car seat due to improper disposal methods, like sticking chewed gum inside a wrapper, then placing that wrapper into your pocket. The sticky gum could slip out of that pocket and land on the seat, becoming squished into the material of the seat before you notice.
But while this situation can be frustrating, especially for those hoping to maintain the condition of their car’s interior, it’s solvable. There are several tried-and-true methods for getting that gum out of your car’s seat, and we’re going to explore them right now.
Vinegar, ice, and dish soap are all helpful agents to remove gum from your car seat. But you’ll want to take the material of the seat into account.
Let’s walk through the steps you’ll need to take when using these removal methods. That way, you can remove chewing gum from your car seats efficiently and effectively.
White vinegar is a powerful but non-toxic cleaning agent due to its high acidity. It can break down grime, grease, and minerals while also killing bacteria.
Additionally, it doesn’t damage fabrics like bleach or other chemical cleaning agents. If you need to dislodge some used chewing gum from your fabric car seat, you’ll want to try the vinegar method first.
- White distilled vinegar
- A toothbrush
- A saucepan
- A portable heat-safe container
- A clean washcloth
The first step of removing chewing gum from a fabric car seat is heating white distilled vinegar in a saucepan. You don’t need to boil the vinegar, but it should be above room temperature.
Ideally, you’ll want the vinegar to reach a temperature between 100℉ and 140℉. Use a food-safe thermometer or thermal temperature reader to ensure the vinegar is hot enough for gum removal.
When the vinegar has reached an adequate temperature, pour it out of the saucepan and into a heat-safe container.
While your vinegar is still warm, head out to your car with a toothbrush (preferably a clean, unused one). Dip the toothbrush into the vinegar, ensuring that the bristles are fully emerged in the vinegar before attempting the next step.
Remove the toothbrush from the vinegar and use it to scrub the sides of the gum.
When you scrub the sides of the gum with the toothbrush, the warm vinegar will cause the gum to soften. It will also begin to dissolve the gum, making it easier to remove from the seat.
You may need to dip the toothbrush into the warm vinegar several times during this step. It’s also worth noting that gum may not immediately begin detaching from the fabric. But be patient and continue scrubbing—with a bit of elbow grease, the gum should start to peel away.
After you’ve managed to detach the gum from the seat fabric, use a clean washcloth to soak up any warm vinegar that’s settled into the seat’s cushion. If any sticky strings of gum remain, use the toothbrush or the washcloth to scrub them away.
Heat makes gum sticky and soft, which can be challenging to work with. For that reason, you may prefer to use cold temperatures to get gum out of a car seat.
- Ice cubes
- A sealable plastic sandwich bag
- A plastic bowl scraper
- A clean washcloth
Place several ice cubes into a sealable sandwich bag. Seal the top of the bag, grab a plastic bowl scraper and a clean washcloth, then head out to your car.
Place the sealed bag of ice onto the gum and let it sit for at least three minutes. If possible, turn on your car and crank up the air conditioning to its lowest setting while you wait.
After three minutes, remove the bag of ice and place the bowl scraper along the side of the gum. Push the scraper against the edge at a slight downward angle to position it beneath the gum.
If the scraper won’t budge, place the ice atop the gum for another three minutes and try again. This method aims to get the gum cool enough to harden into an easily removable hunk.
It’s more challenging for substances to stick to leather, though it’s certainly not impossible.
When gum is left to harden onto a leather surface, it can be particularly challenging to remove. Still, a little warm water, dish soap, and gentle scrubbing go a long way.
- Dish soap
- A bowl of warm water
- A toothbrush
- A clean washcloth
Add one teaspoon of dish soap to a shallow bowl, then fill the bowl with warm water. Next, use a clean toothbrush to agitate the water, creating plenty of suds.
Once you have sudsy water, grab your toothbrush and a clean washcloth and head to your car.
Dip the toothbrush into the suds sitting at the top of the bowl. When the bristles are covered in soapy foam, it’s time to get scrubbing.
Just as with the vinegar method, you’ll want to use the toothbrush to scrub the sides of the gum.
The dish soap suds will create a slippery layer between the gum and the leather, allowing it to lift free. Still, you may need to scrub for several minutes and replenish your suds to remove the gum.
After removing the gum from the leather seat, use a clean washcloth to wipe the leather dry. Remember, wet leather can peel and rot, so keeping it dry is crucial.
So, how do you get gum off a car seat? Those with fabric-covered seats may find that vinegar and ice are the best solutions. But those with leather car seats may prefer to use dish soap and gentle scrubbing to get rid of gum.