It is fairly common for chewing gum to be accidentally dropped inside a car and then trodden, or squashed into the upholstery. The problem is that upholstery can easily be damaged if ingrained chewing gum is not removed correctly. There are a few ways in which chewing gum can be successfully and safely removed from a cars upholstery even if it has been there for a long period of time or become heavily ingrained. One way is to essentially freeze the gum until it becomes hard and brittle so it can then be either carefully prized off, or picked out of the upholstery.
A number of ice cubes gathered inside a plastic bag can be held against the affected area until the soft gum hardens up. Although this method is effective it may take some time for the gum to harden. To save time you can use a compressed ‘air-in-a-can’ type product that is designed for dust removal etc. Using this technique also means that you have a little more control when treating the affected area.
Once brittle, the chewing gum can be carefully prized off or picked out with a thin yet blunt implement like an ice scraper for example. If the chewing gum has been squashed or trodden into the fibres of the upholstery you may need to repeat the process and carefully pick out any smaller pieces bit by bit, ensuring that you do not pull out any fibres of the upholstery with it. Once removed you should follow up by cleaning the area with a designated upholstery cleaning product to remove any residue and help return the fabric back to its prior condition.
If you find that there is still deep ingrained chewing gum residue that cannot be picked out you can use a solvent based tar & adhesive remover product to dissolve and lift it out. Apply the product onto a micro fibre towel and work into the affected area. Be sure to test a small area first to ensure that the product does not discolour, or damage the upholstery in any way and be certain to follow up this stage with an upholstery cleaner to remove the product residue.
Another way to remove chewing gum would be to simply use a specific chewing gum remover product that helps to dissolve and lift off the gum. Depending on the extent to which the area is affected you may still need to pick parts of the gum off after using a designated removal product.
The most important things to consider when attempting to remove chewing gum from your cars upholstery is that you take your time and don’t try to pull it all off at once too harshly as this will damage the fabric underneath by pulling it up with the gum. It may take some time to safely remove if it has really been worked into the surface but if you persist, ensure all of it is removed, then follow up with a designated upholstery cleaner you should be able to restore your upholstery back to its original condition and not be able to tell where the chewing gum had been.