How to Remove Gum From A Leather Couch: A Simple Guide
Everybody loves gum for its bright colors, sugary sweetness, and minty freshness that can keep you going on the dullest of days. Nevertheless, a sweet, sticky, and colorful piece of gum on your expensive and beloved leather couch can be a nightmare of epic proportions.
The great news is that gum does not stick to leather surfaces quite as strongly unless it has been melted or pressed into it. You’re not going to be dealing with a chemical bond that will be mind-numbingly difficult to rectify.
However, you still want to act quickly to prevent any form of long-term damage. The steps to gum removal from your leather couch can be broken down as follows:
- Remove As Much Gum From Leather Couch Using Ice
- Use Household Products to Remove Gum Stains
- Treat Remaining Gum Stain On Leather Couch
Leather is a porous material and can easily absorb colors. Therefore, you need to ensure your children don’t dispose of their pieces of gum under or near your leather couch. This guide lists effective ways you can use to remove gum from your leather couch without leaving any traces behind.
1. Use Ice to Remove as Much Gum as Possible
An effective way of removing a piece of gum from your leather couch is to freeze it on the surface of the leather. Put ice in a waterproof or Ziploc bag (to prevent any excess moisture on the leather surface) and place the cold bag of ice on the gum.
Leave the ice pack on the gum for a period of about 10 – 15 minutes. The ice will harden the gum, making it much easier to chip away without risking further stickiness on the leather couch.
Water can dry out leather and cause its texture to become brittle; therefore, keep wiping the ice bag with a dry cloth periodically to prevent any condensation from falling on the leather couch. You want to minimize water exposure through this process as much as possible.
This step can help you remove most of the gum from the leather couch, which is why even if some gum still remains despite your best efforts to remove it, you should move on to the next step.
2. Remove Gum Stains with Common Household Items
After most of the gum is removed using our ice method, you may notice that some stubborn gum stains may still be visible. This usually happens with gum that’s pressed into your leather couch or gum that’s been there for a longer period of time. Here are the 5 most effective methods for removing the remaining chewing gum stains.
Method 1: Using Vinegar and Lemon Juice
Lemon juice and vinegar can help dissolve the bubble gum stuck to your leather couch. Pour a small amount of the liquid on top of the stuck gum and rub in the liquid thoroughly without pressing the gum in. You can also let it soak for a good 5 to 10 minutes before using a butter knife or a toothbrush to gently scrape off the gum.
Please do not use excessive force in this process if you are using a sharp instrument as you will risk scratching or damaging the leather surface on your couch. It’s best to try this with a toothbrush first and then move on to other instruments.
Method 2: Using an Oil-Based Solution
You are also able to use oil-based solutions for gum removal. The hydrophobic quality of oil can help break down the sticky compounds of the gum without causing any damage to the leather material of your upholstery.
You can apply canola oil, coconut oil, or olive oil over the gum area using your fingers, or something moderately sharp (but not too sharp to damage your leather couch irreversibly), such as a butter knife, to begin removing the gum slowly.
After the gum has been entirely removed, use a lightly damp cloth from a gentle soap (saddle soap works best) and water solution to clear all remaining residues.
Method 3: Using Scotch Tape
Another great trick is to apply a piece of scotch tape to cover the surface area of gum on your couch and press gently on it multiple times to ensure adhesion. Once the tape sticks to the gum, gently pull it off.
Removing gum using scotch tape is one of the easiest methods, but you also risk increasing the adhesion factor between gum and leather couch. Do this in a way whereby the Scotch Tape makes as little contact with the leather surface as possible.
Method 4: Using A Soap Solution
You can also use a mild soap solution mixed with lukewarm water on the piece of stuck gum to break down the stickiness. While most gentle soaps work, we highly recommend saddle soap.
Apply the solution using a damp clean cloth directly onto the gum. This will allow the gum to loosen its hold on the leather, and you can easily scrape it off the surface using a dry cloth. Afterward, you can use vegetable oil to remove any stubborn pieces of gum that remain.
Method 5: Using Raw Egg White
A raw egg white can work wonders for removing gum from your leather couch, too. We suggest spreading a raw egg white on the spot and leaving it for 10 – 15 minutes. You can begin teasing the edges of the gum upwards on the leather to begin removing it slowly.
Keep repeating the process until no evidence of gum remains on the couch. The egg white actually breaks down the gum, making it relatively easy to remove using a scraping tool.
3. Treat Remaining Gum Stain From Leather Couch
After the gum has been completely removed from the surface, you can use a specialized leather product to restore the look of the affected area. The color of the gum can cause staining, but with the highly recommended Amodex Ink & Stain Remover, you can easily restore the original color of your leather couch.
This non-toxic liquid cream stain remover can remove all kinds of stains from leather surfaces. Apply the product onto the stain and let it sit for 6 to 12 hours in order to take effect. Clean the surface using a lightly damp cloth and dry off your leather couch of all moisture using a soft, dry cloth.
Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief & Writer At Leatherskill
I’m a leather enthusiast turned artisan. Apart from crafting leather products, I’m passionate about writing in-depth guides and reviews on all things leather!