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May 13, 2011 1:35 PM   Subscribe

A family member accidentally left a huge bag of gummy bears and worms in the backseat of his car during a very hot day and now the damn thing has melted all over the leather and into the seatbelt cavity. What are our options?

It's a foot wide, half inch thick congealed puddle of gelatin. Icing the puddle for an hour helped us peel back some of the gunk but we haven't been able to actually remove any of it without some difficulty. What can we do that wont damage the leather?
posted by patronuscharms to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I guess it bears mentioning that the bag was ripped and that's why this is a big disaster. Just in case anyone asks.
posted by patronuscharms at 1:45 PM on May 13, 2011

If it's not suede leather, I'd try a little bit of vegetable oil.
posted by cosmicbandito at 1:51 PM on May 13, 2011

Canned air makes things pretty cold, not sure if it would do anything to the leather though. Might want to try that rather than watery ice.
posted by kellyblah at 1:59 PM on May 13, 2011

Gellatine dissolves with heat, not cold. Cold is going to make it harden, maybe binding more into the pores in the leather. I guess you dont want to pour buckets of boiling water into the car, maybe try a hot air gun?
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:05 PM on May 13, 2011

This is one I'd pay someone else to take care of. Check out the rates for auto detailing in your area.
posted by runningwithscissors at 2:09 PM on May 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

I bet a steam cleaner would blast it off; do you have a neighbour you can borrow one from? Something like this. It's not as...steamy, as you'd think, and I have yet to see it damage the surface of anything (note the pic of the boot being cleaned). You can aim a pretty precise stream of steam. I once used it to take off some primer that had been painted over varnished wood; the primer got slightly, briefly stretchy and just peeled right off. I bet it would work the same way with the gummy puddle.
posted by kmennie at 2:11 PM on May 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Remove Gelatin Stains From:
Felt, Leather, Suede
Gently scrape to remove excess. Mix a solution of mild soap in lukewarm water. Swish to create a great volume of suds. Apply only the foam with a sponge. Wipe with a clean dry cloth. If a sticky feeling persists, wipe again and dry. On leather only, follow with Tannery Vintage Leather Cleaner & Conditioner or Fiebing's Saddle Soap to condition the leathe
r. via

The biggest problem I think you will face is the dye. According to carpet cleaners, Kool-Aid is the worst stain to get out of a carpet because of the bright color, and gummy bears use those same kind of food dyes. Anyway, they have recommended Bio-OX Citrus Concentrate before, but I don't know if you can use that on leather.
posted by misha at 2:33 PM on May 13, 2011

If it were my car, I would try the wax removal method that's gotten me out of trouble with melted candle wax on carpet - put a clean white cloth or brown paper bag over the mess and iron over it with a hot iron, changing out the cloth/paper as it soaks up the melting colored gunk.
posted by cecic at 4:54 PM on May 13, 2011

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