Sticky pink mess
May 23, 2006 4:14 PM   Subscribe

How do I get the bubble gum out of my car seats?

I just bought a used car, and although it's running well and mostly in good shape, my backseat passengers were a little disgusted to discover old bubble gum stuck to the seat belts, seat, and door handles. Probably at least a year old, presumably from the kids of the previous owner. The gum is hard, and pretty stuck. I've scraped away at some of it but it's hanging on for dear life. Is there some sort of tool/cleaning solution that I could use to get it off and make my backseat more hospitable? Bonus points for something that works for paint too (these were messy kids, it seems!). Thanks!
posted by purplefiber to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Soak it with WD40. It's the best thing for dealing with bubble gum, but I'd be hesitant to use it in your situation if you have the "fuzzy", porous upholstery, and also if it's on seat belts it might get on clothes later on. But I guess you could in turn scrub that out with detergent.
posted by rolypolyman at 4:22 PM on May 23, 2006

Try rubbing it with ice until it hardens, then pick it out with a dental pick. Good luck, I've been there and came "that" close to killing my eldest when he was a youngster.
posted by buggzzee23 at 4:38 PM on May 23, 2006

Google is said to be effective.
posted by LarryC at 4:42 PM on May 23, 2006

Mineral spirits usually work pretty well.
posted by borkingchikapa at 5:41 PM on May 23, 2006

seconding ice
posted by k8t at 5:44 PM on May 23, 2006

Do you have access to something that can fire off long(ish) blasts from a compressed CO2 cylinder? Something like a can-powered modeller's airbrush? If so, a sustained blast from the CO2 will make the gum very brittle and easy to chip away. It might take a few squirt/chip cycles, but it should break away piece by piece.

At a pinch, you could use a CO2 bike tyre inflater, but be very careful with your fingers. Using one of those I managed to get a nasty welt on a finger, by cold-welding the skin to a tyre's valve.

Once you've got rid of the gum, you're probably going to be left with nasty greasy stains.
posted by veedubya at 6:11 PM on May 23, 2006

Goo Gone - It's fantastic stuff!
posted by thebarron at 9:46 PM on May 23, 2006

I'm thinking "fire".
posted by solid-one-love at 10:11 PM on May 23, 2006

Get one of those compressed air dusters used to clean keyboards and other computer related equipment. Hold it upside down and spray the gum. It will freeze it and you should be able to pull it right off.
posted by isopropyl at 11:24 PM on May 23, 2006

Seconding Goo Gone. Although I like the idea of cryo-freezing it as well. :)
posted by antifuse at 3:07 AM on May 24, 2006

Similar to Goo Gone, I've heard Goof-Off is very good as well.
posted by bkdelong at 6:10 AM on May 24, 2006

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