COIT's Guide to Removing Gum Stains
Gum stains aren’t the easiest stains in the world to tackle. But just because you encounter gum spots in your home, doesn’t mean you can’t get rid of them. It’s not as hard as you think to get your home’s surfaces back to normal. Coit offers some do-it-yourself techniques to help with gum stain removal.
The History of Gum
Before we jump into Coit’s specific gum stain removal techniques, it’s interesting to note how gum came to be. So the next time you encounter a few gum spots, you’ll know a bit more about where gum originated. The first signs of gum were actually in Ancient Greece. Greeks chewed mastiche, which is made from mastic tree resin. The Mayans also loved gum, as they chewed sap that came from sapodilla trees. Modern-day gum has obviously evolved from the days of tree sap, as there are countless types of chewing and bubble gum, in all kinds of flavors, to choose from.
What is Gum Made Of?
To understand how to remove gum stains, let’s take a look at the ingredients of gum.
The basic ingredients in your average gum spots are:
- Gum base
For many years, chicle was the main ingredient in gum base. Modern day chewing gum actually uses rubber as the main ingredient now. This rubber is actually a synthetic rubber that chemists learned how to make in the mid 1990’s.
The softeners in gum are made of vegetable oil or glycerin. The purpose of the softener is to make sure the gum stays chewable.
Most people probably wouldn’t want to chew gum that didn’t have a little sweet kick to it. Sweetener is added to keep consumers with a sweet tooth happy. The sweetener can be natural or synthetic, depending on the type of gum. Natural sweeteners like sugar, beet juice and corn syrup can be found in gum, while synthetic sweeteners like aspartame and sorbitol are also common.
The various flavorings that are added to gum, like peppermint, spearmint and fruit, can also be both natural or synthetic. When gum is being manufactured, flavoring is the final ingredient that’s added.
There are often a small amount of preservatives used in gum. The main reason that gum manufacturers use preservatives is to keep the gum fresh.
In the US alone, 2 billion dollars worth of gum is sold every year. Approximately 374 trillion sticks of gums are produced! Now the next time you see gum spots, remember that there’s a 35% chance that it’s manufactured by Wrigley. Wrigley has countless brands that are sold all around the world, though there are also 115 other competing chewing gum companies. And if you’re looking to get some extra exercise, chewing gum actually burns 11 calories per hour!
Gum Stain Removal
When you’re wondering how to remove gum stains, it’s important to remember that the sooner you act, the better. Once gum gets stuck onto the surface, it will be more difficult to remove. Coit offers a step by step guide to answer the question of how to remove gum stains that will keep gum spots under control.