What's the Best Way to Remove Chewing Gum from Parking Lots and Sidewalks?

by Carleen Geisler July 24th, 2018 | in Power and Pressure Washing, Property Maintenance

removing chewing gum

Best tips for removing chewing gum from parking lots and sidewalks - quick reference table
Old GumNew GumLots of Gum
Pour water on the gum and scour - use a wire brush Cool the gum with an ice cube to avoid a sticky mess! Use a power washer, or chemicals such as paint stripper or orange peel oil. USE CAUTION - and test beforehand!

Chewing gum can be a nightmare to remove from hard surfaces such as parking lots and sidewalks. Left alone, chewing gum eventually turns into an unpleasant-looking black smudge that soaks into the tiny pores of the concrete to stay. Depending on the age of the gum mess, there are a few methods for removal that can prove to be quite effective.

Old Gum

Residue that has been sitting for some time is likely to be absorbed slightly into the concrete surface, meaning that scraping the gum off likely won’t work. Pouring water on the gum and scouring it with an abrasive scouring powder may provide enough friction to remove the old gum. A wire brush may be helpful to scrub the area.

Fresh Gum

If the gum has not yet penetrated the concrete, cool the gum with an ice cube to avoid a sticky mess. When the gum freezes, it becomes far more workable that the sticky mess it would have been in the heat. A metal scraper can be used to scrape under the gum and remove easily in one piece.

Removal of Lots of Gum

If you are dealing with removing lots of gum all at once, there are a couple of methods which may make removal easier. A power washer can help to dislodge gum residue, using either just water or water and a detergent to clean the concrete. If the power washer is not an option, and gum removal is proving to be difficult, there are chemicals available which work on gum residues such as paint stripper or orange peel oil. Exercise caution when using chemicals to remove gum residue and be sure to test the chemical on a corner of the concrete first to ensure it doesn’t discolor or harm the concrete.

While gum on the sidewalk or parking lot can be a messy pain, follow the above tips for removing it from your concrete – whether the residue is old or new there is a way to remove it.


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