At some point, we all encounter stains and sticky residue that need removing. For some advice, we went to the experts at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute. They published Stain Rescue, which includes much of the following information in greater detail, and well-researched recommendations for removing hundreds of other stains. >Here are some tips from the GHRI and manufacturers of sticky products on removing gum, stickers and glue from household surfaces.
General rules of stain removal
• Upholstery should have labels or tags listing care instructions, but sometimes the information is coded as follows: W means it should be cleaned with a water-based product such as a mild detergent. S means it should be cleaned with a mild waterless dry-cleaning solvent. WS means either is allowed. X means do nothing. Only have the material professionally cleaned.
• Carpet typically comes with care information that you should file away.
• Many cleaning products damage leather. For stained leather, contact the manufacturer or a leather cleaning specialist.
The key to removing gum is putting it on ice. Use ice to freeze the gum and it should pop off. If you are using this method on a surface that shouldn't get wet, you can put the ice in a Ziploc bag, then try to freeze the gum. .
To remove any remaining gum residue from upholstery or carpet, blot the stain with a dry-cleaning solvent on a cloth until the residue is gone.
For other surfaces, except leather, silk and suede, try Goo Gone. For gum residue on leather, mineral spirits should help, followed by a leather conditioner.
Sticker, glue removal
To remove sticker residue and glue, first scrape off as much of the glue or sticker as possible. If the glue has hardened, you can try to soften if by rubbing petroleum jelly or waterless hand cleaner onto the glue. Another option is to stack paper towels on the glue and saturate them with warm water. Leave them there until the glue softens.
For craft glue stuck to upholstery or carpet, the GHRI suggests mixing one tablespoon of hand dishwashing soap into two cups of warm water, and blotting it onto the stain with a cloth until the glue is absorbed. For stubborn carpet stains, try mixing one tablespoon of ammonia in two cups of warm water, and blot until the stain is gone. But ammonia itself can stain, so check it in an inconspicuous spot.
The makers of Super Glue say only one product can remove the glue in many cases: acetone. Put some acetone-based nail polish remover on a cotton swab or toothbrush and try to soften or remove the glue. Beware that acetone can discolor fabric and damage laminate countertops.
Acetone also works for removing sticker adhesive residue from most surfaces. If these solutions don't work, try Goo Gone.