Removing chewing gum from a table may seem daunting at first, but it’s not at all. With a couple of simple steps, you can remove not only the gum itself, but also the sticky substance that remains after it. After removing the gum, polish the surface of the table to restore its former shine.
Part 1 of 3: How to remove gum
Step 1. Apply ice cubes
Pour a dozen ice cubes into a plastic bag and place it on the surface of the gum. Wait for the gum to freeze.
- Thanks to the ice cubes, the gum should harden.
- Once the gum has hardened, remove it from the table by splintering it with a dull knife.
Step 2. Use vegetable oil
Dip the edge of a paper towel in vegetable oil and then apply it to the gum. Wipe the problem area thoroughly. The chewing gum should come loose from the table.
- Any vegetable oil will work for this method.
- A light, odorless oil (rapeseed oil, for example) will leave fewer marks.
Step 3. Use duct tape
Tear off a small piece of duct tape. Apply duct tape to the problem area, sticky side down. Press the tape against the table and then peel it off.
- The gum should stick to the duct tape and peel off the table.
- If there are still pieces of chewing gum on the table, pick up the sticky tape again until nothing remains.
Step 4. Use peanut butter
Apply a small amount of peanut butter to the gum, and after 15 minutes, scrape it off with a butter knife.
- The oil in the peanut butter will help dissolve the gum and remove it from the table.
- If you don't have peanut butter, try something just as oily, like mayonnaise, moisturizer, or makeup remover wipes.
Step 5. Scrape off the gum with a knife blade
Insert the blade between the gum and the table top. Gently run the blade along the table. To avoid scratching the surface of the table, try not to press too hard.
- Take a knife with a dull blade like a butter knife. Sharp knives should be used with care as they can cut or scratch the table.
- To make it easier to remove the gum, try applying some vegetable oil to the blade.
Part 2 of 3: How to remove traces of gum
Step 1. Use a chemical cleaner
Dampen a rag or paper towel with the cleaner and press it against the gum marks that remain on the table. After 3-5 minutes, wipe the area with a clean, dry towel.
- GUMEX is a good example of a chemical cleaner that effectively removes gum residue from table surfaces.
- Use the product again until all traces of gum have been removed.
Step 2. Wipe clean with warm soapy water
Fill a small container with warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap. Dampen a soft cloth or sturdy paper towel with soapy water and apply it to the remaining gum.
- Be careful not to use too much detergent when doing this.
- If there are still traces of gum on the surface, rinse them again. Then wipe the table dry.
Step 3. Wet the surface with acetone
Soak a cotton ball in acetone or paint thinner. Gently wipe the sticky substance with a damp ball.
- Due to the solvent properties of the paint, this method is not recommended for use on varnished, painted or finished surfaces.
- Continue rubbing the surface until you have wiped off all traces of gum.
Part 3 of 3: How to Repair a Wood Surface
Step 1. Use wood filler
Apply wood filler to any scratches or holes that may have formed after removing the gum. Smooth the surface with a trowel until it feels smooth to the touch.
- A small area can dry out within a few hours.
- Let the filler dry completely.
- Choose a wood filler that can be painted over.
Step 2. Sand the surface
Sand the surface with a fine-grained emery paper or sander until the table is smooth to the touch. If the surface is not smooth after sanding, reapply filler and sand the table surface again.
- If the surface is visible, try to limit the amount of sanding.
- Apply paint or varnish to the sanded surface.
Step 3. Apply wood oil
If the surface needs only light repairs, use wood oil. Use a brush to apply a generous amount of wood oil to the damaged surface. Wait 30 minutes and then wipe off excess oil with a soft cloth.
- The oil is best applied along the grain of the tree.
- Since tung oil is non-toxic, it is great for cooking tables. Danish or teak oil is recommended for outdoor tables.
Step 4. Polish the surface thoroughly
After the oil, you can apply furniture varnish. When the table is completely dry, spray the furniture varnish on a soft cloth. Apply varnish all over the table surface.
- You can also use furniture wax. Although wax is more difficult to apply, it will give a smoother surface.
- Furniture spray contains silicone, so it will have a brighter finish than wax or varnish. Polish the surface well to make it shine.