How to Remove Gum from Tiled Floors

black and white checkered tile
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-20
What You'll Need
Old credit card
Plastic putty knife
Rubber scraper
Soft cloth
Blow dryer
Peanut butter or oil
White vinegar
Commercial solvent

Tile floors are durable and easy to clean but sticky gum can be tricky to remove from them. There are several strategies that you can use to remove the gum. Try the following steps from the easiest to the more aggressive.

Step 1 – Use a Scraper

Try simply scraping the gum off of the floor. But don’t use a regular metal putty knife as it might scratch the floor. Use an old credit card, rubber scrapper, or plastic scraper.

Step 2 - Freeze it Off

Take an ice cube and rub it on the gum. The gum should harden and then you can scrape it up using one of the scrapers above. Clean the surface with a solution of vinegar and water mixed half and half and a soft cloth. This method may not work well in high temperatures or if it is a large piece of gum.

Step 2 – Heat It Up

To soften the gum get out your blow dryer. Turn the blow dryer on the low setting. Direct the hot air to the gum and keep going back and forth over it until it starts to soften. Then use a plastic or rubber scraper to remove it from the tile. Clean the floor with a 50/50 solution of vinegar in water and dry it with a soft cloth.

Step 3 – Use Oil

Your mom’s trick of removing gum with peanut butter actually works. The reason it works is that contains oil. You can use any oil, even spray oil, but the peanut butter is a solid and easier to control because it doesn’t run all over the floor. Try lifting the edge of the gum so that the oil can get underneath. Then keep lifting around the edges with a plastic scraper until it comes off. Since you just put something oily on the floor it is important to clean it thoroughly so that no one slips on a slippery tile. The same solution of vinegar and water works well. You may need to clean and dry it and then run your hand over it to see if all the oil has been removed. If not, repeat the cleaning and dry it well.

Step 4 – Use a Commercial Product

For the toughest wads of gum you can get a commercial product meant to remove sticky substances. You simply apply it according to the manufacturer’s directions and then scrape the gum off. Remember to clean the area afterwards.

If your tile is made from natural stone you will need to be especially careful about the solvents you put on your floor. Follow the manufacturer’s warning to avoid damaging or discoloring the tile. Ceramic tiles are sealed better but they are easier to scratch. So, no matter which tile flooring you have use a gentle hand when removing any substance.