Spring's here, and that means many residential and commercial facilities will want their carpets cleaned. It also means that gum, adhesives, and similar soiling that found their way onto carpets during the winter months now need to come out.

However, removing this type of soiling can be a challenge. Further, even when it appears that gum or adhesives have been removed, they sometimes reappear a few days later. This is because some of the sticky residue remains in the carpet.

Doug Berjer, Marketing Manager for  CFR (manufacturers of portable recycling carpet extractors), offers the following suggestions for removing gum and adhesive residue from carpets:

Scrape. Scrape off as much of the gum/adhesive as possible. Freezing the gum and "chipping" it off is also an option.

Heat. To remove the sticky residue that often remains after scraping, clean with a hot-water carpet extractor or use a steam vapor system applied over an absorbent towel (the residue transfers to the towel).

Chemicals. Either a non-volatile dry solvent, a volatile dry solvent, or a gel solvent can be used to remove any remaining residue. Allow for dwell time, and then agitate the area using a scraper. This works the solvent into the residue. Rinse with hot water and detergent if needed.

"While these steps can do the job, cleaning professionals should know there may be one more step," says Berjer. "In many cases, the whole process has to be repeated to ensure that all the residue has been removed from carpet fibers."