Second only to cigarette butts, chewing gum is the largest littering item in the world. Once gum is made, it is made forever. It’s so ever-lasting that if we accidentally swallow a minty chew our stomachs, and all of their super digesting enzymes, are simply unable to break it down. For this reason, gum is a nagging environmental issue that has invaded our streets, making it enemy number one to clean pathways and malls. Gum is well and truly on the naughty list, with many environmentalists and governments debating whether it should be banned. Singapore has gone one step further and gum can no longer be purchased within the country.
One of the reasons a ban is being pushed for in so many countries is because gum very difficult to remove. Thanks to it’s robust nature it is hard to break down simply with chemicals. Anyone who has had the “pleasure” of removing gum from their clothes will agree! The classic choice in this instance is to freeze it off, resulting in your favourite jumper being placed alongside the frozen veggies for about a week (not ideal). Unfortunately, this reasonably environmentally friendly method doesn’t work for streets, buildings and common areas, so if you are faced with the predicament of having to clean this unsightly confectionary from your outdoor surfaces, then here is some advice.
Our recommendation, particularly if you want to take the task on yourself, is not to (sorry!) unless you are very experienced and have done this before. Removing chewing gum is not an easy job and it requires chemical treatment as well as one of our favourite tools, the Pressure Cleaner. Pressure Cleaners look awesome (and are) but combining them with chemicals and using the correct balance of pressure and temperature can be a tricky job that requires skill and experience.
Once the person in control of the Pressure Cleaner has all of these elements in check, it is then their job to apply it to the surface safely. Safety around this tool is the highest priority, the pressure level for this job is very powerful and chemicals can be harmful; one wrong move could result in a healthy and safety disaster. That’s why we have such tight and non-negotiable safety rules on any job where a Pressure Cleaner is involved; these unassuming devices can pack a punch if not used correctly.
Our advice is to give us a call; not only are you saving yourselves a lot of leg-work but you are also making sure no one, and no surface, is hurt/damaged in the process. We are also incredibly mindful of environmental impact and, when we can, we always pick chemicals that will reduce our footprint on the planet. Chewing gum is literally one of the biggest pains on earth, but with the right skill and expertise it can removed relatively hassle free. The easiest solution, however, is prevention! It’s worth sharing the facts around chewing gum with friends and family so we can help people understand the consequences of simply throwing chewing gum on our once spotless streets.