Rock Talk

Car Care Can Be A Sticky Situation

Last updated on October 28, 2019 at 12:25 pm

In high school I was always curious about my friends’ dad’s obsession with keeping a clean car. His dad would wax his car with such precision that he would use a Q-tip to wax and detail the grille. I thought it was insane back then but looking back now I realize if I’d had a 1968 Ford Mustang (in perfect condition) I’d not only use Q-tips but probably cotton gloves.

While I’m not fortunate enough to own such a fine classic car, I still take pride in my vehicle. In honor of the arrival of spring, I’ve been anxious to spruce up my ride. I tend to stick to the usual routine that involves vacuuming the interior, using special cloths and cleaner to revive the dashboard shine, hanging a new air freshener and a thorough wash and wax of the exterior. This year was looking like business as usual until I found one thing I never expected rudely stuck on the hood of my car: used chewing gum.

Now I have had practice getting gum off clothes and out of hair, but off a car hood. I had no idea. If the gum was still soft it might have been easy but this piece had spent days drying in the sun. I was worried about damaging the finish and leaving the car prone to a rust spot. After a bit of research I found five great tips about removing this sticky stowaway.

  1. Using a knife or another metal tool to remove the gum is a big no-no. It could scratch or chip paint and you’re left with two repairs instead of one.
  2. Canned air dusters have been reported to work very well. These cans of compressed air often used to clean keyboards and are available at most office supply stores. The burst of air blasts loose bits of gum off the car. The cold air also helps to freeze the stubborn pieces of gum and that makes it easier to remove because it isn’t so sticky.
  3. Likewise, ice cubes are another favorite. The best suggestion I’ve seen is to wrap one end of the ice cube in a towel and hold the exposed portion against the gum. Once the ice cube has completely melted, the gum should come off fairly easily.
  4. Bug and tar remover is an additional option and can be picked up at most auto shops. Since it’s intended to remove bugs and tar it should be able to remove gum.
  5. The one obvious favorite that never even entered my mind was gum remover. There are several brands available that all tout their ability to remove chewing gum from a variety of surfaces.

Currently the gum is still stuck to my car, I am confident one of these solutions will do the trick. I can’t be the first person to run into this either. New Jersey is filled with road warriors. So tell me,  the strangest thing you have found stuck to your car. How did you get rid of it?

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