Gum Removal is Sticky Business!
So you’re assigned a new cube. As you’re settling in, you pull away from the desk and you’re tethered to a gummy, gooey mess. You remember the person who used to be in your new space… that lip-smacking, gum-chomping sound. Or, worse still, you grab your desk to pull your chair up and you feel a disgusting soft slimy substance that your fingers sink into… gag!
There’s even an urban legend that when President Obama first pulled himself up to the oval office desk, he found some of Bush 43’s gum underneath. And so we’re entirely non-partisan here, Obama’s been known to gnaw on a wad of nicorette himself – just as the Chinese!
For all those people who keep on sticking gum underneath desks, STOP! It’s disgusting and dirty. No one claims to stick their wads under the desk, but someone has to be doing it. Gum doesn’t magically disappear from your mouth and appear under the desk. If you’re a chewer, throw that wad in the trash when you’re done with it.
Have you ever wondered about how many germs are lingering on that piece of gum? Scientists have found that about 10 million bacteria are thriving in a gram of spat-out gum. Nothing is more unsanitary than used gum. And the worst part is, aside from the bacteria, that you don’t know whose gum it was.
When I was a child we were taught to save the gum wrapper to enclose the sticky remains. These days, I see conscientious building porters on their hands and knees scraping away all the unsightly blobs, only to have the newly pristine surface become a target again for the spitters. (Do they get points for distance covered?)
When I looked up “gum removal” on the Internet I found an entire industry. Not only do companies sell equipment to remove the residue, some send out cleaning teams to deal with it.
AQC Commercial Cleaning routinely schedules gum inspections, because after all, you need to inspect what you expect, and we use environmentally safe methods for loosening and removing gum from floors and surfaces. We use a variety of methods, depending on where the gum is, and a lot of elbow grease. We also always take care to keep the finishes of floors, counter tops and other surfaces free from scratches and other damage that a less careful removal process might leave.
Travel and research indicates that gum blobs are a worldwide urban issue — some cities have fined merchants, whose property is in effect vandalized, if there is not prompt removal. It is also a health issue because of all those germs, especially as flu season enters the picture.
Remember to wash your hands, sneeze into your sleeve, cover your mouth when you cough… dispose of your gum in the wrapper it came in!