Tar Stain Removal Solutions




This is your step by step guide to tar stain removal from clothes, fabrics, carpets and upholstery.

Removing tar is difficult but not impossible. Tar stains are a combination of oil and dye, so you must use more than one stain remover. The first task is to remove the sticky oil residue left from the tar. Once you've removed the tar solids, you can tackle the black stain.

Below are solutions on how to remove tar stains from clothes & fabrics and removing tar stains from carpets & upholstery.


Description: A dark, oily, viscous material, consisting mainly of hydrocarbons, produced by the destructive distillation of organic substances such as wood, coal, or peat. Production and trade in tar was a major contributor in the economies of Northern Europe and Colonial America. Its main use was in preserving wooden vessels against rot. The largest user was the Royal Navy. Demand for tar declined with the advent of iron and steel ships.

Tar stain removalFor the general public, the need to remove tar stains occurs almost exclusively during the warm months of late spring, summer, and early fall. These substances are sold when they’re cold, so there is little risk of them spreading and smearing during the winter months. However, construction workers may be susceptible to removing tar stains year-round, when roofing, filling potholes, or paving new roads. Tar and asphalt stick readily to shoes, socks, and cuffs of pants. Stains on knees and elbows are also possible, especially following spills from bikes, skateboards, roller blades, and other forms of locomotion.


Tar Stain Removal from Clothes & Fabrics

Solution 1:

1. Freeze with ice cubes until the tar becomes brittle, then carefully scrape with a plastic spatula.

2. Before you begin treating the underlying stain, test a small part of the fabric for colorfastness.

3. For a fresh stain, place the stain face-down on paper towels and sponge it with kerosene.

4. Replace the paper towels frequently to absorb as much tar as possible and to avoid transferring the stain.

5. Apply stain pretreater and launder the article in the hottest water possible with regular laundry detergent.

6. For a hard dry stain, apply petroleum jelly to soften it, then sponge with cleaning solvent.

7. Test for colorfastness and then try non-butane lighter fluid to loosen and remove the tar stain. Use in a well-ventilated area away from heat or flames.

8. If you still can’t get the stain out after several tries with kerosene or lighter fluid, apply and reapply laundry pretreater to keep the stain wet for 20 minutes. Follow with a rinse in warm water.

Solution 2:

1. Act quickly before stain dries. Use a dull knife to scrape excess tar from the fabric.

2. Place stain face-down on paper towels. Sponge with cleaning fluid. Replace towels frequently for better absorption.

3. Launder, using hottest water safe for that fabric.


Tar Stain Removal from Carpets & Upholstery

Solution 1:

1. Rub the affected area with ice, then use a dull knife or spoon to remove as much as possible. If tar is dried, rub warm glycerin into it and let it soak until the tar or asphalt is softened.

2. Blot stain gently with an absorbent cloth to remove as much tar and asphalt as possible. Replace cloth as it becomes covered with the stain. Continue until you have removed as much stain as possible.

3. Sponge the stain with eucalyptus oil or turpentine, blotting continuously.

4. Sponge the stain with a sudsy detergent solution, then scrub with an old toothbrush to work solution into carpet.

5. Blot with water to rinse.

6. If the stain remains, apply dry-cleaning fluid or a carpet spotter according to manufacturer’s directions.

Solution 2:

1. Scrape off as much tar as possible.

2. Sponge the stain with a dry-cleaning solvent.

3. Blot until the liquid is absorbed.

4. Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with 2 cups of warm water.

5. Sponge the stain with the detergent/vinegar solution.

6. Blot until the liquid is absorbed.

7. Sponge with cold water and blot dry.

Have you reached tar stain removal success? I hope so!


Related Articles:

Grease Stain Removal

Oil Stain Removal

Grass Stain Removal


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