How Can Tar Be Removed?


Quick Answer

Removing tar from clothing requires hardening it with an ice cube and scraping away any excess material, followed by loosening the remaining tar with an oily substance. Once the tar is gone, laundering the garment with detergent at the warmest temperature safe for the fabric removes the oil.

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Full Answer

Choices for lubricants to release the tar from fabric range from cooking oil to WD-40 and peanut butter. After selecting an oily product, apply it to the tar stain using a soft cloth, and scrub gently to loosen the tar. It is necessary to saturate the entire stain and work the product into the tar to remove it.

After the stain sits for a while, it is ready to go in the wash. The care label typically indicates the safe temperature range for the water. Washing the garment at a temperature near the range's upper limit helps remove the tar. Pretreating the stain with the detergent also helps ensure removal of the tar and any remaining oil stain. When the garment comes out of the wash, check for complete removal of the tar before drying it.

Tar stains on carpets usually come out using the freezing technique. Once the hardened tar loosens, use a vacuum to remove any excess. For the final step, scrub with a mixture of 1/4 cup of liquid dish soap in warm water, and blot with dry paper towels.

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