How Do You Remove Tar From Brick?

Tar is often difficult to remove from brick, and larger spills are sometimes impossible to remove. With smaller spills, diligent effort usually succeeds, although some staining can remain. Use a putty knife, hammer, chisel, dry ice, mineral spirits and kitty litter to remove the tar. Wear protective clothing, gloves and eye protection while working.

  1. Freeze the tar

    While wearing gloves, apply the dry ice to the tar to harden it. Use the putty knife or hammer and chisel to break away the excess tar from the brick.

  2. Wash with mineral spirits

    Use a stiff bristle nylon brush and mineral spirits to scrub any remaining tar from the brick. Try wetting the residue and allowing the solvent to soak a few minutes before scrubbing. Avoid spreading the stain to other surfaces. Use clear water to wash away any mineral spirits from the brick. If working indoors, provide adequate ventilation.

  3. Remove the final residue

    If there are stubborn stains on the brick, attempt to remove them by applying a mineral spirit poultice. Mix the solvent with an absorbent material, such as kitty litter. Apply the poultice to the stain. Use plastic to hold it in place and reduce evaporation of the solvent. Add more solvent as time progresses. As the mineral spirits dissolve the tar, the kitty litter adsorbs it from the brick. Scrape away the poultice, and rinse with water.