How to Get Rid of Tar Stains How to Get Rid of Tar Stains

What You'll Need
Old Rags
Painter's Plastic
Putty Knife (plastic)
Masking Tape
Soap For Cars
Soft Bristle Brush
Safety Goggles

Tar stains on your car or truck are very unsightly and hard to remove with a simple car wash. Avoiding road construction zones is sometimes impossible and your car often becomes a victim of the sticky substance. Often times, the paint finish on your car can become damaged if you attempt to remove the tar with an abrasive type scratch pad or harsh cleaner. Follow the steps below to remove tar from your vehicle without damaging the paint.

Step 1 - Tape Off Plastic

Place painter's plastic on the ground underneath you and with your masking tape, tape off any part of the car that is plastic. This is necessary to prevent gasoline from stripping the paint from your plastic moldings. 

Step 2 - Mix Soap And Water

In your bucket mix together the recommended proportion of soap and water mix. You will need to use the mixture along with your soft bristled brush after each area where you remove tar. 

Step 3 - Apply Gasoline

With your gloves and safety goggles on, apply a small amount of gasoline to your rag. Apply the rag to the affected area of your car and begin to wipe the area vigorously. Occasionally remove the rag from the area to check the progress of the tar contact to the vehicle. If the tar is persistent, add more gasoline from the rag.

Step 4 - Rinse Area

Once you have removed the tar from the area, rinse the area thoroughly with your water hose and check to see if you missed any spots. If you have missed a spot, use another dry rag to dry the area thoroughly. With the other rag, begin to wipe vigorously again until the spot is removed. Rinse area thoroughly and check for any missed spots.

Step 5 - Wash Area

When the area has been thoroughly rinsed, you will now use your soap and water mixture to wash away any traces of the gasoline. After a minute of delicate scrubbing, rinse the area and examine your paint's finish. The tar should be removed and paint left in tact.

Step 6 - Repeat Steps

You will repeat Steps 3 through 5 on each side of your car. Be sure to check thoroughly for any missed spots on each section of the vehicle you work on. There will also be tar build up in the area behind each of your wheels. If the tar build up is substantially heavier than what was on the body of the car, use a stiff bristled brush  and putty knife to remove as much as you can. After you have removed what you can, refer to Steps 3 through 5 to remove the tar.

Step 7 - Wax if Necessary

If the wiping with gasoline has dulled your paint, it will be necessary to wax and buff the area so that the shine is equal to the rest of your car. A complete wax and buff job will help tremendously.

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