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This is only a last resort if you are getting ready to toss it because of the stain. Take a plastic knife and scrape off what you can. Then take a few drops of either Dawn (the plain, not the extra power ones) on a clean old toothbrush and gently rub it into the spot....using the knife to pick off what comes up. Tide liquid may also work (again, just the basic one, not any of the fancy ones). This worked for me on a jacket I had years ago, but it also DIDN'T work on a pair of shoes.
The second thing is if you are at all crafty (I swear half my teenage outfits were redone because of stains), you can try to make the stain a design element. Now there are websites to help...back then it was dump the sewing box and scrap bag and go to town :)
How can I remove a tar stain from an upholstered chair?
By Shalowin from Lincolnshire, IL
May I suggest WD-40 on a small area first and if that works, go for it all. But do a clean up of the wd-40 with some soap and water as well.
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Can anyone give advice on removing a spot of tar on the fabric seats of my car? Wanting to show my daughter the color, I put a sample shingle of our to be installed new roof on the car seat. Not wanting to get gravel on it, laid it right side up. Unfortunately, there was some tar on the back.
Thanks so much.
Marilyn in Florida
I swam through seaweed patch in my brand new bathing suit. Thought for sure it was ruined, had nothing to lose. I moistened the material, saturated the tar and surrounding area with "Goop" (you can buy in detergent aisle of grocery store), gently removed the big chunck of tar with my fingernail, rinses with fresh cold water, re applied goop, lightly brushed it with soft toothbrush until a little tar came up, then rinsed again. Continue the light brushing, rinsing and goop application until it is gone. Hope It helps and comes out. (01/25/2005)
"Energine" spot remover has always done the job for me. You will find it at the hardware store (sometimes at a grocery store). It is 100% naphtha so use with adequate ventilation! It has never failed me! (01/25/2005)
By Marge Mayhew
All the other proposed solutions sound good to me. 20 or so years ago, I got oil/tar in my hair and on the car seat from swimming in the Gulf of Mexico (oil spill 2 years earlier). I ended up using lighter fluid on both and it came out fairly well. Be careful of the fumes and being around someone grilling or smoking, until you can get it washed off enough. (01/27/2005)
You can buy Bugand Tar remover at Wal-mart or any where in the automotive department. It works great! My husband is a roofer and we use this all the time to remove tar from anything. (02/08/2005)
I just had someone with tar on his pants sit on fabric seats in my car, I went to some old emails about the benefits of WD-40. It really works, I sprayed the WD-40 and wiped it off with a paper towel and everything was gone. Great stuff.