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Removing Tar from a Car

Tar can get kicked up on the front of car easily during hot weather. Tar can be especially difficult to remove from the paint. This is a guide about removing tar from a car.
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January 4, 20061 found this helpful

Got road tar on your new car? Instead of using abrasive bug and tar removers that can strip off wax, use peanut butter. Just rub a little on the spot with a clean rag and the tar will start coming off. Safe for your paint and earth friendly.

By Steve from Memphis, TN

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By 1 found this helpful
November 8, 2010

Road tar and asphalt which splatters up and sticks to an automobile is almost impossible to remove. That is, unless you first saturate the spots with linseed oil. Allow the oil to soften the tar for a few minutes and you'll find that the grime rubs right off with a piece of coarse cloth.

By Monica from Cortez, CO

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September 16, 20040 found this helpful

Take road tar off you car by smearing it with butter. Leave on overnight and wipe it off in the morning with a rag. Good as new. My friend had bought a brand new car and took it on her first road trip and went thru some road construction. Her car was covered along the bottom of the doors. We used the butter and her car was beautiful again.

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By Katz

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November 11, 20050 found this helpful

To remove tar spatters from your vehicle, spray with Avon Skin So Soft on the tar, let it set a minute or so and wipe off.

By Harlean from AR

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November 21, 20040 found this helpful

They were re-surfacing the roads in our housing development. I went to the near by local, Mom and Pop market, to get several needed supplies. On getting out of my auto, I noticed tar on the bottom of lower panels and doors.

When I got home, I took out my WD40, went out to my auto, sprayed it on the tar. Used a soft cloth for removal, so not to scratch paint. Using a little elbow grease, it came off like magic.

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By Gladys

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
September 16, 2010

What can I use to remove tar from the outside door panels of my automobile?

By Joan from Russellville, AR

Answers

September 19, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

I use kerosene. Put a little on a rag and gently rub the places where there is tar and it will disolve and come off with no harm to the paint.

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October 17, 20040 found this helpful

Does anyone know what takes tar off of cars? I recently got a little bit on mine & can't remember what I read about it. It was a non-chemical/toxic solution.

Thanks!

Vicki

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Answers

By Brenda (Guest Post)
October 18, 20040 found this helpful

Try peanut butter

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By (Guest Post)
October 18, 20040 found this helpful

Not exactly non-toxic, but I've used carburetor cleaner. Jayne.

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By kel (Guest Post)
October 18, 20040 found this helpful

I have used skin so soft from Avon and it worked great.

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By Vicki (Guest Post)
October 18, 20040 found this helpful

Thanks guys! I love this forum. I thought it was a food & I think peanut butter was it. If it doesn't work, I'll try the skin so soft.

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By (Guest Post)
October 18, 20041 found this helpful

spray on WD 40, it'l take it right off, might have to do it a couple times.

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By syd (Guest Post)
October 18, 20040 found this helpful

Since I am outside anyway, fumes is not an issue with me ... gasoline on a wrag will take it off.

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By William (Guest Post)
October 18, 20040 found this helpful

Try WD-40

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October 19, 20040 found this helpful

Many years ago a friend of mine and I were double-dating a couple of girls and the road to their homes was being paved. We were in my friends dad's brand new Pontiac and got tar all over it. We took it off with kerosine, but then had to wash it immediately with soap and water to keep from messing up the paint.

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Whatever you use, be sure and wash the car with a good car wash soap and water when you are finished. If you don't do this the paint will suffer.

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By Vicki (Guest Post)
October 19, 20040 found this helpful

Thanks guys! Great info!

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November 18, 20040 found this helpful

Coke is supposed to work. I have never tried it so can't guarantee it. You can buy Bug and Tar remover from a hardware store and it does work good.

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By (Guest Post)
July 4, 20060 found this helpful

I'll try the bug and tar remover and let you know, my white car has this globs on it, as if the worker on the road swung a full mop at the whole side! What a mess.

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By Jana (Guest Post)
January 29, 20080 found this helpful

Avon works great.

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By Andrea (Guest Post)
May 21, 20080 found this helpful

Peanut butter worked wonderfully

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By (Guest Post)
September 4, 20080 found this helpful

WD40 works great, I just bathed my torent in it this week because I ran over a spilled bucket of tar. Doesn't seem to affect the wax job so far.

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By Brian (Guest Post)
February 5, 20090 found this helpful

I just had one little spot and peanut butter took it right off.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 7, 2011

What is the easiest way to remove road tar off of cars? Elbow grease goes a long way, but there has to be an easier way. We wash our car with Dawn and this helps, but the tar stains are so stubborn. Help!

By Peggy

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Answers

August 8, 20110 found this helpful

Never wash your car with household soaps such as Dawn. Go to the automotive store and buy some tar removal liquid and follow the directions.

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August 8, 20110 found this helpful

We always use WD40 to clean off tar. Just spray, let it sit for a few minutes, and wipe with a dry cloth.
Don't spray while the auto is in the sun.

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August 8, 20110 found this helpful

WD40 works great.

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August 9, 20110 found this helpful

Skin so Soft...works great and smells better.

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July 14, 20120 found this helpful

How do you remove tar from a car that's been on for a long time? I've used gas, WD40, all types of removers, Varsol, peanut butter, mayo, and nail polish remover. Nothing works!

By Don

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

June 22, 20050 found this helpful

Tips for removing tar from your car or trucks finish. Post your ideas.
Responses:
Baking Soda 06/01/2005
Use baking soda to take the tar off your car.
By scabansweeps
Skin So Soft 06/01/2005
My sister drove her vet out from California a few years back and had driven through some oily tar and she could not remove it although she had tried all sorts of things. I suggested she try Skin So Soft, by Avon, and she was amazed! It took it off right away!
By jeanne (Guest Post)
Cold Cream 06/01/2005
Cosmetic cold cream works. Rub on and wipe off.
By siris (Guest Post)
Goof Off 06/02/2005
There is a product called Goof Off made by Lilly Industries that works like a charm. I purchased it at K-Mart, but you could probably find it at other similar stores.
By Diana W.
Gasoline 06/02/2005
Many years ago I used gasoline on a rag to remove it. Worked quite well. Do it outside rather in a closed garage.
By Syd (Guest Post)
WD40 06/05/2005
We used WD-40 to remove a 'lot' of tar from my son's car one time. It worked great, however, my brother told us that when it comes to repainting it, it isn't such a good idea. We didn't have to do that, so it didn't matter.
By (Guest Post)
Avon Bath Oil 06/22/2005
Nothing takes it off better that Avon Bath oil. Borrow it if you have to. It will amaze you, even if it's been there for a long time. Apply it with a rag, let it sit for a minute and wipe it off. No damage to the paint either.
By Ardis Barnes
Bath Oil Worked 07/08/2005
Thanks for the great tips! I used bath oil, and it came right off, wiped clean, no damage to the paint and it was A LOT of tar.
By chicago (Guest Post)

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September 16, 20100 found this helpful

There are some items in your kitchen that may be successful in removing tar. Butter, creamy peanut butter, or vegetable oil applied to the tar and left for 12 to 24 hours should soften in and make it easier to remove. If that doesn't work there are a few items from the garage that may work. WD-40, kerosene, or mineral spirits applied directly to the tar should soften it up and make it easier to remove. WD-40, kerosene, or mineral spirits will most likely remove wax from your car as well.

By ThriftyFun

Answers:

Cleaning Tar From Your Car

Peanut butter works well, and is fairly cheap, although it takes a little bit of elbow grease. (06/23/2006)

By Steve

Cleaning Tar From Your Car

I recently got tar on my car from a construction site around my apartment, I was terrified it wouldn't come out and it was a lot of it sprayed on the side. The car was only 2 weeks old. I knew my hubby would be so upset, so I saw the recommendation of Skin so Soft by Avon. I knew I had some, so I got it and a rag and tried it. I was amazed at how well it worked. I didn't have to rub too hard and it started coming out. (10/03/2006)

By Amanda

Cleaning Tar From Your Car

A paper towel dabbed in corn oil worked on mine. It took it of with some light rubbing. Then a quick rinse with some water did the job. (05/26/2007)

By Sooty

Cleaning Tar From Your Car

The best product I found is Grease B Gone from State Industries, but it is not cheap. $21.00 per pint. (08/01/2007)

By Glen

Cleaning Tar From Your Car

I tried several things to get the tar (the tar was pretty thick) off my van, Skin So Soft, car polish, etc. Then I tried WD40 which worked like a dream. I had to spray it several times, but it really broke up the tar and I was able to wipe it off fairly easily. (11/19/2007)

By Barbara Army

Cleaning Tar From Your Car

Yes, baking soda does work! I had 5 spots in one night on my new car, including the windshield and I just put the baking soda on the spots and used a wet rag and "bam" it came out. I couldn't believe it! Thanks for the tip. (01/18/2008)

By Josh

Cleaning Tar From Your Car

I just went out and tried a few of these suggestions and for me rubbing with baking soda first and coming back to the hard spots with veggie oil was great. Now my hubby won't let me get a new car because the problem is solved. Thanks whoever had this great idea! (02/09/2008)

By la

Cleaning Tar From Your Car

One word, two syllables, Gunwash! It is the easiest way to remove tar from vehicle. Use any clean rag with a bit of Gunwash. It will smudge on first few passes, but with in seconds, boom done. No letting it sit or waiting. Final pass, only swipe in one direction! (06/23/2008)

By Car Cleaning Master

Cleaning Tar From Your Car

I found the bicarb helpful, but when I used eucalyptus oil poured onto a teaspoon of bicarb that had been placed on a damp rag, the results were fantastic! Much less elbow grease was required and a sparkling car afterwards. It works heaps better than a leading brand of tar remover that was useless! (10/03/2008)

By West Aussie guest post

Cleaning Tar From Your Car

I used Goof Off and it works wonders. I had the tar stuck on my car for a whole weekend and I removed it using Goof Off. (11/17/2008)

By Manny

Cleaning Tar From Your Car

Goo Gone works great for getting smoke residue off the windows. Wipe it on, scrub a bit, then wipe it off with a dry microfiber cloth. The microfiber is key to getting a streak-free, residue-free shine.

I am not sure about on painted surfaces, but since it works for painted walls indoors I would guess it might go okay. The Avon bath oil is a good idea. I will have to try it.

(11/26/2008)

By bananapopsicle

Cleaning Tar From Your Car

The baking soda was amazing. Within a minute or two it softened it right up and I could wipe it off. It also worked well on rubbing off bike tire marks on my bumper. (01/16/2009)

By Sara

Cleaning Tar From Your Car

I tried the baking soda and that did work. However, another item we had around the house worked even better, Simple Green. It's just an all-purpose cleaner and it worked great! We just sprayed it on and we wiped the tar off like we were wiping off dirt.

(08/19/2009)

By Peggy

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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