If you work on a construction site or if you are always busy repairing vehicles, then at least once, in your life, you might have come across the problem of removing tar from your clothes. Tar stains can be on your favorite t-shirts or pants, or any other clothes, and getting rid of those stains is difficult.
Tar is a natural substance that is dark black and is generally used in construction sites, and is made up of wood, coal, and petroleum along with other organic components. Being really dark and generally thick in texture, it’s a sticky liquid that often puts stains on clothes, and such stains are not easily removed by simple washing.
Tar is not like ordinary stains, which get removed immediately or by using simple washing techniques, and it is one of the most difficult stains to remove from clothes and fabrics. People generally question how to get rid of tar from your clothes and if you are among them who has got tar on your clothing, then you might be interested in knowing how to get rid of these stained clothes.
Continue reading this post to understand how you can scrape off as much tar as possible in the best possible ways.
Being different from ordinary liquid stains, tar hardens and sticks to the fabrics of the clothes, making it difficult to remove. Yet it is possible to get rid of tar from clothes if the correct steps are taken using the correct method. On a general note, one must never try to get rid of tar when it’s not dry. You should always wait till the tar dries completely, ensuring that the stain should not become enlarged and further, you can scrape off tar from your fabric.
Removing wet tar from clothes ends up pushing the tar into a deeper layer of fabrics and hence making a permanent stain on the clothes. Further, a good oil-based product can save you from having a permanent stain on your cloth. Now the question arises which is a good oil-based product and how to use it for removing tar without damaging clothes and fabrics?
Even if you have few ideas regarding the right oil-based product to remove tar from clothing, it can still be difficult if the steps followed are not appropriate. There are many products available that claim to be successful in removing stains of tar from clothes making it more difficult to identify the right one.
However, the right product for a particular kind of cloth or a particular kind of stain can vary accordingly. After using a prewash stain remover to blot and rub the stain to remove tar from your clothing, you can also try a few ways that can help to remove tar that are mentioned below:
As mentioned earlier, you should not try to remove tar stains when they are wet; otherwise, the problems can increase. But you should also not wait longer for tar to dry as it can give you a permanent stain. The best thing you can do is you can rub ice on the tar stain immediately so that it dries up faster and its removal can be done quickly.
You must sponge the stain with dishwashing soap or petroleum jelly after rubbing until the stain disappears. There are various cleaning tips available for stained clothing but warm water can definitely help you a lot in the stain treatment and removal process.
As soon as you find that the tar stain has hardened up, you should start scrapping the tar away. For this step, you can use tools like a chisel or dull-edged knife. The benefit of scrapping the tar away is that as soon as the topmost layer of the hard tar will be removed, then it creates a way for removal products so that they can go into deeper layers of the fabric.
You should always try to remove the maximum amount of tar deposits since this is the easiest step while removing tar from clothes.
After completing the above mandatory steps next is to decide which stain removal product will be best suitable to remove tar stains from clothes. For deciding, you should always keep in mind that the cleaning solution products should not cause any damage to the fabric, like ripping them or making them discolor.
A small test can be done to ensure the safety of clothes in a way that you can have the removal products on a cotton ball and can apply the same on any inside part of the cloth or the seam area. After waiting for around 10 to 15 minutes, if you don’t find any kind of damage to your cloth, you can continue using the product; else, you should check for other products for the same test.
Talking about the most effective way to remove tar stains from clothing, the product WD-40 comes to mind.
You should ensure that you do not use a high amount of WD-40 since it’s also an oil-based product; therefore, it can leave another stain on your clothes.
Moving the following product, which is Goo gone which comes in a liquid form, is another petroleum-based product that is very much ideal for small tar stains; if the tar stain is tough, then you can use the above two products and then the Goo gone for the best results. You can either put it into a spray bottle or can directly apply using a rag on the stain and rub it with a clean white cloth. If you don’t find the desired result the first time and there’s some tar residue left, you can repeat the process of using Goo gone till the stain completely removes.
But ensuring a pre-test of acetone is greatly advisable since acetone can damage certain fabrics.
Decreasing cleaners are generally used in automobile industries in industries where tar-like products are readily available, and tar stains are the most common. Some of the decreasing cleaners are fast Orange cleaner, mean green, etc.
This degreasing cleanser comes in many forms depending on which brand you go for, as few exist in the detergent form while others are in liquid or spray bottles. The key factor of these products is they cost minimum damage to the clothes when used with cool water and hence are highly recommended.
Cleaning fluid, and baking soda can also become a cloth saviour in case of tar stains. For using liquid solvent, you should first go for a free wash treatment and then either kerosene or lighter fluid. Make sure you air dry the clothes after using kerosene-like products since they are inflammable. In the case of baking soda, make a semi-solid paste out of baking soda and apply it on the stained area; let’s sit for 10 to 15 minutes, and wash the cloth properly.
Liquid dish soap or dishwashing liquid can also help to remove tar stains if stains are not very tough. You should pour an adequate amount of dishwashing liquid apply liquid directly onto the stain and rub it with the help of a brush till the tar stain removes. These products do come in handy when you want to remove peanut butter from your clothes too but it must be rubbed with dry paper towels. Once done, use a dry cleaner or dry cleaning solvent to get rid of the additional excess tar spot marks.
These products are highly recommended since all the above-mentioned products, like WD-40, cooking oil, and grease, are vegetable oil-based products, and they leave their stains after removing tar stains from the clothes. Therefore, you must always use an oil stain remover or hydrogen peroxide to ensure there are no leftover stains.
Again, there are several oil stain removers available on the market in many different forms, including solid and liquid. Each of them has a different way of use. You should read the instructions given at the back carefully before use. These products work in almost all kinds of oil stain removal and you can also use ice cubes and dull knife to take out the extra pine tar from the cloth.
After doing all the above-mentioned steps, the last step is washing the cloth off properly. It is advisable to go for heavy or laundry detergents so that no amount of oil is left on the cloth. Try to wash with the hottest water possible but do read the washing instructions on the cloth before doing so.
Put the washing machine on a heavy cycle and keep an eye on the stain. If the stain remains after the wash, then you should again repeat the process to remove the stain completely.
Do not put the cloth on the dryer until the stain removes completely since doing so can melt the tire on your clothes which may get stuck to the dryer parts or other clothes.
Tar stains not only spoil the look but can also embarrass you in front of your guest if present on your carpet and mats. Tar stains can come along your shoes into your carpet, and getting those stains away is not as easy as washing them. Again, for removing tar from the carpet, make sure to harden the tar, which can be done using ice as mentioned above. You can scrub the tar stain when it is dry instead of using rubbing alcohol.
It’s considered that the stains of pine tar are not easily removed and are one of the toughest stains which can hamper the look of your clothes. However, getting tar out of clothes is possible if followed the exact steps mentioned n this post. There are some products available in the market like WD-40, goo-gone, acetone, and many more which can remove tar from clothing pretty easily.
Since all these available products are oil-based, therefore, using an oil stain remover is always a good idea. The overall washing should be done with laundry detergent along with hot water so that there should be no traces of stain left. If you know about any other working methods that can help in removing tar from clothing, then do let us know about them.