How to Get Tar Out of Clothes

Working with tar may be one of the least desirable jobs you could get stuck with. Tar is smelly, sticky, and gooey, and it can be challenging to get rid of it when it gets stuck to your clothes. 

However, several products and procedures are available to remove tar stains from clothing, ranging from kerosene to grease. Here is a list of ten ways to get tar out of your clothes using materials at home. 

10 Ways to Get Tar Stains Out Of Clothes

Not knowing how to get tar out of your clothes will leave you with the only option of getting a new one when tar pours on it, which is quite understandable because of how tar stain damages clothes. 

Sometimes, when you find a way to get the tar out, some residue might remain after the initial glob of tar has been removed. 

Luckily, there are several methods you can use to get rid of tar stains completely, using materials you can find around the house.

You don’t have to worry about searching for complicated cleaning solutions. Let’s get into it!

1. Use Ice Blocks

 Ice Blocks

Like chewing gum, did you know tar comes off easily when it’s hard? To use an ice block, follow these steps: 

Step 1: Place some ice cubes in a plastic bag.

Step 2: In gentle motions, rub the bag on the stain till the tar hardens

Step 3: Gently pry off the tar with a dull knife or your hands and remove as much as you can.

Step 4: Soak the clothes for about 20 minutes using heavy-duty laundry detergent and wash afterward. 

Note: Be careful not to dry the piece of clothing until the stain is removed. If you do, the stain may become permanent. 

Try another method if the stain hasn’t come off after following these steps above.

2. Use Baking Soda

Baking Soda

Baking soda acts as a whitening agent and can restore your clothes to their original color. Also, it is a cleaning agent and can help get tar out of your clothes. Here is a step-by-step guide below:

Step 1: Mix baking soda with some water to make a paste. 

Step 2: Apply the paste over the stain and let the paste soak into the stain. 

Step 3: Allow it to sit for up to an hour. 

3. Use Oil

Johnson's Baby Oil

Using Oil as a solvent is another effective method of getting rid of tar stains. Oil-based products such as Vaseline, cooking Oil, Citrus hand cleaner, and Baby oil are perfect for the job and are easily found around the house.

To get rid of the tar residue from your piece of clothing using Oil, follow these simple steps below: 

Step 1: Lubricate the stain using any of the oils listed above. 

Step 2: Apply a little quantity of the lubricant you’ve chosen on a piece of clean cloth and use it to blot the tar stain. 

Step 3: Then, actively rub the lubricant into the stain by scrubbing the tarred fabric area. 

Step 4: Allow enough time for the lubricant to settle correctly to loosen up the tar. 

Step 5: After the lubricant has softened the tar residue, wash the piece of clothing as usual.

4. Use Alcohol 

Equate Hand Sanitizer

Take the stained piece of clothing outdoors to prevent chemical fumes from permeating the house. Use kerosene, mineral spirits, nail polish remover, alcohol, or paint thinner to dab the stain. Be careful not to do this near open flames. Use a cleaning rag to dab the chemical on the stained spot until it comes off, and then wash as usual.

5. Use Prewash Stain Remover 

Prewash stain remover is quite active in removing different kinds of stains; however, before using, test the prewash stain remover on the part of your clothes that you won’t notice to make sure it doesn’t affect the color. 

Step 1: Apply the prewash stain remover directly to the stain. 

Step 2: Let the prewash stain remover sit on the stain for some time. You could also check the bottle for instructions on how much time to let it sit. 

Step 3: Wash the clothing according to fabric instructions.

6. Use liquid enzyme laundry detergent

An enzyme laundry detergent can help remove them. To use it, follow these steps below:

Step 1: Pour the enzyme laundry detergent directly onto the stain. 

Step 2: Use a towel or paper towel to press firmly on the stain and lift the towel back up. 

Step 3: Repeat this several times with the towel, using a clean part of the towel every time you tamp. 

Step 4: Use hot or cold water to wash the clothes. You can look at the tag on the clothing to find out what temperature water you can wash in it. 

Step 5: Wash the clothing using the same laundry detergent.

7. Use heavy-duty laundry detergent

Tide heavy-duty laundry detergent

If you don’t have a stain remover, you can treat the stain with some heavy-duty liquid detergent. These heavy-duty detergents contain enough stain-removing enzymes to break tar molecules.

Here is how to make use of the video below: 

Step 1: Mix the powdered detergent with water. 

Step 2: Scrub the stain lightly with a soft-bristled brush and rinse in hot water. 

Step 3: Wash as usual in either hot or cold water 

8. Use Oxygen-based bleach

If you have tar stain on clothing, you can use Oxygen-based bleach to get rid of it. Here is how to go about it below: 

Step 1: Make a solution of oxygen-based bleach with cool water. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s directions on how much water to use.

Step 2: Soak the closet in the solution for at least 8 hours. 

Step 3: Check the stain if it is gone after soaking.

Step 4: Wash as usual. 

Note: If the stain remains, mix a new solution and repeat the process. Be patient and follow the instructions, as it may take several soakings to obliterate the stain. 

9. Use peanut butter

peanut butter

Peanut butter or peanut oil can help remove tar stains from the cloth. The fat in the peanut butter can decompose the bond in the tar and then weakens it to allow easy removal of the tar by scrubbing. 

To do this, rub a lump of peanut butter on the spot with a tar stain, and leave it for some time before using a piece of cloth to wipe it off.

10. Use Vinegar

Vinegar removes tar stain when mixed with liquid hand dishwasher detergent. Here is how to go about it below: 

Step 1: Mix one tablespoon of liquid hand dishwasher detergent with white vinegar and two warm-water cups.

Step 2: Use a sponge to apply the already mixed solution to the stained material. 

Step 3: Keep on soaking until the liquid is all absorbed, then sponge with cold water and allow to dry.

Something to Note

One thing to remember when removing tar stains from clothes: Don’t use heat to dry the fabric if the stain is not entirely removed. Using heat will make the stain permanent. Air-drying is the best method to prevent permanent stains.

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