How to Remove Asphalt Sealant from Vinyl Siding


Mary asked: How can I clean asphalt sealer off of vinyl siding? We had our driveway sealed this past fall and I just noticed that the crew sprayed some asphalt sealer on the side of our garage. The exterior of the garage is vinyl siding. I know it’s been awhile since this happened. Is there anything that will remove the black sealer from our white vinyl siding? Thanks.

There are two types of asphalt sealer, water-based and oil-based. Most often professionals use oil-based and DIYers use water-based. Once you have determined the type of sealant that was used, you can attack it appropriately to remove it. Here are the steps to remove either type of sealant, oil or water, whether it’s wet or dry.

Removing Wet Sealant

You Will Need:

  • Water
  • Soap
  • Bucket
  • Sponge

Steps to Remove the Sealant:

  1. Removing sealant while wet is no doubt the easiest. Work quickly because the longer it sits, the harder it will be to remove.
  2. Start by mixing the soap with warm water in a bucket.
  3. Use a sponge or old cloth to wash the sealant off of the area.

Removing Dry Water-Based Sealant

You Will Need:

  • High performance citrus-based cleaner (available at automotive and home improvement stores)
  • Bucket
  • Sponge or old cloth

Steps to Remove the Sealant:

  1. Apply the citrus-based cleaner to the sealant. It may be helpful to allow it to set for a little while.
  2. Scrub it away using the sponge or soft cloth.
  3. Repeat and apply more cleaner as necessary, until the sealant is removed.
  4. Rinse with clean water and dry.

Removing Dry Oil-Based Sealant (Small Area)

You Will Need:

  • Choose a cleaner:
    • Tar remover such as Turtle Bug and Tar Remover (found with automobile products)
    • Professional grade citrus degreaser (available from chemical supply companies)
    • Solv-All Tar and Sealant Remover
  • Water
  • Soap
  • Sponge or cloth

Steps to Remove the Sealant:

  1. Begin by spraying the sealant with the tar remover, following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  2. If necessary, allow the spray to set until the sealant begins to soften.
  3. Moisten the sponge or cloth with a little bit of the remover, and scrub the area to remove the sealant.
  4. Repeat as necessary until all of the sealant is removed.
  5. When the sealant is removed, clean the area with soap and water.
  6. Rinse with clean water and allow it to dry.

Removing Dry Oil-Based Sealant (Larger Areas)

You Will Need:

Steps to Remove the Sealant:

  1. Larger areas require a tougher cleaning solution. Kerosene will work well, but use caution as it is a flammable liquid. It is also recommended that you wear rubber gloves to protect your skin from coming in contact with the liquid.
  2. Moisten a sponge or cloth with the kerosene and scrub it over the area that contains the sealant.
  3. Reapply until the sealant releases from the siding.
  4. When all of the sealant is gone, wash the area with soap and water.
  5. Rinse with clean water and allow it to dry.
  6. Dispose of any kerosene moistened cloths or towels appropriately and safely.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • Avoid using abrasives such as scrubbing pads, etc. on vinyl siding because it will scratch the surface.
  • If you are unsure of what type of sealant was used, contact the company that installed the sealant for you to verify.
  • If the sealant is impossible to remove, consider covering it up by painting over it.
  • Often after the sealant is removed, there remains a yellow stain. The lighter the siding, the more apparent these stains may be. This stain has no way to be removed and is best to be painted over.


  1. Mineral Spirits or Mineral Oil will quickly dissolve this and you can wipe clean… Have plenty of paper towels or rags available..

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