Joe asked: How do I remove tar from clothing? While crossing a railroad bridge, I leaned over the edge and got tar on my slacks. The tar was seeping out of the cracks in the wood rail on the bridge. It was a hot day.
Sticky, gooey tar sticks to clothing like gum clings to hair. To remove the tar, it requires lubricating it with some type of oil to help it release from the fabric fibers. Follow these guidelines to safely and effectively remove tar from your clothing.
You Will Need:
- Ice cubes
- Spoon or dull knife
- Lubricants (choose one):
- Bacon grease
- Vegetable oil
- Peanut butter
- Goo Gone
- Goof Off
- Soft cloths
- Laundry detergent
Steps to Remove the Tar:
- For large areas with tar, it is best to scrape away as much as possible. Harden the tar with ice and then use a spoon or dull knife to scrape it away.
- The residue left in the fabric will need some lubrication to be removed. Lay a soft cloth under the stain to absorb any excess lubricant.
- Choose a lubricant from the list above.
- Blot it onto the stained area with a soft cloth. You will want to moisten the stain completely with the lubricant.
- Scrub the area gently with a cloth or blot with pressure to work the lubricant into the stain.
- Allow it to set for a little while before washing as normal.
- Do not dry the clothing until you are sure the stain is removed. If placed in the dryer, the tar will melt and transfer to the walls of the dryer. This will then spread to other pieces of clothing, making a larger mess.
Additional Tips and Advice
- There are bug and tar removers available in any automotive department. These will remove the tar, but be sure to test a small area first to make sure there is no damage to the fabric.
- If the tar cannot be removed, have it professionally cleaned.
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