How to Remove Tar From Shoes? 3 Quick and Effective Tar Removal Tips

Looking for quick and easy ways how to remove tar from shoes? No worry!

Getting your beautiful shoes stuck with oily, sticky, and stubborn tar is the worst nightmare. Even worse than that is trying to get rid of the tar from your shoes.

People working on the construction roads have to encounter this scenario on some or other day. Removing tar stains from shoes becomes a complicated task if you do not apply the right methods.

Before guiding you through the process of getting tar off your shoes, let us first see what tools can help you to remove tar from your shoes.

How to remove tar from shoes? First of all, you need to know that you don’t always have to look outside in search of methods to remove coal tar. Some home appliances can assist you in the process to get rid of the tar stuck with your shoes.

Before diving into this article do you know there are different types of tar that can stick in your shoes such as pine tar, black tar, beach tar, turpentine tar, etc.

In this blog post your query will be solved on:-

  • How to remove tar from shoe soles
  • Ways to remove tar from the side and top of the shoe
  • How to get beach tar off shoes
  • Steps to remove black tar from rubber soles – Read here
  • How to remove dried tar from shoes

Tools you can find at home to scrape off the black Tar from all kinds of shoes:

  • Disposable butter knife or a plastic knife
  • Vegetable oil. olive oil, petroleum jelly, mineral oil (Any of these would work)
  • Any conditioner
  • Lubricants, such as baby oil
  • A Paper towel
  • Dish detergent or any harsh dish soap
  • Old toothbrush
  • Alcohol
  • Vinegar
  • Warm water

These aforementioned tools can definitely assist you to wipe off tar from your shoes. But how to use these tools to get off the tar stains from your footwear?

You need to be careful in the procedure as while removing the asphalt stain you can deface your shoes.

So it is advised that in the process, make sure the material is not extremely edgy. It should only remove the coal tar stuck to your shoes, not the outer layer of your shoes.

Step-by-Step Process on How to Remove Tar from Shoes

1. Use a disposable butter knife or any plastic knife

remove tar from shoes y using knife

The very first step to getting rid of the tar is removing the large chunks of black tar from your shoes. For this step, you can use a disposable butter knife or any plastic knife.

This first process won’t take much time as you will be just separating the big lumps of the tar from your shoes. Be gentle though and try not to damage the shoes while detaching the tar or asphalt whether your shoes are original or 1st copy.

This step will solve your problem of how to remove dried tar from shoes.

If the coal tar is greasy make sure that it is converted into solid before you start to scrape the asphalt off. If it’s sticky, it will be very hard to remove which will just consume your time and energy.

Related: US Shoe Size To Indian Size Chart – Conversion Chart Explained

One tip to make the asphalt tar solid:-

Placing the shoes in the freezer overnight will make it easier to scrape the tar off. If putting shoes in the freezer does not suit you, you can use a plastic bag filled with ice cubes and freeze the tar this way so that it can be taken off easily.

2. Using the softener to scrape off the tar

get tar off shoes

When most of the big portion of the stuck tar is removed, the remaining tar should be removed by making it soft. This can be done with the help of readily available softeners. For example, you can use- olive oil, petroleum jelly, mineral oil, vegetable oil or any other lubricant such as any conditioner or baby oil.

Note:- These mild softeners won’t work on the dense tar. That is why you need to remove the big portion of tar by using a knife. If you directly apply these softeners to the thick and concentrated tar, the stains won’t go away.

To detach the tar, making it soft is really helpful. You just need to simply use a spoonful of any of the above-written softeners and glob it on the remaining tar.

The softener should be applied for at least one hour to pull out the tar or asphalt, it has to be made really soft.

After an hour or so, the softened tar is ready to get separated. For this, you do not again have to use any edgy material. As now the tar is soft, a toothbrush, paper towel, rag or any clean cloth can help you get rid of the tar very easily.

Consider yourself lucky if no stains of the tar on your shoes are left after rubbing the tar off your shoes. However, if those stains are left then you need to be patient as eliminating those stains of tar would require you to repeat the second step again.

Other than this, some solvents can be used to wash off the stains of the tar. For this, you will have to look out of your house. That leads us to the third step.

3. Using the tar remover solvents

how to remove tar from shoes

Let us suggest to you some tar remover solvents. Basically, tar is a dense oil that needs to be emulsified. For this purpose, you can opt any of the further mentioned solvents.

  • Armour All Bug and Tar Remover
  • WD-40 
  • Kerosene
  • Turpentine
  • Gasoline

These solvents are a little harsh but really effective to wash the stain away from your shoes. However, these can damage the outside layer of your footwear. After the stain is removed, wash the tar away from your shoes by using any soap and water.

7 Pro Tips to Remove Tar from Shoes and Sneakers

  • The tar should not be left to be removed until the following day. Get the tar off as quickly as possible to see the best results.
  • You should choose a degreasing detergent for fast results.
  • Tar is relatively easy to remove from the properly maintained surface of the shoe due to the smooth surface. That is why it is essential to take good care of your shoes by creating a protective layer for the leather using a shoe shine cream.
  • Pre-treating the tar before putting them in the washer is advisable as if you try to machine wash the tar-stuck shoe without removing the tar first, your shoes can be permanently stained.
  • You should always test the product before applying it to your shoes to remove the tar.
  • If you do not want to use a synthetic tar remover you can go for vegetable or baby oil to clean asphalt off shoes.
  • Never wash the shoe with another laundry as the tar can make the water really filthy, which could leave your laundry stained.

How to remove dried tar from shoes by watching this video

How to get the tar off the side or top of the shoe

Removing tar from the sides of the shoes won’t be difficult for you if you read this solution.

It’s rare that your sides of the shoe contact with the tar but sometimes it happens. As it happens then our shoes start looking degusting. Right?

To remove the tar from the top of the shoes you will need some items. These are

  • Plastic knife
  • Paper towels
  • Soft cloth
  • Shoe Conditioner

Use the plastic knife if there is any large substance of tar and then take a paper towel and apply a small amount of tar remover to that.

After waiting for a couple of minutes start cleaning the tar with the help of a towel. Once the shoe is cleaned then apply a small amount of conditioner to get it back as they were.

Related: Shoe Size Chart in India

Conclusion on how to get tar off shoes

Do you still have any shoes with tar on them? Now you got to know all the ways that can help you to remove the tar from shoes. When we invest in a branded pair of shoes then we take care of the shoe and we try to save the shoe from any issues like preventing creasing of the shoe, preventing toe holes, etc.

I hope this article helps. Do comment if these methods have helped you. And if you have any other solutions to get rid of the tar easily, please mention them below in the comments.

Frequently Asked Questions: How to remove tar stains from shoes

Can vinegar be used to remove the tar?

Yes, you can use vinegar to remove the tar. Start mixing it with water or dish detergent and it will make the process easier. Vinegar is acidic that will work effectively in cutting the grease, including tar. But here is a catch! you should not use pure vinegar on the shoes as it can damage the layer.

Can you freeze shoes to get tar off them?

Yes, this method is tried by many people and they succeeded too in this. as it is not harmful to your sneakers or shoes. You can simply put your shoes into the freezer for a couple of hours and see the results. (Note: Put your shoes with the shoe bag)

Is alcohol helpful to remove the tar?

Yes, you can use alcohol to eliminate tar from sneakers. Just apply a very small portion of it and rub it on with the help of a cotton ball or paper towel. You need to rub until the asphalt stain is gone. This best method will work to remove the tar from the bottom of shoes.

How do you remove blacktop from shoes?

Once you are done with cleaning asphalt from the soles of the shoes, now clean asphalt stains from shoes if there are stains on the top of the shoes. Use the appropriate method as discussed above to remove asphalt from shoes.

How do you remove sticky residue from rubber soles?

Most of the time residue persists after removing the tar from shoes. There is a simple way to remove that sticky residue from rubber soles. Just take a small amount of window cleaner on the cloth and clean the sticky residue with the help of that cloth. But in some cases, if that stuff still persists, then apply a paste of baking soda with an equal amount of water then leave it for a couple of minutes then wash that.

I am the founder and chief editor of Men Shoe Factory, a passionate shoe lover from India. Studying and researching on shoes led me to build this blog site where I share shoe care tips, detailed reviews and different types of shoe size charts. Feel free to contact me on my social accounts or through the contact form here.

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