Tar is cunning. Since it is used to patch asphalt that is more or less the same color, you may end up stepping on tar without realizing it. Or maybe you drove down a tarred road on a hot day, came home to find black spots on your car, and immediately cleaned it (using this Lifehacker article as a guide), but you have it in your shoes in the process.
Regardless of its origin, if you inadvertently tar track inside, it could end staining your carpet or rug. Here’s how to remove those tricky and sticky tar stains.
How to remove tar stains from carpet
The sooner you take care of the tar stain, the better your chances of removing it. This is what you need to do:
Remove any adhering tar
The first thing you need to do is remove as much of the actual tar as possible so that it can pass into the stain.
Using a plastic knifescrape off easy-to-remove debris tar from the surface of the carpet, making sure to only move the knife upwards towards the ceiling (and not back and forth over the fibers) so as not to make the stain worse.
If the adhering tar doesn’t move, put some ice cubes in a plastic bag and hold it. to the tar until it hardens, then try again. Vacuum up any hardened bits of tar that may have ended up on the carpet.
tackle the stain
In addition to spot treatments for rugs and carpets that you can buy at a store, you can also use things you already have around the house to remove tar stains from carpets.
But before using any of them, check the manufacturer’s instructions (they should be available on their website) to its carpet or rug, not just for cleaning advice, but also to find out if there are any products or solutions that you should avoid.
here are some tar stain removal options:
- put a few drops of mild dish soap in about 1 cup of warm waterand apply the solution directly to the stain. Use a clean cloth to apply the solution to the stain, moving from the outside to the center (so it doesn’t spread). Use another clean cloth to rinse the stain with cold water. If it seems to be working, keep repeating the process until the stain is gone. Don’t use dish soap that contains lanolin or bleach.
- Pour a small amount of 3% hydrogen peroxide on the tar stain. Let it sit for a minute, then pat it dry with a paper towel.
- spray a little WD-40 on a clean cloth remove the tar stain.
- Mix a few drops of Mr. Clean Multi-Surface Cleaner with a little baking soda to create a paste. Use a clean rag to apply it to the stain and gently blot until it lifts. Then use a different clean rag to rinse the stain with cold water. When the carpet is dry, vacuum any mess of baking soda left behind.
Of course, some jobs require the expertise of a professional and eliminate some carpet tar stains one of them. So if you’re in doubt about what to do, or you’re not making progress with the stain on your ownit may be time to call in the professionals.