How to get tar off a cement driveway

Updated February 21, 2017

Tar is used on a cement driveway to act as a sealer and to fill in cracks in the concrete. Because of wear and tear from cars and the weather, a driveway takes quite a beating. At times you will remove old tar in order to refurbish or repair your driveway. Removing tar is not easy. In addition to being sticky, the tar will penetrate into the surface of the cement because concrete is porous. Try some simple solutions for removing tar before buying expensive tar-removing products or calling in a professional.

Scrape off as much tar as you can with an old shovel or other flat-edged tool.

Pry out tar in the cracks of your driveway with a screwdriver or other pointed object.

Remove as much tar as possible with a power washer.

Remove the tar by sandblasting your concrete driveway.

Scrub the tar off the concrete with white spirit and a nylon scrub brush.

Pour paint thinner or gasoline on the tar. Allow time for the tar to soak. Scrape off the tar, or use a power washer to remove it from the concrete.

Apply a commercial tar-removing product to your cement driveway. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application and removal.


Be careful when working with flammables such as gasoline or paint thinner. They can pose a fire hazard. Wear a painter's mask to avoid breathing in fumes.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Screwdriver
  • Power washer
  • Sandblaster
  • White spirit
  • Scrub brush
  • Paint thinner
  • Gasoline
  • Tar-removing product
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About the Author

John Smith is a writer with over 30 years experience. He has worked at a newspaper, various magazines and websites, and he has interests in a wide range of subjects including sports, politics and entertainment. Smith earned a bachelor's degree in history from the College of New Jersey.