How to Remove Road Tar From Carpeting

Updated February 21, 2017

Tar is a sticky black compound that is made of the by-products of crude oil. The viscous compound is used to seal roofs and make roads. Road tar becomes soft with heat, and sticks to pedestrians' shoes. When it is tracked inside, road tar sticks to carpeted flooring. A home's floors are usually the most expensive investment inside the home. To clean tar from carpeted flooring, you need a few common household products.

Use a butter knife to scrape off the hard pieces of tar that chip off easily. Don't force the hard-stuck pieces off.

Spray all-purpose oil onto the remaining tar. Let it set for 30 minutes. The oil will soften the tar, releasing its hold on the carpet. If there is a large chunk of tar, lift it up as best as you can. Spray the underside of the tar chunk to speed up the softening action.

Use paper towels or napkins to pull the tar off of the carpet fibres. Use a clean paper towel to rub the rest of the tar stain off of the carpet fibres. If there is still sticky tar residue, spray more oil and repeat the process again.

Use clean paper towels to dab up excess oil. Fill a bowl with warm water and liquid grease-cutting dish soap. Swish the liquid to mix it.

Dip a clean lint-free cloth into the warm soapy water. Gently scrub the oily spot to wash the oil out. Use a clean wet cloth to rinse the soap off. Dab the water up; allow the area to air dry.

Things You'll Need

  • All-purpose oil (such as WD-40)
  • Butter knife
  • Grease-cutting dish soap
  • Bowl of warm water
  • Clean, lint-free cloths
  • Napkins or paper towels
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About the Author

Elizabeth Balarini is a freelance writer and professional blogger who began writing professionally in 2006. Her work has been published on several websites. Her articles focus on where her passions lie: writing, web development, blogging, home and garden, and health and wellness. Balarini majored in English at the University of Texas at San Antonio.