Removing Tar Stains on Carpet

Removing Tar Stains on Carpet

Whoever dragged tar into the house and onto the carpet – don’t hurt them. It was, in all probability, an accident. When it’s hot, tar melts and sticks easily to shoes.

When somebody’s putting on a new roof, tar falls off and ends up on the bottom of shoes. But what a mess it makes and new carpets are expensive.

If you can get to the stain while it’s fresh, maybe there’s hope for your carpet.

How To Remove The Stain

  • First of all see what you can blot up with a paper towel. Don’t rub, rubbing just gets the offending agent spread around more of the carpet.
  • After blotting up as much as you can; get a kitchen knife or putty knife and scrape up the rest.
  • If any of the tips below stain your light colored carpets a yellowish tinge, pour on some hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for an hour.
  • Blot and repeat if necessary. No need to clean it off the carpet.
  • Remember with hydrogen peroxide it will turn to water when exposed to light, so cover with a clean dark towel.

Cleaning Products

Below are some cleaning methods you can try to remove tar stains from carpet.

Tar Removers

Tar removers can be purchased from home stores and auto supply stores. Make sure to try it someplace inconspicuous in case it stains the carpet.


If you’re not into expensive chemicals, try WD-40. Spray on a little and wait a while. Blot and gently rub a little and the tar should come out of the rug.

Rubbing Alcohol

How about alcohol? No – drinking will not solve this problem. Rubbing alcohol. Pour some on the tar stain and blot with paper towels, changing the paper towel as it gets saturated.

Repeat the process until clean.

DO NOT use this near a burning fireplace. Alcohol is very flammable.


You can also use a heavy-duty degreaser that you can buy at a home improvement store. It will help break up the stain and you should be able to blot it up.

Crisco’s Not Just for Baking

Rub some Crisco into the stain after you remove as much as you can with a knife. You’ll have to clean up the Crisco – so don’t use too much – but it’s great at getting tar out.

Use a little dishwashing detergent and water to clean up the Crisco mess.

Dry Cleaning Solvent

Dry cleaning solvent is a good tar remover. You can buy it at your local home store.

Put a small amount on the tar stain and blot it up. Then spray again with a detergent and water mixture then blot that up.

Goo Gone

Goo Gone works to remove tar. Put a little on a clean, white rag. Don’t pour it on the tar spot. Blot and work from the outside edge working your way in. Don’t blot too hard and keep it up until the spot is gone.

If The Stain Remains

If worse comes to worse, you can always call in a professional carpet cleaner. They will know other tricks to use and will have carpet cleaning chemicals that are unavailable to you.

If there’s nothing to be done about the carpet and you have any leftover pieces, you can replace the stained area.

The stained piece of carpet can be removed with a utility knife and a new piece can be fitted in.

I do recommend that you have this done by a professional or somebody that’s good with home repair.

You don’t want to be cutting chunks out of your carpet that may necessitate the removal of the entire carpet due to ineptitude on the part of the person doing the repair.

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