How to Remove Tar From Car

Published by Jeff Torres

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How to Remove Tar From Car

How to Remove Tar From Car

You are dealing with tar if you notice ugly and dark spots sprayed all over your wheel sills, wells, and arches that will not come off easily. Tar acts like super glue and refuses to get out of your car’s exterior. Not only does tar ruin your car’s appearance and leave a dirty look, but it can also damage the paint.

The truth is, if you follow my guide on how to remove tar from car, you can eliminate the spots in no time. 

How to Remove Tar From Car

Removing Tar From a Vehicle

If your vehicle has been another victim of splashed tar, there are two approaches you can take to clean it off. The first is a spray solution specifically created for tar removal. These specialized chemical products contain multiple materials that can break down tar without damaging the car’s paint. The second solution is household products and chemicals. 

How to Remove Tar From Car

The easiest thing in the world is to find people who complain on social media. Some individuals blame the roads in their country, and some blame congestion and traffic. 

However, if you are like me and have no time for complaining, you are in the right place. As a person who considers himself a modern citizen who never whines, I understand how frustrating tar can be. No matter how calm you are, it will catch you off guard and, at some point in life, will ruffle your feathers. 

My article has a step-by-step guide on how to remove tar from car for people who like to take matters into their own hands and ride around in a clean vehicle. Tar removal is not rocket science, and if you carefully observe my steps, your car will be as good as new after two hours! Which is not as much time as you would have spent online leaving frustrating comments. 

Also read: How to Remove Swirl Marks

Sprays for tar removal 

Sprays for tar removal 

Being exactly what it sounds like, tar removal sprays are the first solution that comes to mind. The sprays contain many chemicals that can dissolve tar without affecting the paint job on your car. The automotive retailers offer many tar removal sprays with an excellent track record. Therefore, I leave the brand up to you. If you have the time and curiosity, you can explore online and get the best bang for your buck. 

Effectively use the sprays 

In addition to the spray for tar removal, acquire wash soap, a bucket, wax, microfiber mittens (at least one), and a towel. Once you have all the assembly, you can move on with the process. 

Spray a few pumps of the spray on the microfiber towel. Ideally, the cloth should be a little wet before the spray. This is a step I personally recommend for the best results. Many people spray directly onto the car. If you decide to do so, ensure you are extra careful and don’t go overboard. 

Next, use the wet cloth to wipe the tar with gentle and circular motions. Capture every area that has spots by lightly pressing the bodywork. The tar will progressively break down over time. If necessary, repeat this step with the other side of your towel. You can use multiple microfiber cloths if your car is entirely covered with tar. Remember that a dirty cloth can rub the tar back on the paint. 

Now that the tar is successfully removed, I recommend you give your vehicle a nice wax job. The wax will condition the paint and give the car a nice and fresh new look. It is what the car deserves after being tarred all over. 

Also read: How to Wet Sand a Car

Products for home use

The same task of tar removal can also be accomplished with products that you already have lying around the house. Many household products have proven to be effective for tar removal, such as:

Peanut butter 

Yap, you read that correctly; peanut butter can effortlessly remove tar from the exterior of a car. How? – you ask. Well, as you are familiar with the calories of PB and its oily nature, the oil can penetrate deeply into any substance, tar in this case, and separate its molecules, making them much easier to dissolve. 

Similarly to the tar removal spray, get a previously wetted microfiber cloth and dip it in peanut butter. You don’t need an entire jar, just a small spoon to saturate the functional area. About 10 grams of PB should get the job done. 

Gently rub the peanut butter-soaked cloth on the car’s surface, which is covered in tar. Leave the vehicle covered in the butter for half an hour, so it has some time to penetrate the tar. After 30 minutes, take a new and fresh microfiber cloth and wipe the peanut butter off. The tar should easily come off without any heavy rubbing or pressure. 

If tar is left on glass surfaces, such as the windshield, make sure you don’t put too much pressure and break the glass. If tar is on your windshield, you may be better off using a tar removal spray. 


You have probably encountered this product once in your lifetime. WD-40 is a multi-use product that displaces moisture and lubricates almost anything. It is also known for protecting metal from corrosion and rust. 

This oil can penetrate the tar and lubricate the affected areas. The black dirt can quickly slide off your vehicle with a little pressure. 

As previously mentioned, get a microfiber cloth and spray it with WD-40. Rub the towel gently on the tarred areas of your car. Leave it on for 10 to 30 minutes and wipe down the exterior with a clean towel. The great thing about WD-40 is that you can use it twice to ensure no residue. But be careful; leftover substances and chemicals may cause long-lasting damage to your paint job. 


There you have it, three simple solutions for how to remove tar from car. Which solution or path you take is entirely up to you, although buying a fresh new peanut butter jar does sound like the best plan. After all, eating a PB and J sandwich while waiting for the car to dry sounds like a hoot!

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