How to Remove Tar from Car in 7 Simple Steps

Have you started noticing some black stains on your car’s surface? Are you worried that removing tar can take off some of the paint of your ride? Tar and smudges are often unavoidable no matter how much we care for our vehicles. And indeed, seeing those sticky black stains on your vehicle’s surface is a sore to the eye!


However, the good news is that there are easy methods you can follow to safely remove those contaminants off the paint without the need of an expert, thus saving you some cash. In this post, I will show you how to remove tar from car in just 7 simple ways!

What is Tar? Where Did this Come From?


Tar can be described as a dark and sticky substance used in asphalting which can be commonly found on your car’s wheel wells, car plate, and lower part of the side doors.

In some cases, tar can also be found on the window’s surface, roof, area near the projector headlight (you may check this out how to adjust projector headlight) and to the other areas of your vehicle.

Often times, your car can be splashed up with tar when you drive on a road which has been recently laid with asphalt. You can also get this sticky dark substance when you pass along roads that are constructed or repaired.

Why Removing Tar from Car Is Important

As car owners, we want our ride to look as good as new all the time. We don’t like costly repairs and replacements! A regular cleaning routine is necessary to keep your car looking great and make it last longer.

We can attain this by first making sure that the paint is free from dirt, smudges, bugs, and tar. We want to remove tar from car for the following important reasons:

  • Protect the paint and make it last longer
  • Maintain the cleanliness of our vehicle’s surface
  • Prevent scratches and damages on your car’s surface
  • Keep your car shiny and looking great

Easy Steps to Remove Tar from Car

It is truly a pain in the eye to see your shiny vehicle splashed with tar and tough stains. Tar is a bit tricky to remove because it is oil-based and it is not easily removed with ordinary washing soap. Use the right cleaning agents and you are assured that your car will be tar-free in no time!

What You Will Need:

  • Pressure Washer
  • Protective Gloves
  • Microfiber Towel
  • Microfiber Wax Applicator
  • Tar Remover
  • Bucket
  • Car Wash Soap
  • Wash Mitt
  • Detailing Clay
  • Clay Lubricant
  • Car wax

#1. Pressure Washer


Pressure washer is a convenient cleaning accessory to rinse your car. You can adjust the pressure to reach hard areas and remove tough stains and dirt.

#2. Protective Gloves

Protective gloves can be optional, but I recommend you use one to protect your hands from the dirt and smudges during the cleaning process.

#3. Microfiber Towel

Microfiber towel is used to wipe the surface of your car when you want to apply a cleaning agent or wax. The soft cloth can be used safely without causing scratches on your vehicle’s paint.

#4. Microfiber Wax Applicator

Microfiber wax applicator is a microfiber pad utilized to evenly distribute wax and protectants on the surface of your vehicle.

#5. Tar Remover


Tar remover is a chemical used to dissolve tar on the surface of your car. It can also be used to remove tough stains and sap without stripping off the paint from your vehicle.

#6. Bucket

A bucket is another important cleaning accessory you can use to fill in with water and washing soap.

#7. Car Wash Soap

Car wash soap is a cleaning solution to remove dirt and stain off your vehicle’s surface.

#8. Wash Mitt


Wash mitt is a cleaning accessory you can use during washing and applying car wash soap. It is used to scrub away dirt and smudges without causing scratches and damage to your car’s paint.

#9. Detailing Clay

Detailing clay is a convenient cleaning accessory in removing stubborn tar, stains, and dirt. Unlike an ordinary cloth, the clay has a smooth texture which can effectively remove any contaminants without causing scratches.

#10. Clay Lubricant


Clay lubricant is a cleaning agent you apply on the car surface before claying to prevent any loose debris or contaminants from creating scratches as you rub the clay on the paint.

#11. Car wax

Car wax is utilized to make your car shiny and protect its paint from scratches. You can apply car wax on the surface after the washing routine.

There are many brands of tar remover which you may find in the market today. However, I strongly suggest using the one that is proven safe and effective. While there may be alternative household cleaning agents you can find at home to remove tar, I would still recommend you use a tar remover to save your time and energy.

Besides, a tar remover is far safer since it is designed for your car’s surface.

Once you have gathered all the materials above, park your vehicle on a safe area for cleaning. I recommend that you wear your protective gloves when cleaning to keep your hands free from dirt and stains. Start cleaning your vehicle with the following easy guide below:

Step by Step Instruction

Step 1: Apply Tar Remover on the Vehicle’s Surface


  • Spray the tar remover on the spots and let it stay for at least 30 seconds or until you see the tar starting to dissolve or drift.
  • Inspect to see other areas that need cleaning to avoid missing out any contaminants.
  • Continue to spray ample amount until all the contaminants are covered with the tar remover.

Step 2: Rinse the Surface Using a Pressure Washer


  • Grab your pressure washer and turn it on. Make sure that you set it in moderate setting (500 – 800 dpi).
  • Gently squeeze the spray wand until water comes out.
  • Direct the water to the surface of the car, focusing on the areas with tar spots.
  • Rinse well until the chemicals and dusts are removed.
  • Tip: Pressure washer is more effective in cleaning your car than using an ordinary bucket with water. The controlled water pressure will ensure that small and hard-to-reach areas can be thoroughly washed.

Step 3: Remove Remaining Contaminants with a Detailing Clay


  • Spray a clay lubricant on the stains.
  • Get a small piece of detailing clay and flatten it.
  • Wipe the surface with tar spots using the clay to remove the contaminants.
  • Apply light pressure only when removing the tar to avoid scratches and stripping off the paint.
  • As you clean the spots, do not forget to remove any streaks left behind on the surface.
  • Tip: It is recommended that you wipe the surface lengthwise instead in small circles to avoid light swirl marks.

Step 4: Reapply until all the Spots are Gone

  • Check the other sides of your car that has tar spots.
  • Wipe the affected areas using the clay until all the stains are gone.
  • Wipe carefully, leaving no streaks of tar behind.
  • Tip: Do not use household cleaning agents in removing tar since they may strip off the paint of the vehicle. Use only products that are designed and intended for your car since they are proven safe and effective!

Step 5: Rinse and Apply Car Wash Soap on Your Car’s Surface

  • Wash the surface with enough pressure from the pressure washer.
  • Grab the bucket filled with water and soap. Dunk in the wash mitt.
  • Apply soap all over the surface of your car, focusing on areas affected with tar stain.
  • Check that you have covered all the areas that need cleaning. Reapply as necessary.
  • Tip: Work the car wash soap thoroughly until you form it into a lather. This will provide enough lubrication on the car surface, thus avoiding scratches and protecting the paint.

Step 6: Rinse and Reassess


  • Rinse the surface of your car using a pressure washer. Make sure that all the soapy areas have been covered.
  • Check for remaining stains and smudges. If more work is necessary, just repeat the process from step 1 until you are confident that all the spots and dirt are gone.
  • Wipe your car dry with a clean microfiber towel.
  •  Tip: Don’t let your car air dry since this can leave some water marks. Use a microfiber towel instead to wipe the surface dry.

Step 7: Apply Car Wax


  • As a finishing touch, apply a car wax on the surface using a microfiber wax applicator to make it shiny.
  • Check that you have covered all areas when applying the wax.
  • Tip: Make sure that you use the right wax specifically for cars. Check out the best car wax available in the market today and find the one that suits your needs.

For more details on how to remove tar from car, you may check out the video below:


Keeping your car free from stains and tar can be a tough job. Without using the right products and method, removing it can be a challenge and may risk your vehicle’s paint to damage. In this post, we have shown you the right cleaning products and easy methods on how to remove tar from car without the need of professional assistance.

Do you like this post? I hope the methods are of great help to you! And I would greatly appreciate it if you can share this info to your family and friends as well.

Please do not forget to comment below if you have questions or suggestions. Enjoy!

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