How To Remove Tar From Carpeting

tar stain removalTar is an exceptionally durable and sticky oil-based material. So, if you accidentally track some onto your carpet, it’s understandable to be concerned. Luckily, there are several ways of removing tar stains, even from a delicate and absorbent material like carpet. Indeed, the key is to clean the stain immediately or ASAP after it happens, blotting and scraping up any excess tar. After that, clean the dark colour using one or multiple powerful cleaning agents to dissolve and lift the tar from the carpet’s fibres.

Subsequently, if you have any problems, don’t hesitate to contact the stain removal experts at Steam n Dry Carpet Cleaning Auckland. Hence, you can also check our guide on spot and stain removal.

Carpet Tar Stain Removal

DIY Method 1

Solvent-Based Cleaner
Generally, use a non-flammable solvent-based cleaner or a liquid spot remover from the grocery store or hardware store. Then, use a dry cleaning solvent-type cleaner that the manufacturer describes as safe for nylon fabric or carpet. But be sure to read and follow the label instructions regarding safe use. Moreover, never smoke or use an open flame in the vicinity of a solvent cleaner.

Detergent Solution
Mix 1/4 teaspoon of mild liquid dish soap with one cup of warm water.

  1. Scoop up, blot as much of the spill as possible, and vacuum any dry particles.
  2. Prepare the suggested cleaning solutions above, beginning with the first one listed.
  3. Test the cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous carpet section. Indeed, we want to ensure the answer doesn’t cause discolouration or carpet fibre damage!
  4. Note exception: Don’t apply dry cleaning fluid directly to the carpet. Apply the solution to a cloth, and use the towel to apply the product to the stain. For the best results, work from outside the colour toward the centre.
  5. Leave the cleaning solution on the spill for at least five minutes so that it can work its magic.
  6. Blot with a clean white cloth until the stain no longer transfers. Be careful not to rub the stained area, or you might damage the carpet fibres!
  7. Rinse the spot with cold water, ensuring you remove all excess cleaning solutions from the carpet.
  8. If the stain remains, mix the next solution on the list and follow steps 3-8 above. If the colour remains after trying both solutions, contact a professional cleaner.
  9. Once the stain is removed, layer white paper towels on the site to remove any extra moisture. Weigh the towels with a non-staining glass or ceramic object (think like a paperweight) and let them sit overnight.

DIY Method 2

If the method, as mentioned earlier, is not successfully removing the tar stain from your carpet, try the following:

  1. Moisten the affected area of the rug with 2.5% hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Let the fresh tar stain sit for 1 minute.
  3. Blot the stain with a paper towel to absorb any remaining stain.
  4. Apply a few paper towels directly onto the area with weight and let it sit overnight. 

DIY Method 3 

This tar stain removal technique involves a store-bought cleaning solution and rubbing alcohol. Before calling a professional carpet cleaner, try this do-it-yourself solution to remove tar from the carpet.

  1. As soon as you discover the tar stain, act quickly by scooping up any tar using a knife or spoon, which would be best.
  2. If you have any store-bought carpet cleaning solutions available (sometimes, these can help when wondering how to remove tar), try testing a small area of your carpet to see its effects. You’ll want to check a small portion to ensure it doesn’t damage your carpet.
  3. Pour some rubbing alcohol directly onto the tar stain—Blot with a dry, clean cloth.

Tar Stain Removal Auckland

If you can still see any remaining stain on your carpet, apply a bit of WD-40 and gently work it into the stained area. Try a bit on your carpet’s smaller site before applying it to the stained area.


Last updated 16/2/2024 Experienced, researched, and written by  Graeme Stephens