How To Remove Tar From Carpet

If you track tar in on your carpet, don't throw it out. Try one of these cleaning methods first.

The things that get tracked in on our carpets! Dirt and grime are one thing, but what happens when the offending matter is a substance that's very difficult to remove such as tar? Is the carpet ruined? Maybe not. When it comes to your carpet, never give up without a fight. Sure, ground in tar, in many cases, can shorten the life span of your rug, but if you act quickly, you may be able to save it from the dumpster.

When removing tar from your carpet, it's important to act immediately before the stain sets in and dries. The sooner you act, the better your chances are of saving your carpet. Immediately take an old cloth and blot up as much of the stain as possible. Don't rub the stain. If you blot gently, there's less chance the stain will spread or set in deeper, even though blotting may take more time. When no more of the stain can be removed, take a putty or other dull knife and gently scrape away the tar while doing your best not to cause further damage to your carpet.

Once any solid material is removed, there are several courses of action you can take. If you don't mind the cost, you can buy a professional product specifically formulated to remove tar from carpet or other textiles. Read the label and be sure to follow all instructions carefully. If you're not too sure about applying harsh chemicals to your carpet, there are other avenues to explore. Before we get into that, however, it's important to remember that you'll want to test any carpet cleaning solution or home remedy on a hidden area of your carpet. Once you're certain the product you intend to use won't cause further damage, you can proceed to the next step.

Rubbing alcohol may work to remove the remaining stain. Pour a little directly onto the stain and blot with a clean dry cloth. Once the stain is lifted, blot again with a damp cloth. Lighter fluid also works much in the same manner to remove greasy stains such as tar, but take care when using this method. It should go without saying that lighter fluid, as well as rubbing alcohol and other flammable agents, shouldn't be used near fireplaces, wood burning stoves and other sources of heat and flame.

WD-40 has also been proven to remove tar from rugs and carpets. Spray a little on and let sit. The tar should lift right off with a little gentle rubbing.

You can also try making your own cleaning solution. In a spray bottle mix one part mild dishwashing detergent and one part of warm water. Saturate the stain and let sit for an hour or so. When time is up, keep blotting with a thick, dry cloth until the stain is lifted.

If a yellow mark remains after your remove the tar, try some hydrogen peroxide but remember, it's bleach so be sure to test first to make sure you're not creating an eyesore.

Once you've completely removed the tar from the carpet, rinse the stain with lukewarm water and blot dry.

If the stain isn't completely removed but you're not yet ready to give up, call a carpet cleaner and see if he or she is up to the task. If a professional can't get rid of the stain, it's safe to say it's time to dump your carpet.

If you mistakenly track tar onto your carpet, don't panic. Hopefully, it's only a temporary setback. Before you write off your carpet as destroyed, try one of the methods listed here. Your carpet will thank you.

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