5 ways to remove tar stains

If you find a tar stain on your clothes after walking into the forest or walking in the city park, you should not panic and, moreover, immediately throw away the stained thing. The resin is rather difficult to remove – the adhesive is firmly embedded in the fibers of the fabric and is not removed when washing with a powder. But our experts know several ways to easily clean the tar from clothes. The same means can be used to remove traces of epoxy or bitumen. We will tell you about them now.

 tar stains

General rules for the removal of resin traces

Resin is a chemically complex structure, which contains esters, acids and alcohols. Under normal conditions, it is in a solid state. Resins do not dissolve in water, so stains from them cannot be removed with normal washing.

The resin melts perfectly when heated above 1100C and in solvents. When cooled, it becomes brittle and easily crumbles. Knowing these properties makes it easy to remove tar stains.

It is necessary to follow several rules so that there are no traces of resin pollution left. In this case, it is necessary to prevent accidental damage to the fabric of the product:

  1. You should start cleansing as soon as possible. The sooner you start scrubbing off the tar stain, the easier it will be to get rid of it.

  2. Do not wipe off uncured resin with a napkin or hand. It will smear on the surface or soak deep into the fibers of the fabric, making it harder to clean.

  3. Before removing the stain, carefully scrape off the main layer of resin with a knife without rubbing the dirt into the fabric. You can use a spatula, the blunt side of scissors, a spoon, or a plastic card. Thin fabrics can be damaged, therefore we do not recommend doing such actions with them.

  4. Since after preliminary cleansing, a trace of resin still remains, you must use one of our recommended products to eliminate it. But before wiping off dirt from clothing, you should determine the type of fabric and apply the appropriate method of removal. This will prevent damage to the product.

Resin is extremely sticky, so it sticks to absolutely everything. So that you do not have to subsequently wipe the sofa, carpet or other wardrobe items, you should remove it from a hard surface (from a table or plank), covered with an unnecessary rag.

When removing a small tar stain from clothes, apply the cleaning agent to it with a cotton swab. Coarse dirt must be cleaned from the edges to the center. This will prevent it from smearing over the fabric and increasing the area to be cleaned.

Without preliminary cleaning, you cannot wash the stained product in the machine – the resin can stick to other things and ruin them.


Before processing with improvised means, we recommend wrapping a thing soiled with resin in a plastic bag and placing it in the freezer for 1 hour. Then you need to bring the thing into heat, carefully wrinkle and rub the place of dirt between your fingers. Frozen resin will crumble, and residues can be easily removed with the blunt side of a knife, a coin or a toothbrush.

Outerwear that cannot be placed in the freezer should be wiped with ice or a bag of frozen berries, vegetables, or meat (from the freezer) placed on top. After 30-40 minutes, try to scrape the stained area with something sharp: with a fingernail, key, coin, or rub it with your hands.

Freezing in the cold is good for instantly removing fresh resin. If you put ice on freshly soiled clothes, the stain will most likely come off in 15 minutes without any trace.

Heat treatment

Heat treatment

Since it is known that the resin melts when exposed to high temperatures, then when cleaning clothes, you can use the easiest way to remove it – iron it.

For this you need:

  1. put under the stain (on the seamy side of the product) several napkins or a sheet of paper folded 2-3 times;

  2. put a couple more napkins and a thin cotton cloth on the front side (you can use a handkerchief);

  3. iron it on top with a heated iron, observing the recommended temperature regime for this type of material;

  4. as the molten resin is absorbed, change the napkins – as soon as there are no traces on it, you can finish the procedure;

  5. wet the product with warm water and rub the stain with laundry soap;

  6. wash it in the usual way after an hour.

Clothes made of material that cannot be ironed can be placed under the air stream from a steam generator or hairdryer. The stain will soften and can be gently wiped off with a clean cloth.

Only fresh resin can be removed thermally. To remove stubborn stains, you need to use additional cleaning methods.

Ways to remove old stains

Over time, the resin is firmly absorbed into the fibers of the fabric, so thermal exposure helps to only partially remove dirt. After him, traces still remain. There are 5 ways to get rid of them.

Method 1. Ethyl alcohol

Since the resin contains alcohols, it can be dissolved with the help of pharmacy ethyl alcohol or alcohol-containing liquids: vodka, toilet water or hairspray.

Alcohol should be applied to a napkin or cotton pad and applied to the tar spot for 10-15 minutes. After a while, clean the dirt with a brush and wash the thing in the usual way.

Alcohol is suitable for cleaning resin from natural and artificial fabrics, including dyed ones.

Method 2. Solvents

Organic solvents will help you easily remove tar stains from clothes:

  1. kerosene;

  2. White Spirit;

  3. acetone;

  4. refined gasoline;

  5. turpentine;

  6. solvent 646.

Gasoline must be used special – free from impurities. It is sold not at gas stations, but in the departments of household chemicals. Regular gasoline leaves streaks that are very difficult to get rid of. Working process:

  1. wipe the dirty area of ​​the fabric with a cotton pad soaked in solvent;

  2. wait about half an hour;

  3. rub the stained place with a clean napkin until the trace disappears;

  4. rinse under running water;

  5. wash with detergent on your hands or in the machine;

  6. dry the thing in the fresh air.

Before removing a stain with a solvent, you must make sure that the material from which the item is made does not deteriorate. First, apply the liquid to the fabric with a cotton pad in an inconspicuous place. If the structure has not changed and there are no traces of paint on the cotton, then this tool can be safely used.

With the help of solvents, you cannot remove traces of resin from colored items and products made from delicate fabrics.

Method 3. Thinner with laundry soap

Laundry soap thinner

To remove tar stains from silk, woolen or synthetics:

  1. soak a small piece of laundry soap in hot water (1/5 of a piece per 100 g of water);

  2. add to 1 tsp. refined gasoline (kerosene or acetone) the same amount of soap solution;

  3. apply the mixture to the stained area;

  4. after an hour, rub the stain with a brush;

  5. wash a thing in a washing machine.

When working with aggressive products with a pungent odor, one should not forget about safety measures. It is necessary to carry out cleaning actions in a mask and thick rubber gloves with an open window or window.

Method 4. Starch paste

Starch paste will help remove old dried resin of coniferous trees from delicate fabrics.

To prepare it you will need:

  1. starch (corn or potato);

  2. ammonia (ammonia);

  3. turpentine.

Mix all the components in a 3: 2: 1 ratio in a separate bowl and apply the gruel to the contaminated area for half an hour. After that, rub with a toothbrush until completely cleaned and rinse the item in warm water.

Method 5. Dr. Beckmann against grease and bitumen (Germany).

For lovers of picnics in the forest and people whose work involves the use of bitumen, shoe polish, epoxy resin, we recommend purchasing a special stain remover against grease and bitumen.

The combination of solvents and surfactants (surfactants) contained in the product quickly dissolves resin stains and removes them without a trace. Suitable for all types of fabrics, for white and colored items.

How to remove odors and streaks from solvents

How to remove odors and streaks from solvents

After using solvents, the stain from the resin on the clothes disappears, but a specific smell remains, streaks may appear. Washing it in a machine with a good detergent and adding fabric softener and drying the garment in the fresh air will most often solve the problem.

But if the smell or stains on the fabric still remain, then you can use a mixture of soda and salt to eliminate them:

  1. mix the components in equal proportions;

  2. pour on the treated area;

  3. on top with a teaspoon or pipette, pour a small amount of warm water;

  4. rub the resulting gruel into the fabric;

  5. after 30-40 minutes, rub with a brush;

  6. wash the item in the usual way.

After cleaning the traces of tar with a solvent, you can also pour 5 drops of dishwashing liquid on the dirty area. Rub with a brush and leave for 1 hour. Without rinsing, send the clothes to the washing machine.

When washing in the machine, it is advisable to turn on the additional rinse function.

Expert opinion

Removing tar stains from clothes is not so difficult if you know a few secrets:

  1. having a knife and an iron on hand, you can easily get rid of fresh dirt;

  2. Solvents, alcohol-based liquids or special stain removers will help restore a decent appearance to clothes with an old stain.

It is important to follow the rules for removing the resin and choose a method suitable for the type of fabric. This will prevent damage to the product.

When working with solvents, special care should be taken: treat the stain on colored things only after testing in an inconspicuous area and do not forget about your safety.

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