How to Get Tar Off of Shoes

January 6, 2022

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Whether your shoes are made of leather, suede, or some other material, you're going to want to get tar off of them as quickly as possible. Tar can be challenging to remove, but with the proper steps, you can have your shoes looking good as new in no time. In this article, we'll teach you how to get tar off of shoes using a few simple steps.

There's nothing more frustrating than taking the time to clean your shoes, just for them to get covered in tar again the minute you step outside. So here's a guide on how to get tar off of your shoes, so you can keep your footwear looking fresh.

How to Get Tar Off of Shoes

Things You'll Need

  • Lighter
  • Grill brush
  • Cotton balls or cotton swabs

A Stepwise Guide on How to Get Tar Off of Shoes

Step 1: Freezing the Tar

Take a container and place it in the freezer. Please wait until it is well-chilled, then take out the container and hold it against your shoe where the tar is located. How long you should keep this up will depend on how quickly the tar solidifies. For instance, if you're trying to remove grass stains from baseball cleats, you'll need to wait longer than if you were working with regular shoes.

Then, keep applying the coldness of the container every few seconds or so to make sure that it never becomes soft again. How long this process takes will also depend on what type of shoes you have – rubber soles tend to freeze better than leather ones do – as well as how much tar there is and such things like that.

Step 2: Scraping the Tar

Take out your grill brush and scrape off the excess tar that is now solidified onto the surface of your shoe. How straightforward this step is will depend on what type of material the bottom part of your shoe happens to be made out of. How much scraping that you have to do will also depend on how much tar there was in the first place and whether or not it's a smooth surface, a rough surface, and so on.

Scrape Tar With Grill Brush

How long this stage takes will also vary according to these factors and others like them. Just scrape while being sure not to damage anything other than the tar itself accidentally. How easy or difficult this process ends depends mainly on luck & personal experience.

How much time you have to spend on this process will also depend on what type of shoe it is, how complicated the scraping was in the first place and such things like that. So be careful when performing this step in how to get tar off of shoes.

Step 3: Wiping Off the Tar

Take a cotton ball or a cotton swab and rub at whatever is left of the hardened tar until it all comes off. How easy this process again depends on luck & personal experience, but it's generally not very hard. How much time you take doing this will depend on these factors, which makes sense if you think about it. Just make sure to be patient because there's no sense in rushing things here since speeding up won't do anything except make your efforts completely worthless!

Step 4: Use of Chemical Cleaners

Take chemicals such as WD-40, turpentine, nail polish remover, and a lighter to remove the remaining tar. How effective these methods again depend primarily on luck & personal experience. How much time you take up do this will also depend upon how complicated these chemicals are to use.

If you're going with WD-40, for instance, it might be best if you make sure not to breathe any fumes from it since they can cause some people to feel sick anyway!

With chemicals like these, it's always a good idea to make sure that they don't get anywhere near your eyes or mouth before testing them out on a small patch of your shoe first to see if there's a bad reaction. Of course, how much time you take up do this will also depend on how easy these chemicals are to use. How effective their efforts end up being will depend mainly on luck & personal experience once again, though!

Step 5: Use of Baking Soda and Sugar

Take a bowl and mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 1/2 cup sugar. How much of the mixture you'll need depends mainly on how big your shoe is – which makes sense if you think about it – but a good rule for a generic average-sized shoe would be around half a cup or so each since that's usually enough to get the job done correctly.

Remove Tar With Baking Soda

How straightforward this process is will depend upon what type of material the bottom part of your shoes happens to be made out of.

How much time you end up taking for this process will also be determined by these factors and others like them, though it usually isn't very long when you figure out everything. How effective this process is depends mainly on luck & personal experience once again, but sugar is one of the ingredients that's always used to make scrubs! Baking soda is also a well-known deodorizer!

It can do wonders when it comes to things like getting rid of odors from shoes after they've been worn often enough.

Step 6: Alcohol & Water Solution

Take a water bottle and fill it up halfway with water. How much you'll need to use will depend on how big your shoe is, but a good rule of thumb would be about half a cup.

How easy this step ends up depending upon what type of material the bottom part of your shoes happens to be made out of – as well as other things like that – means that there's no natural way to tell how long each person might end up taking for this stage. How effective these efforts again depend primarily on luck & personal experience, though!

Step 7: Metal Polish & Toothpaste Paste

Take metal polish or toothpaste and rub it into the tar stains using a cloth. How straightforward this process again depends mainly on luck & personal experience, but the metal polish is one of the chemicals that's often used to get rid of rust from things like tools and other items made out of metal!

  Use Metal Polish to Clean Stains

How effective these efforts also depend primarily on luck & personal experience since there are so many different types of stains you'll need to get rid of. How much time you end up taking will depend a bit on how easy you find this step to be, but it won't be very long regardless!

Step 8: White Vinegar Solution

Take a bowl and pour 1 cup white vinegar into it. How much you'll need again depends upon how big your shoe is, but if your shoe isn't too big, then just about 1/4 cup should do the trick. How straightforward this step again depends mainly on luck & personal experience, but vinegar is another one of those chemicals that can be used to remove specific stains!

How effective these efforts end up again depends mainly upon luck & personal experience since there are so many different colors you'll need to get rid of. How much time you take up do this will also depend upon how complicated these chemicals are to use. Nevertheless, this is a crucial step in how to get tar off of shoes.

Step 9: Baking Soda Paste Again

Take some baking soda, put it into a bowl, and then add enough water to make a paste. How much baking soda & water you should use will again depend on how big your shoe is, but if the shoe isn't too big, then a good general rule of thumb is to use about 1/4 cup baking soda or so.

How easy this step ends up again depends mainly on luck & personal experience, but baking soda is another one of those chemicals that can remove certain types of stains!

Again, how effective these efforts end up again depends mainly upon luck & personal experience since there are so many different colors you'll need to get rid of. How much time you take up do this will also depend upon how complicated these chemicals are to use.

Step 10: Denture Cleaner Paste

Take some denture cleaning paste and put it into a bowl, then add enough water to make a paste. How much denture cleaner & water you should use will again depend on how big your shoe is, but if the shoe isn't too giant, then a good general rule of thumb is to use about 1 or 2 tablespoons of denture cleaner or so.

Use Denture Cleaner Paste

How easy this step ends up again depending largely on luck & personal experience! How effective these efforts end up also depends mainly upon luck & unique expertise since there are so many different types of stains you'll need to get rid of. How much time you take up do this will also depend upon how complicated these chemicals are to use.

Step 11: Plastic Bag & Hairspray

Take a plastic bag, turn it inside, and then put it over your shoes. How easy this depends somewhat on what type of shoes you're cleaning, but you should put the bag over your shoe and then tie it around your ankle.

How effective these efforts end up again depends mainly upon luck & personal experience since there are so many different types of stains you'll need to get rid of! How much time you take up do this will also depend upon how complicated these chemicals are to use.

Step 12: Hot Water/Salt Solution

Take some water and pour it into a bowl, adding salt. How much water & salt you should add depends mostly on how big the shoe is, but if the shoe isn't too big, then just about 1 cup or so of water or so with half a cup or so or salt added in should be enough. How straightforward this step also depends mainly on luck & personal experience, but salt can be another one of those chemicals that's good at removing specific types of stains!

How effective these efforts end up again depends mainly upon luck & personal experience since there are so many different colors you'll need to get rid of. How much time you take up do this will also depend upon how complicated these chemicals are to use. These steps will help in how to get tar off of shoes.

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Which Is Better for Tar Removal: Hydrogen Peroxide or Vinegar?

Tar can be a challenging mess to remove from shoes. If you have kids, the threat of tar being stuck to their sneakers is even higher. Luckily, there are several options for removing this stubborn sealant from footwear and clothing.

Get Better Tar Removal

Both vinegar and hydrogen peroxide will work to fight tar stains on shoes. When it comes down to choosing between these two household items, consider that hydrogen peroxide is a more robust solution than vinegar.

This makes hydrogen peroxide a better option for removing large amounts of tar, but using too potent a mixture may damage certain fabrics. It may be wise to test hydrogen peroxide on the inside of the shoe before applying it to an entire surface.

If you choose vinegar, use a mild solution rather than a more concentrated version - this will minimize any damage that may be caused by using vinegar on fabric. Use white household vinegar for this purpose; other types of vinegar are too strong and may leave behind an unpleasant odor.

Once again, test your solution before applying it to the entire shoe or clothing item. When using vinegar, you can also add a few drops of dish soap as the acid works to fight dirt and tar.

Conclusion

Tar is a sticky, black substance that can be frustrating to remove from shoes. But don't worry! There are several ways you can get tar off of your shoes without taking them to the dry cleaner or spending a lot on specialized shoe cleaners. We hope you have learned how to get tar off of shoes. Please check our other articles.

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