How to Get Tar Off Shoes ( Easily & Quickly )


How to Get Tar Off Shoes ( Easily & Quickly )

You might be annoyed by the sticky black substance on your shoes, which even leaves a black stain no matter how hard you try to clean them. It seems pretty impossible to clean tar. You try to scrape it off but still, there is that noticeable black stain looking and mocking at you. It even might get stuck in deep imprints or creases of your shoes. You might be thinking that now your shoe is ruined forever and you need to buy a new one. Well, it is not all true. We know, how to get tar off shoes easily.

How to Get Tar Off Shoes?

If you learn some basics and try the right methods to remove tar, you can save yourself the expense. Here I am presenting you with different methods for how to get tar off shoes depending on the type of tar you are dealing with.

#1. Freezing the tar

To clean it from your shoes permanently all you need to do is,

  1. Take a plastic bag and put your shoes in it.
  2. After that, put the bag in the freezer.
  3. The liquid, gooey tar will harden up and will become easy to remove.
  4. The next day, take the shoe out and use any slightly sharp tool to scrap the tar off.
  5. Try to be as gentle and careful as possible so that you don’t destroy your shoe.
  6. Once tar has removed, take a piece of cloth and soak it in vegetable oil and rub it on the shoe.

After that, clean the shoe with a cloth soaked in a concoction of water and dish soap. If there is still a stain left, you can use a toothbrush or any kind of small brush to gently rub and get rid of it.

#2. Scraping the tar

This method is mostly used for black tar. For this method, there are some things you need. Firstly, you need a scraper. Second, you need degreasing dish detergent. And thirdly you need a toothbrush along with some hot water.

Now what you need to do is very simple.

  1. Scrap the tar from your shoe in a gentle manner.
  2. Since black tar is more stubborn than beach tar so, you need to be extra careful. We don’t want to buy a new shoe in the process of renewing our old shoe.
  3. So, once you can successfully scrape off the tar, take a cloth and clean that area with the dish detergent.
  4. Since the detergent is degreasing it kind of works on tar since tar has the same sticky nature and is hydrophobic (water-hating) like grease and other lipids.

After all the removing, there might still be an ugly stain. Don’t worry and, rub on it with a toothbrush and hot water. The hot water will bring it to soften up and then you can easily rub it off.

Now your shoe is brand new and ready to go for another walk.

#3. Alcohol swabs

  1. Take cloth/cotton and some rubbing alcohol.
  2.  Dab the area with rubbing alcohol until it is clean.
  3. Another fascinating product to use is resin remover. But it can lead to decolorization, hence don’t forget to do a little test on an unobtrusive part of the shoe. It is better to be safe than sorry.
  4. It is also said that oily-natured substances like mayonnaise, etc can be used to remove pine tar but let me tell you it can leave an oily stain on your shoe which is not beautiful at all.

So, try to be careful and deal with this tricky substance in its way.

#4. Use of chemicals for the removal of tar

  1. First of all, tape the sides of your shoes.
  2.  Then use WD-40 on the tarred areas. It is a strong chemical that can remove tar without any effort. It not only takes the tar but also all the dirt from your shoes.
  3. After that use, the Armor all wipes to clean the area. Trust me the soles of your shoes will be clean and brand new.

These are for sure chemicals and, you may not like the sound of them but, they won’t harm your sole if, handled properly. And on the whole, they are easy to deal with as compared to freezing and scrapping.

How to Remove Tar from Leather Shoes


We all love to wear leather shoes. They look dandy, with suits, and are perfect even for an everyday look. But, what to do if they get spoiled by some tar. Buy some new shoes? No! All you need to do is clean them.

Two ways to remove tar off leather shoes are:

Method # 1:

Either you can scrape it off which I’m not a big fan of, or you can use automobile tar remover. But again, you need to check if it causes any decolorization on your shoe, in case it works for you to wipe all the tar from your shoe. After that, clean the shoe with a soft leather conditioner. It will bring back the shine of your shoes.

In case you decide to scrape the tar, don’t forget that leather is more delicate and can easily be ruined. You can scrap the tar that is present in some kind of bulk but removing a thin layer of it might be a bad idea.

Method # 2:

Automobile tar remover is on the safer side as it has no petroleum and usually won’t harm the leather. If you are still skeptical about it you can use vegetable oil or some other kind of grease.

How to Remove Tar from Suede Shoes


Suede shoes are loved by all. They are fancy and elegant and go with whatever you are wearing. But the thing I hate about them most is that they get dirty and are difficult to clean. On top of that, what if tar sticks to them. It becomes more difficult. Though, it is not impossible.


  • Once again, you can scrape it. But not with some kind of scrapper or metal knife or some sort of that thing. Use a plastic knife. It won’t harm your shoe.
  • After you are done with scrapping use a suede brush to get rid of any tar specks.
  • Then take a leather cleaner and apply it with the help of the brush. Don’t use a lot of cleaners because suede shoes are not a big fan of moisture.
  • After all the tar is removed and, the shoe is neat and clean and, there are no stains left, wipe everything off using a clean cloth or towel.
  • Since, at the end of the procedure, suede shoes might be a little bit moist, so, put them under the sun to dry completely. Then they will be ready to be used again!

How to Remove Beach Tar from Shoes

During summers we all go to the beach and, it is possible that on your return you might notice your beautiful flip-flops got ruined by the beach tar. What happens is that a natural tar seeps from the bottom of the ocean and it is called “rock oil”, though it is not that sticky and hard to deal with. Still, it can be a little bit tacky.

Since beach tar is more of an aquatic nature hence it is easy to remove as compared to other kinds. You can remove it by freezing it.

How to Get Black Tar off Shoes

The procedure to remove black tar is very much similar to that of beach tar. Though removing beach tar is comparatively easy. You can remove it just by scraping.

How to Remove Tree Sap from Shoes

First of all, we need to know what tree sap is. Trees tend to produce resins and other sticky substances from their lenticels or other-open cuts, injuries, or pores. The tree sap is usually formed when the pinewood is heated in a container. It can also be released naturally by the tree.

If you accidentally get some on your shoe so how should you remove it. It is pretty simple. Either put it in the freezer or take some ice cubes to freeze the tar. Once the tar has frozen do the same old thing, scrape it!

Since pine tar has less petroleum in it, it is easy to remove.

How to Get Bar Tar off Shoes

Bar tar is formed by us. It forms due to the spills of juice and other beverages on the floor. It is most likely to happen in a bar hence named bar tar.

Usually, bar tar spoils your soles. There are some chemicals out there that help to remove this notorious substance.

What can dissolve tar?

Either mineral spirit can easily dissolve tar in it if you soak peace of cloth with it and rub it on the shoes where the tar is.

Does vinegar remove tar?

Vinegar can remove tar if it get mix with hand dishwashing detergent. 1 spoon on detergent and 3 spoons of vinegar with some warm water can do your work.

Does WD-40 remove tar?

It can surely remove the tar from shoes and car as well. WD-40 is the most popular lubricant for removal of tar, stains, paint etc.


All shoes are vulnerable to tar. It is not like anyone gets tar on their shoes with their will, in some places it is just inevitable. Removing tar requires a lot of patience and, you need to have full knowledge to execute your plan to clean it. Depending on tar type and shoe type you need to decide what products and what ways you are going to use.

Still try to be safe when scrapping tar or while using any chemicals, as we don’t want to harm ourselves in the process of cleaning shoes.

Now you know how to get tar off shoes and if you are very likely to get tar on your shoes, keep the required stuff in your store so you can immediately get rid of it.


  • Jonathan de Lagarde

    Jonathan de Lagarde has been the lead writer at PasUnAutre since 2019. His passion is to help people in all aspects of Feet and Shoes related to feet problems. He is a great Shoes expert in terms of giving you a great advice about which shoes you should purchase.

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