Tar is one of the more annoying things that can be tracked onto your carpets, creating unsightly stains and clumps of sticky mess. And if you’ve ever tried to get those out with just plain water, you probably discovered to your dismay that you actually set the stain, rather than getting rid of it. So how exactly DO you get tar and tar stains out of your carpet? You’ll find there are a lot of suggestions out there on the internet and, as you might guess some are better than others.
Here is what we recommend:
1. First, get rid of as much of the tar as possible. If there’s a lot of it and you have some ice cubes handy, rub the ice cubes on the tar until it becomes brittle and (gently) work as much of it out of the carpet fibers as you can, using a spoon or plastic spatula, then vacuum up the loose stuff.
2. Using protective gloves and making sure there is good ventilation (no, that’s not just a suggestion – read the label warnings!), apply odorless mineral spirits to a clean white cloth and blot up the stain, rotating to clean areas of the cloth as you progress. This can take a while. Be patient.
3. Mix Woolite with water to create suds and apply only the suds to the area to remove the mineral spirits. Remove the suds by blotting with a natural sponge and clear water. NOTE: Woolite is the preferred cleaning agent for wool or nylon, it should not be used on rayon, silk or linen. Dishwashing liquid can be used if Woolite isn’t an option (again, use only the suds) BUT be sure it is clear dishwashing liquid since the dyes in colored dish soap can transfer to the carpet leaving you with a lovely blue, green, purple, etc. stain in place of the stain you just got out.
4. Blot with a clean and dry white towel to help the carpet dry.
- Test the mineral spirits on a small, inconspicuous area of carpet before applying to the stain to be sure it will not damage the carpet.
- Use only clean white towels to avoid transferring dye from them to the carpet.
- Diligently follow any safety recommendations on the product container.
- Do not be afraid to seek professional advice before applying anything to your carpet. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.
If the stain is not resolved to your satisfaction or you do not care to try to remove the stain yourself, we are always available to provide professional cleaning services for your carpets, rugs and other fine textiles.
This is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Stone and Tile PRO Partners.