- What's Your Stain/Spot?
- Household Stains & Spots
- Adhesive Residue
- Garage & Workshop Stains
- Rust Stains & Spots
- Where's Your Stain/Spot?
- How to Remove Stains/Spots
- Goof Off vs Competition
- Goof Off Heavy Duty
- Goof Off Professional
- Good-Bye Cracks
- Goof Off Graffiti Remover
- Goof Off Wipes
- Goof Off Rust Stain Remover
- Goof Off Foam & Caulk Remover
- Goof Off Power Cleaner & Degreaser
- Goof Off Super Glue Remover
Tar Stains & Spots
Have you ever come back from the beach with your flip flops covered in black, sticky tar? Or discovered your car is spotted with the gooey black substance from driving on a freshly-paved road? Or come home from a bike ride find tar on your bike and shoes and clothes . . . and maybe even tracked onto your carpet without you realizing it?
Before we help you remove the tar and get rid of the tar stain you’re dealing with, would it surprise you to learn that none of these substances is actually tar?
What is Tar?
Tar is produced from the wood and roots of pine trees. Also sometimes called “pitch” or “resin” this thick, viscous black liquid was used for hundreds of years to protect and preserve wooden vessels against water and rot. (Imagine how hard to would have been to remove tar and tar stains back then!) The largest user of tar was the Royal British Navy. Tar production declined with the advent of iron and steel ships.
Nowadays, we use the word "tar" to describe several distinct substances which are not tar at all. Naturally occurring "tar pits" such as the famous La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, actually contain asphalt rather than tar. When we say, “tarring the road”, the substance being used is also asphalt. This material appears to be solid and when dry can be as hard as nails, but at warm temperatures it becomes soft and at higher temperatures, turns to liquid.
What we call “beach tar” comes from petroleum seeping out of porous rocks in the ocean, such as shale, sandstone, and limestone. This petroleum floats to the surface, and becomes more “tar like” as it degrades in the salt water. There is some debate about whether all beach tar is natural, or is caused by oil spills and other forms of ocean pollution, but in any case, when it winds up on shore, it will turn your flip flops and beach towels a sticky black and be very challenging to remove.
No matter what you call it, or what the technical name really is, all types of tar are gooey, dense substances that stick to and stain the surfaces they come in contact with.
To effectively remove tar you need a solvent that will penetrate and dissolve it. If the tar has dried, you can sometimes peel it off a hard surface, but it usually leaves a stain unless you use a product specifically designed to remove sticky, greasy residue.
Goof Off® Heavy Duty Spot Remover and Degreaser’s powerful micro-emulsion formula dissolves tar, and effectively removes the underlying stain, whether you’re cleaning car from you hub caps, wheel wells, under carriage, bumpers, doors, car upholstery, clothing, or carpet.
Even though Goof Off® has no harsh fumes, is biodegradable and safe to use, it is not recommended for removing beach tar from your feet. It’s fine for your bathing suit, beach towel or beach chairs, but for your feet, try olive oil, an abrasive soap or a pumice stone. Do not apply it to your skin.