Are you looking for the best ways of how to get tar off shoes? If you work in a construction team, no one better than you knows how tar becomes trouble. Though tar works as a powerful binding agent, it becomes a nightmare when it comes under your shoes. There are different types of tars around us, and we don’t care about them until they come under our shoes. Because it is one of the most challenging tasks to remove tar from shoes. In this article, you will find the top ways of how to get tar off shoes in the quickest way. So let’s jump into the main segment.

How To Get Tar Off Shoes – Actionable Tips

There are several ways to get tar off shoes. You have to scratch them off with a sharp knife and then apply some chemicals and use a brush to remove the rest. But there are several types of techniques you can follow to remove tar from your shoes. 

1st Method – Using Knife and Conditioner


  1. Knife
  2. Conditioner
  3. Fuel or WD 40
  4. Small Piece of cloth

In this method, first, start scraping off hard tars carefully. Don’t pressurize the knife; remove the tars gently. Then off scrapping when you are done with the hard tars. Now it is time for the rest. You can use any kind of conditioner like boot conditioner, vegetable oil or butter, etc. Apply the conditioner all over the outer soles and keep it till one day. After one day, use a brush to remove the rest tars from the shoe sole. For better, you can take a cloth and apply fuel or WD 40 to it. Then rub the shoes with the cloth. It will remove any hidden tar from your shoes.

2nd Method – Plastic Knife and Cleanser


  1. Plastic Knife
  2. Tar Specific Cleanser
  3. Toothbrush
  4. Dish Washing Soap

First, remove the tars from the shoe sole by using a plastic knife. Now apply a tar specific cleanser on the sole and leave it for one hour. Because tar specific cleanser works best in this type of task. Now, use a toothbrush to remove the rest tars. It becomes easy because the cleanser already made the tars soft and removable. After that, take a bowl and make a mixture with dishwashing soap and water. Now use this solution with a cloth all over the shoe’s sole for perfect cleaning.

Best Elements For Removing Tar From The Shoes

1. Plastic Knife

The plastic knife is the best tool for removing tar from the shoes. You can easily apply it to remove tars. Because it is accessible and can be found anywhere. If you leave tar under your shoes for a long time, it will become hard and irremovable. So, it is better to start removing tar with a plastic knife. Gently scrape the tars and be careful about the soles. It will help to clean most of the shoe soles.

2. Softener

Tar becomes very hard if you leave it for a longer time. For this reason, you need to make the tar soft so that you can remove them. There are different types of softeners that can be used for this task. Such as vegetable oil, petroleum oil, olive, and many more. Apply one of them on the sole and leave the sole for a long time, like 60 minutes to 90 minutes, for the best result. It will make the tar soft without causing any harm to your shoe soles. The next is rubbing, scraping, and washing the soles.

3. Solvent

The next working thing is solvent. When we think about solvent, many of us go for WD 40. However, you can also use kerosene or gasoline. Solvent breaks the bond between tar molecules and makes it suitable for removal. Apply solvent on the shoe with a piece of cloth, and then rinse it with water. However, you should use soap water to remove the solvent. Because it is highly flammable. Therefore, if you don’t wash them properly, it can be dangerous for you. 

4. Freeze the Tar

Well, many of us know about removing gum by the freezing method. This method also applies to tar. But you need much longer for this method. First, put the shoes inside a plastic bag and remove the air from the inside. Now keep them inside of your freeze for a whole night. The following day, keep them out from the freeze and apply a blunt tool to get tar off shoes.

5. Tooth Brush

Using a toothbrush to remove tar is also a helpful method. It also requires a long time and patience. First, you need to make a mixture with dish soap and water, then dip the brush into it. After that, scrub the soles gently with the brush and remove the tar stains. You need to do it several times. Then wash the shoe’s sole with water properly. Try to use a quality dish soap for an effective result. 

Best Practices Of Removing Tar From Shoes

  • Never leave tar on your shoes for a long time. It will become almost impossible to remove the tar if it becomes hard.
  • Try to use blunt objects for removing tars. Using sharp instruments can damage your shoes.
  • Using good and quality liquids and chemicals will make your job faster. But be careful about using a solvent to remove tar from the shoes.
  • Remember that it requires a very long time to get tar off shoes. You need to keep patience while doing this task.

So these are the top ways of removing tar from the shoes. Now you know how to get tar off shoes. Now you can remove tar from your own shoes. But be careful when removing tar from shoes. It may leave a scratch on the shoe for a lifetime. For this reason, deal with this task carefully. Apply the methods we have shown here for the best result. Hopefully, you will get back your shoes usable for the next outdoor event.

Categories: Shoe Care


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