How To Remove Tar From Car Without Damaging Paint

How To Remove Tar From Car Without Damaging Paint? [Best Ways]

Finding road tar on a beautiful car is a nightmare many car owners experience. They search for ways to treat the tar as quickly as possible to restore the car’s precious paint to normal. Therefore to deal appropriately, you must know how to remove tar from car without damaging paint.

There are several ways to remove tar without damaging the car’s paint. Car owners can go to either one. In this case, one should also know the ingredients that should not be used for removing tar because using anything can be hostile to the paint. So people need to be careful!

However, as a car owner, you will learn about the best and safest ways in this article. So keep your focus on the following sections.

3 Effective Ways To Remove Tar From Car Without Damaging Paint

No matter how you drive on the road, there is no guarantee that the car won’t get some tar. It is difficult to escape from it, but you can quickly free the vehicle by using some means. This stage combines three methods to pick anyone to restore your car to a usual look.

Way 1: With Tar Removal Spray

Now learn about the first method. However, one must know what ingredients to assemble before knowing the steps.

Step 1: First, gather the necessary ingredients, such as a tar remover, Microfiber towel, car wash soap, and a bucket.

Step 2: Apply some tar remover on a microfiber towel. If the tar has hardened, apply the remover directly on the affected area instead of putting it on the towel.

Step 3: In severe cases, wait a few minutes for the solution to settle. Then keep rotating the affected area with the help of a towel.

Step 4: Keep stirring until the tar is soft, and notice if it is smooth. When most of the tar softens, rub again using the clean reverse side of the cloth.

Step 5: Repeat the previous step with a clean towel until you remove all the tar. It will definitely work even if it takes more time.

Step 6: Now, you have to wash the car. For this, make a solution with water and soap in the bucket. Then wash the tar-affected area as well as the surrounding area.

Step 7: Dry the car and apply wax on the surface to give it a glossy look.

Way 2: Using Peanut Butter Solution

Well, you have to know about the turn of the second method. It can also be called a natural way to remove tar from a car; you should not doubt how safe it is. Not only this, it is considered to be the cheapest method. 

Step 1: First, one must assemble some necessary elements such as peanut butter, a bucket, a towel, car washing soap, and wax.

Step 2: Apply some peanut butter along with the stain and ensure it covers all the areas. Wait 30 seconds for the butter to sit on the stain.

Step 3: Put some butter on a towel and rub the tar area with it until the coating becomes soft. Apply some more butter on the towel if necessary.

Step 4: The mixture needs to be clarified when almost all the tar has come out. In this case, take a clean towel and eradicate the mix.

Step 5: After cleaning, observe that the car’s surface is entirely stains-free. If not, repeat the procedure.

Step 6: After completely removing the stain, apply the wax to the gari. It will quickly regain a shiny appearance like before.

Way 3: Using WD-40 or Goo Gone

WD-40 or Goo is quite common for removing tar from cars. It works great (1) for removing tough tar stains from paintwork. However, see the steps below and apply.

Step 1: Like other methods, this method requires collecting some useful items beforehand. It includes WD-40, a microfiber towel, soap, and water.

Step 2: Put some WD-40 or Goo Gone on the towel first. Now rub the towel on the affected area and ensure it covers all the spots. Wait 10 to 30 minutes for the solution to sit.

Step 3: Take another microfiber cloth and keep rubbing on the tar. Rub until the stain is completely removed.

Step 4: Make a mixture of soap and water in the bucket. Apply the mixture to remove the WD-40 residue. Make sure all the WD-40 has fallen off the car.

Step 5: Finally, don’t forget to apply wax, as it will help bring back the shine to the affected area.

6 Essential Tips To Remove Tar From Car Without Damaging Paint

In addition to knowing the top ways to remove car tar without damage, some tips will help avoid potential problems. At least take a look at the tips mentioned below.

Tip 1: Work At The Right Temperature

Choose a location with a neutral temperature. A garage can be a good solution, or choose a shady spot. Excessive temperatures can reduce the effectiveness of removing solutions and make them challenging.

Tip 2: Be Careful When Using WD-40

WD-40 is no doubt compelling enough, but no residue should stay on the car’s surface as it can damage the paint in the long run.

Also, WD-40 should be kept at a safe distance from brake discs during application as it can affect braking performance. By any chance brake or pads come in contact with it; wipe it off with a cloth as soon as possible.

Tip 3: Take Enough Time

Tar contains a material called asphalt mixed with stones. So fighting to remove the tar can adversely affect the paint. It’s better to take enough time to avoid tar grinding.

Remember this tip while applying any method if you don’t want to damage the paint.

Tip 4: Apply The Solution In The Proper Area

Any solution has a side effect, so it should not be applied where it is not needed. Treat only the affected part of the car, not the whole car, because it can spoil the shine of clean areas.

Also, when you’ve finished fighting the cleaner with stain, please rinse it and walk around the car to ensure there’s no residue.

Tip 5: Choose The Right Product

Many commercial products are available in the market to remove tar from cars. From these, choosing the right products that can safely deal with the paint is important.

Even select products that work with tar, asphalt, and dried bugs (2) without damaging the paint.

Tip 6: Avoid Using A Scraper

You may be tempted to use a scraper to work faster but avoid it. The scraper will work quickly, but there is considerable doubt whether the car’s paint will be maintained. It will likely damage the color because it is not flexible. Place a few microfiber towels instead.


Can You Prevent Car’s Tar Build-Up?

People can prevent the car tar build-up if they follow a few things. The wax applied to the car stops the tar from misbehaving on the paint, even it does not spread. Car owners usually cannot keep their vehicles significantly away from tar, which is bound to be encountered at some point on the road.

But one can save the paint from damage. After applying a tar removal solution, clean the car and apply wax properly. While this wax will not protect against subsequent tar attacks, it will undoubtedly save the paint from adverse reactions.

What Is The Best Way To Remove Tar From A Car?

Using WD-40 or Goo Gone is the best method to remove tar. It effectively removes the scars allowing the affected area to return to its normal appearance. You only need to spend 10 to 30 minutes. But while using this solution, it is essential to note some things, such as it should not leave any residue on the surface. The residue left behind can damage the paint.

Moreover, you can go for the peanut butter method naturally. Since almost everyone will have this material at home, buying it separately is unnecessary. Although somewhat time-consuming, it is still quite an effective method. Besides, peanut butter solutions cannot be compared with anything else regarding affordability.

Can Tar Actually Damage Your Car’s Paint?

Tar can damage a car’s paint over time. If you don’t treat it as soon as it’s infected, it will persist over time and significantly impact the paint. But this paint damage can be avoided when people are aware of it. Therefore, one should treat it as soon as possible.

Pick any one method and apply it quickly to avoid the possibility of damage to the exterior of the car. It can prevent paint damage, and the car’s appearance will be restored.

Can A Tar Remover Work On All Parts Of A Car?

There is no doubt that Car’s tar-removing solutions work well with tar. But if you think about applying them to parts other than metal parts of the car, you must know about some facts. You should never use bugs and tar removal on the plastic components (3) of the vehicle; otherwise, it may be damaged. It is best if applied over the painted surface.

However, people use tar removers specifically for this, so keep other parts of the car away from these solutions. Especially when using WD-40 or Goo Gone, let it come into contact with essential parts of the vehicle, as it will hinder the performance of those parts.

To Sum Up

Finally, if your car is affected by tar, don’t worry because now you know how to remove tar from car without damaging paint. People are hesitant about paint when removing a spot from a car. Above mentioned are the top ways to end all your worries.

Any of these will be enough for you. All of these are safe to use on paint. Apart from applying the methods properly, you should follow some crucial tips that you already know about.

These will help you to do it like a pro. Therefore feel free to proceed to debug your car now.


(1) Collins, C. (2013). Simple Fixes for Your Car: How to Do Small Jobs Yourself and Save Money. Veloce Publishing.

(2) Dunn, T., & Paul, R. (2020, April 16). The Best Car Wax and Detailing Supplies 2020 | Reviews by Wirecutter. The New York Times. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from

(3) Ambrose, K. (2021, June 12). How to clean your car from cicada splatters. The Washington Post. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from

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