Tar is one of those annoying things that can be difficult to remove if you have got it on your carpet. There have been instances when people have valiantly tried to remove it by using water, only to find out that instead of getting rid of it, the stain has set in more deeper. Tar is a very durable and sticky material; after all, roads and car parks are made out of it, so naturally, it is already water and weatherproof, and won’t wash away easily.
So it is indeed worrisome if you have gotten it on your rug or carpet. But as it goes with any stains, it is easiest to remove when it is fresh. But how exactly would you do that? Why, by scraping and blotting anything that you can, while you can. I will tell you how to go about the process in the easiest way possible.
Cleaning It Up (Method #1)
You will need:
- Paper towels, lots of them
- Ice cubes
- Safety gloves (not necessary but recommended)
- Spoon or butter knife
- First and foremost, you will need to blot as much tar (if it is fresh) off the carpet if it is still fresh, using the paper towels. Be sure to go gentle and not press down too hard on the tar because doing so will just push it in and that could be dangerous because it will just make it all the more difficult to remove it.
- Use small dabbing motions with the paper towels to remove as much tar as you can. Doing so will prevent the tar from spreading onto the clean areas.
- Keep doing this until you are sure that there is no more tar to be removed using the paper towels.
- You may want to don the safety gloves that I recommended and get the ice cubes out. Ice cubes are used to freeze the existing tar on the carpet fibres so it becomes hardened and hence, easier to scrape off. Hold the ice cube against the stained area for more than a minute (that’s why I recommended safety gloves). Keep checking if the tar has hardened, if it is not, hold the ice over it for as long as it is required. Once it has completely hardened, you can move on to the next step.
- Once you are sure that the tar has frozen over, you can start using your knife or the teaspoon to scrape it off the carpet fibres. Because of the ice, the tar would have frozen, and hence, will come off in crumbles. You will need to do this as gently as possible because, in your enthusiasm, you might damage the carpet.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 as many times as necessary or until you are satisfied. Using this method, there is a high likelihood that you may have removed most of the tar off your carpet. For the more stubborn particles, there are always other methods.
Cleaning It Up (Method #2)
You will need:
- Clean cloth rags
- A drycleaning solvent such as K2R
- A teaspoon
- Some water
Just a look at the ingredients must have given you the impression that this is not as simple as just scraping off the tar, and you are right.
- Even after you have blotted and scraped, there might still be a glaring stain on your carpet. To attempt to remove this, using a dry cleaning solvent might not be a bad idea because it is a very powerful agent and is designed to remove the toughest stains. Wet the cloth rag with some water and pour two teaspoons of the solvent on to it. Now start using this rag onto the affected area. Be sure to use the rag exactly as you used the paper towels in the first method (in gentle dabbing motions).
- Do not rub at the stain because it will do nothing more than pushing the stain in deeper.
- If you can see that the stain has started to disappear or has disappeared, put a few drops of water on that surface and dab at it again. Adding more water to the solvent will weaken it, and dabbing at it will absorb any remaining solvent on your carpet.
Cleaning It Up (Method #3)
You will need:
- Paper towels
- Vegetable glycerin
- Shaving foam
- This method is more like an extension to Method #1. First of all, you will have to remove all the tar particles using the spoon or the spatula after freezing it using ice cubes. Once you have done as much as you can, dust off the small tar particles and apply some glycerin on the stain.
- Leave the glycerin on for an hour or a little more.
- All you have to do now is to blot up as much tar that the glycerin has loosened up and lifted. Repeat this process until you have removed most of the tar from the fibres.
- Apply the shaving foam onto this area and sponge it with water. This will remove any remaining glycerin in your carpet. Now using dry paper towels, dry off the carpet as much as you can and then leave the carpet to air dry.
Some Quick Tips and Precautions
- You may want to test the glycerin and dry cleaning solvents on a small patch of carpet to ensure that these agents are not damaging your carpet.
- If you are using cloth rags instead of paper towels, ensure that they are white. I am saying this because if a cloth is printed or otherwise, it may leave dye stains on your carpet, creating another problem for you.
- Avoid using water unless you are sure the stain is removed. Doing so otherwise may set in the stain deeper.
- If the dry cleaner or any other cleaning product has come with some safety precautions, please read them carefully.
- Never mix any two chemical products unless clearly specified. They may have a harmful reaction to you or others around you.
Because of its gooey and thick texture, tar stains can prove to be a tough challenge to clean, especially if you have managed to get some on your carpet. But as you noticed, there are some very easy ways to clean it off. And these do not require fancy materials, but ingredients you can easily find in your household and are very cost effective. However, as I tell everyone that if things do get out of hand, do not hesitate to take the help of an expert.