How to Remove Tar from Shoes?

How to Remove Tar from Shoes

Finding tar stains that won’t come from your favorite shoe can be a hassle. Tar can stick to shoes and seem nearly impossible to remove, whether you’ve unintentionally stepped into a sticky situation or found yourself in a construction zone. However, do not worry! You can say goodbye to those bothersome tar stains and return your shoes to their former splendor with the right methods and patience.

This guide will help you to successfully remove tar from shoes, regardless of material or style. We’ll examine solutions that address various scenarios, from basic household items to specialized products. Bring clean, tar-free shoes that are prepared to hit the pavement once more and wave goodbye to the sticky situation.

How to get tar off the bottom of your shoes?

tar off the bottom of your shoes

Getting rid of tar from your shoes might seem difficult, but you can do it with the right method and a few straightforward steps. Here is a how-to for removing tar from shoes in a step-by-step fashion:

➤ Gather Your Materials:

Before you start, assemble the required materials. You’ll also need soft, clean cloths, a plastic scraper or an old credit card, dish soap, rubbing alcohol, or oil-based products like cooking oil or peanut butter.

➤ Freeze tar:

Put the affected area in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes if the tar is still fresh and sticky. The tar will become harder as a result, making removal simpler.

➤ Scrape Off Extra Tar:

Gently scrape off as much hardened tar as possible using the plastic scraper or an old credit card. Take care not to harm the shoe’s leather.

➤ Apply rubbing alcohol:

Remove any remaining tar stains by dampening a clean cloth with it and gently blotting. Without damaging the material of the shoes, rubbing alcohol aids in the breakdown of the tar. Test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure the shoe’s color or finish is not harmed.

➤ Use an Oil-Based Substance:

Try using an oil-based substance like cooking oil or peanut butter if rubbing alcohol isn’t available or working well. A small amount should be applied and left on the tar stain. To help lift the tar, gently rub the area with a cloth. The natural oils can assist in safely dissolving the tar.

➤ Dish soap for cleaning:

Use mild dish soap and water to wash the affected area after using rubbing alcohol or oil-based products. Your shoes will be clean after this helps remove any last-minute residue. Rinse the shoe well in water to remove any cleaning solutions.

➤ Examine, then repeat as necessary:

Check the area to ensure all the tar has been removed once the shoe has dried. Repeat the above procedures until the stain is completely removed if any residue is left.

➤ Condition and Protect:

Depending on the shoe’s material, you might want to apply a suitable conditioner or stain-resistant spray to bring back its texture.

➤ Prevention:

Be cautious when walking close to construction sites or freshly asphalted roads to avoid future encounters with tar. Reduce the likelihood of stains by wearing closed-toe shoes and avoiding direct contact with tar.

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Tips to Remove Tar from Shoes

Tips to Remove Tar from Shoes

Here are some additional suggestions and techniques to assist you in successfully cleaning tar from your shoes:

➤ Use Warm Water: Try soaking the tar-stained area in warm water for a few minutes before using any cleaning products. The tar may become softer, making it simpler to scrape off.

➤ Nail polish remover: Acetone-based nail polish remover can assist in dissolving small amounts of tar from hard surfaces. Test it first on a small area to ensure it doesn’t harm the material.

➤ Commercial Tar Removers: Tar can be removed from footwear without damaging the material with the help of commercial tar removers, which are readily available. For your type of shoe, look for safe products.

➤ Toothpaste: Baking soda-infused toothpaste has a mild abrasive effect. Apply a small amount to the tar stain and use a soft cloth to scrub it gently.

➤ Hairsprays: Some hairsprays contain alcohol, which can aid in the breakdown of tar. Using a clean cloth, blot the stain after applying a small amount and allowing it to sit for a short while.

➤ Vaseline or petroleum jelly: It can help soften the tar, making it easier to remove, by applying a thin layer to the tar stain and letting it sit for a while.

➤ Test in an Unobtrusive Area: To ensure that cleaning agents or techniques won’t damage or discolor the shoe, test them in an unnoticeable area of the shoe before using them.

➤ Seek Professional Assistance: If you’re unsure how to clean tar off pricey or delicate shoes, think about having them cleaned or repaired by a professional. They are skilled in handling various materials and stains.

➤ Protective Barrier: Before wearing your shoes in tar-prone areas, consider applying a protective spray or barrier product to them to help prevent future tar stains.

➤ Regular Upkeep: Clean and inspect your shoes frequently to spot tar stains early. The sooner you deal with them, the simpler it will be to eliminate them.


You can free your shoes from the stubborn hold of tar with the right techniques. Tar stains can be removed using techniques like freezing, gentle scraping, and materials like rubbing alcohol or oil-based solutions. These procedures, which are catered to the material of your shoe, make sure that the integrity of the shoe is not harmed. Additionally, prevention through careful footwear selection in tar-prone areas still plays a crucial role. Your resourcefulness and tenacity were put to the test in the process of removing the tar from your shoes, which resulted in a satisfying return to their original condition. You not only reclaim your shoes as you master the tar removal challenge, but you also learn important maintenance and shoe-life extension techniques.

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