5 Tips for Removing Tar from Hardwood Floors

A roadworker pouring tar out on the road.

There are many ways to remove tar stuck on a hardwood floor. Tar is a substance that is sticky in nature, coming from roots and woods, which is primarily used on sealing roofing shingles as well as then wooden hulls of ships to prevent them from rotting. In diluted form, tar is also used as spice for meat, candy flavoring, anti-dandruff agent, and as a component to some cosmetics. It is quite a daunting task to remove tar because of its sticky nature, but when cleaning it off of hardwood floor, it is important to be very careful so as not to damage the wood, especially if you are removing it from an authentic hardwood floor. Below are some tips you should follow to make cleaning up easier.

TIP: Tar is very difficult to remove from clothing, so wear old work clothes when removing it.

1. Use a Dull, Pointed Object

The first thing that you should do to remove tar is to scrape off as much as possible using a dull, pointed object, such as a popsicle stick. You can even use your fingernails; any dull, pointed object will do. Never use something sharp, otherwise you risk damaging the hardwood floor in the removal process. A plastic spatula is also perfect for this task.

2. Use Ice Cubes

You can also use ice cubes to freeze the tar. Place a couple of ice cubes on top and wait for the tar to freeze and become brittle. The mess will be easy to remove after this process is done.

3. Use Dry Cleaning Solvent

Put an adequate amount of dry solvent on a clean cloth and rub the tar spill thoroughly. Wipe away the remaining residue with a fresh cloth.

4. Use a Scouring Pad

For stubborn tar stains, you can use a scouring pad. Select a scouring pad that has a fine grade to decrease your chances of damaging your hardwood in the process. Use a small, circular motion with not too much pressure to scrub up the mess.

5. Use Acetone

You can also use acetone to remove tar from laminated wood flooring. Dab a small amount of acetone on a clean cloth and wipe, starting from the edges of the stain and moving into the center to avoid spreading the mess even more.

When removing tar from authentic hardwood floor the key thing is to be gentle yet thorough. Authentic hardwood floors are expensive and hard to replace so care must be taken during the removal process. Refinishing your hardwood floor will be necessary if there is damage as a result of your cleaning.