5 Easiest Ways to Get Tar Off Shoes in 2022

You were careful yet got your shoes tarnished? Now your favorite pair of shoes are ruined? No worries, we got you covered with the easiest methods to get tar off your shoes. Non slip work shoes are among the top shoes that get dirty.

So, let’s begin

How to get tar off shoes

The Easiest Way to Remove Tar from Shoe Soles

Equipment/Tools Needed

You will get most of your supplies around the house.

All you need is:

  • Scrape knife/kitchen knife
  • Paper towel
  • Detergent /dishwashing gel
  • old toothbrush
  • Old bowl
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cloth

Scrape off the big tar gunk off the shoe bottom

Start off with carefully removing big chunks of tar from the shoe soles. Using the knife tip, scrape out tar between the lines on the shoe soles.


  1. Keep a paper towel and wipe off the knife in between scrapping. Tar tends to stick back elsewhere on the shoe easily.
  2. Use scratching motion. Don’t go in digging movements; you might pick a piece of your shoe sole.

Can you see your shoe sole through the dirty thick tar? Proud of you 👏

Now it’s time to drop the knife and go for step no 3.

Cleansing out the dirty tar

Take a clean old bowl and add warm water to it. Pour dishwashing gel or detergent.

Use 3 tablespoons of detergent for 1 cup of water, Or you know what, just add the dishing gel until you are satisfied.

Using an old toothbrush, apply and rub the cleansing mixture over it.

This time, do NOT be gentle and vigorously brush between the sole lines. Use a generous amount of detergent for the best results.

Pro Tip:

  • Use a detergent with degreasing properties to get the tar off smoothly.
  • If the tar is very stubborn, soak the shoe soles in the detergent mixture and leave it overnight to soften up so that you can easily brush it off.

If your shoe is free of black tar and is squeaky clean then move to step # 5.

Use solvents to remove stubborn tar stains from shoe soles.

If there are still some stubborn tar stains on the shoe cracks, use rubbing alcohol. Look through the kitchen drawers, will definitely find some lying in there.

Dampen the clean old cloth with rubbing alcohol and press it over each stain for 30 seconds. Tar will start to break off due to alcohol. Now rub in circular motions until the black stain vanishes.

Repeat the process over each stain to get all the nasty tar off one’s and for all.

Shoe cleaner for the final touch

Use the regular shoe cleaner to get rid of any detergent, tar residue from your shoe.

SEE, you get your newest pair of shoes free of tar.

DIY methods to get tar off shoes

You all love DIYs because they are work and are cheap. Several DIYs can also help to get the black asphalt out of your shoe. Our most favorite DIY is the freezing method. Go on to DIY method #1 and find the world-renowned freezing method to get sticky black tar off our pretty shoes.

DIY #1

Freeze your shoes to remove pine tar


Seal your shoes in the shoe bag and place them in the freezer overnight. Take them out in the morning. Make sure the tar is completely frozen and brittle. If it is sticky, put it back for another 24 hours.


Use a scraping knife to scratch out the frozen tar easily off the shoe soles. Continue scraping until most of the pine tar is out of our sight.


Take a cotton ball damped in alcohol, press on the left-over tar stains. Repeat it at each spot until all are gone.


Using a clean towel and your regular shoe Shiner cleans your shoe to remove residue.

Now sit back and admire your hard work. Your shoes are tar free.


  1. The key is to freeze the tar hard and not stay sticky. Sticky tar can create a big mess.
  2. Instead of keeping it in a freezer, you can also pop a generous amount of ice in the shoe bag and let the tar get hard enough to scrape out easily.
  3. You can use pine resin remover to remove pine tar but test hidden areas for discoloration before rubbing over to the affected portion.


DIY# 2

Baby oil/vegetable oil for beach tar removal

Let us remind you of one thing. It is a crime to not walk barefoot on the satisfying shores. Who wear shoes on beaches?

Well, never mind. Follow these steps to get the beach tar off your shoe.

STEP # 1:

Place shoes in a plastic bag and freeze by adding ice or keeping it in the freezer for a night. Scrape out the brittle tar using a sharp edge tool, a scraper.

STEP# 2:

Rub baby oil/vegetable oil over the remaining tar and let it soften it up for 1 hour.

STEP# 3:

With a brush or toothbrush, clean out the broken tar from the soles.

STEP# 4:

Using a washcloth and soap water to clean the residues. Dry under the sun and NEVER wear shoes on the beach again.


DIY# 3

Tar solvents for leather boots

Oil for leather boots


Make sure you have scraped out the big chunks of tar out of your shoe gaps. If you forget how to do it, go back to STEP # 2.


Apply any of the following oil as DIY solvents.

  • Olive oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Lamp oil
  • Butter
  • Turpentine oil

Apply a generous amount of them over the tarnished leather surface and leave it overnight.

Tar should soften up by morning, take a towel and gently rub off the remaining tar.


If the stubborn tar stain is still hiding in the groves, get a leather cleanser and towel and gentle dissolve out any residual stains left.


Rub boot shines to restore the original look of your lovely boots.

DIY #4

Restore suede shoes from asphalt with home supplies

Suede shoes are delicate. We will try the best methods to remove asphalt from your everyday go-to pair of shoes.


Brush off the dried and hard tar with a suede brush

STEP # 2

Scrape out the sticky asphalt but be very gentle. Get a blunt plastic scraper. Remove the top, thick layer of tar.

STEP # 3

Take vegetable oil and rub over the asphalt until asphalt starts to melt under the rubbing motion.

STEP # 4

Mix a tablespoon of shampoo in 1 cup of warm water. Fill it in a spray bottle and spray it over the asphalt stains. Moving in small circular motions, brush on the tar stain to get them off completely without ruining the suede leather.

STEP # 5

Wash off the shampoo in the sink and let it dry under the scorching sun to restore your suede shoes.

How to Get Tar Off White Canvas Shoes

White shoes look horrible with the slightest stain. Also, tar stain could be the worst nightmares for our white canvas.

Here we have experimented and find the best solution for you to remove that dirty tar from your white canvas.

get tar off from white canvas shoes

All you need is

  • White shoe cleaner
  • Scraper/ paper knife
  • Vinegar
  • WD 40
  • Damp cloth

STEP # 1

If the tar is a day old, place it in a shoe bag and freeze it overnight. Make sure the tar is hard and brittle. Scrape out the frozen tar with a scraper. Be careful not to damage the delicate white skin of your lucky canvas.

STEP # 2

The thin layer of tar will be removed by spraying WD 40 all over the tarnished stain. Repeat the spraying process 3-4 times until all the tar drip off from the shoes. Wash off the residue left with tap water.

STEP # 3

Are there stains left? Mix vinegar and water in a 1:4 ratio. Rub the stains until all the dirt is off your pretty shoes.

STEP # 4

Wash your shoes with clean water and dry under the sun. Apply white shoe cleaner on the dry shoes to restore the white finish of your shoes.


Read Our separate guide, If you want to remove yellowish stains on your white shoes.

Tips to Keep Your Shoes Clean

Follow these bonus tricks to keep your shoes brand new.

  • Always keep your shoes in your shoe bag, so that our shoe smell just like out of the shoe outlet.
  • Spray shoe protectant after every two weeks to prevent shoes from stains and dirt. Use leather protectants for leather boots and suede protectors for suede shoes.
  • Water repellent helps shoes stay clean in snow and rain. Spray at least twice a month.
  • Do not wash shoes in washing machines or dryers. Hand wash shoes with mild detergents and gentle brush. Dry under the sun to make sure no moisture or bacteria are left in your shoes.

Shoes are expensive. They are hard to find that perfect pair of shoes that compliment your style,  is the right size and comfort at the same time. Therefore, do NOT get tar on your shoes ever again.


How to remove tar from sneakers?

You can remove big chunks by scraping with knife and then try to remove remains by applying detergents with tootbrush. It’s hard to remove tar easily espacially from non slip sneakers with mesh upper.

How to get tar off leather shoes?

you can use detergents or solvents to remove tar from leather shoes.

Does Peanut Butter remove tar?

Yes, peanut butter remove tar remains but if there is bigger chunks then remove them first by scrapping.


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