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How Do You Get Asphalt Off a Car?

Sometimes cars will get hard black material stuck on the side, usually near the wheel well. This is not actually asphalt. It’s bitumen or tar. Tar is used for parking lot sealcoating in Palm Harbor FL and elsewhere, so if a parking lot, driveway, or road has just been sealed by an asphalt contractor in Palm Harbor FL, this may be how tar got your car.

You don’t want it on your car because it can damage the paint and finish. There are a few ways you can remove tar from your car. These methods involve items that you can find at the grocery store or auto repair shop if you do not already have them in your home. 

Ways to remove tar from your car

Bug and tar removal spray

Spray the remover spray on a microfiber towel, or directly onto the tar stuck to your car. Then, rub the microfiber towel over the tar spot in a circular motion until the tar has broken down and been removed. You may need to wet the microfiber towel with the remover or spray the remover onto the car several times to remove all the tar. Then, its recommended to wash the remover spray off using car wash soap and a sponge.

WD-40 or Goo Gone

Apply either of the products onto a microfiber towel, or directly onto the spot on your car. Let it sit for 10 to 30 minutes. Then, rub the area with a clean microfiber towel to remove the tar. When using WD-40, be sure to clean the spot well with car wash soap. If all the product is not removed, it could damage the paint on your car. 

Peanut butter

Believe it or not, you can use peanut butter to remove tar from your car. The oils in peanut butter break down the tar to make for easy removal. Start by using a microfiber towel to gently apply the peanut butter to the tar. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Then, use another clean microfiber towel to wipe the tar off. You may need to repeat this process for tougher spots if all the tar does not come off the first time.

What should I do after the tar is removed?

After any of these methods is used, multiple sources recommend washing and waxing your car to protect the paint and finish. 

Bay Area Asphalt Maintenance has been an asphalt contractor in Palm Harbor FL since 2003. We provide services such as asphalt repairs, parking lot striping and parking lot sealcoating in Palm Harbor FL. If you are in the area and need maintenance work done on your parking lot, we would be happy to assist you!


Hawley, D. (2021, Feb 10). How to get tar off your car. J.D. Power.

Popely, R. (2020, Nov 21). How to get tar off a car.

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