How to remove tar from a low pile synthetic carpet

Jan 3, 2016
Real Name
Hello !

Tar leaked from the roof of building we are about to clean, spilling onto the carpet. Is this a lost cause? Or, should a hi psi and hottest setting on my truck mount combined with the right chemicals help the cause?

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Frank House

Active Member
Feb 1, 2016
Real Name
Frank H

Cleaning Solutions
Solvent-Based Cleaner
Use a nonflammable solvent-based cleaner or a liquid P.O.G. spot remover. Use a solvent-type cleaner that is described by its manufacturer as being safe for your type of carpet.

Detergent Solution
Mix 1/4 teaspoon mild liquid dish soap with one cup warm water.

How to remove tar stains from carpet
  1. Scoop up and blot as much of the spill as possible, then vacuum up any dry particles.
  2. Prepare suggested cleaning solutions above, beginning with the first one listed.
  3. Test the cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous section of carpet. We want to make sure the solution doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage!
  4. Note exception: Don’t apply dry cleaning fluid directly to carpet. Apply the solution to a cloth, and use the cloth to apply the solution to the stain. For the best results, work from the outside of the stain toward the center.
  5. Leave the cleaning solution on the spill for at least five minutes, so it can work its magic.
  6. Blot with a clean white cloth until the stain no longer transfers. Be careful not to rub the stained area, or you might damage the carpet fibers!
  7. Rinse the spot with cold water, making sure all excess cleaning solution is removed from the carpet.
  8. Rinse the spot with cold water, making sure all excess cleaning solution is removed from the carpet.
  9. If the stain remains, mix the next solution on the list and follow steps 3-8 above.
  10. When the carpet is dry, vacuum the area to restore the texture.

I've had great luck with P.O.G. type cleaner on many carpets.

Scott W

Preferred Vendor
Premium VIP
Feb 14, 2006
West Jordan, UT
The spot and stain removal above is good for general purpose. It comes from a site for home-owners, not professional cleaners. So, it does nto discuss what you can do with the right equipment.

With that much tar, a key will be to prevent it from spreading when you apply a solvent to disolve it. That is a lot of tar to get it. It can be done, but will require some patience. It will probably be faster to do a repair and insert some new carpet if it is available.
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