How To Get Tar Stains Off Concrete Driveway

Homeowners with driveways may have times when they need to re-tar their driveway, but that does not mean you necessarily want tar on yours!

There are a number of ways and accidents that can lead to tar finding itself on your concrete driveway or your concrete foundation.

Don’t fear if you find yourself in this situation.

It is possible to get rid of the tar.

We did some research to find out how this process is done.

Follow the steps below to learn how to get tar stains off your concrete driveway and how to remove tar from the concrete foundation. 

What You’ll Need

The above items are what you’ll need to remove tar stains from your concrete driveway.

Continue reading below for step-by-step instructions.

1. Apply Paint Stripper To Thicker Tar Spots

First, be sure to wear protective gear, such as a mask or respirator and gloves.

Ensure that you have the area well ventilated if you are removing tar from an indoor concrete foundation.

If you have thicker tar spots on your concrete driveway or concrete foundation, begin by pouring a small amount of paint stripper.

Use enough to cover the tar stain, but do not use more than needed. 

2. Apply Goo Off On Tar Splatter 

You can use goo off on tar spots that look more like splatter and are not very thick.

You can pour it on the splatter spots.

Goo off is a more liquid solvent than the paint stripper, so be aware when pouring it.

Be sure to add enough goo off to cover the tar splatter spots on the concrete driveway or foundation. 

3. Spray Floor Stripper On Tar Spots

Another method to use on more splatter-like tar spots is the floor stripper.

Using the pump-up sprayer, spray the floor stripper on the tar spots. 

4. Let Solvents Sit On The Tar 

Allow the solvents to sit on the tar.

Allowing the solvents to sit will give the solvents time to dissolve the tar’s adhesion to the concrete.

Start with about two minutes.

If you notice they need to sit longer, feel free to leave them on longer.

Keep an eye on the solvents to ensure they are not drying on the tar spots.

You do not want these to dry and set onto your concrete driveway or foundation.

Goo off will be the quickest to dry, so you may need to reapply it periodically. 

5. Scrub Tar Spots With Coarse Bristle Brush 

Using a stiffer bristle brush, scrub the tar spots.

You will notice the tar starting to lift and be removed.

Scrubbing the spots will also help with the tar removal from the concrete driveway or concrete foundation. 

6. Spray Concrete With Power Washer 

Once you have thoroughly scrubbed the tar spots with the brush, spray your concrete driveway or foundation with a power washer.

You should see the tar that you scrubbed up should be washing away.

The power washer should also help to reach and remove the tar that may have seeped into the cracks and depressions in the concrete.

If you are in the market for a power washer, check out the Sun Joe SPX3000 2030 Max PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5-Amp Electric High-Pressure Washer.

It is an Amazon best-seller and gets excellent reviews. 

7. Repeat As Necessary

If there are still some persistent tar stains on your concrete driveway or concrete foundation, feel free to repeat the steps above as necessary.

Consider leaving the solvents on for longer than your first run-through so that they have time to improve the dissolution of the tar. 

Video Instructions

  • Step 1 (1:25) — Apply Floor Stripper To Thicker Tar Spots
  • Step 2 (2:11) – Apply Goo Off On Tar Splatter
  • Step 3 (2:48) – Spray Paint and Epoxy Stripper On Tar Spots
  • Step 4 (3:41) – Let Solvents Sit On Tar
  • Step 5 (4:46) – Scrub Tar Spots With Coarse Bristle Brush
  • Step 6 (6:14) – Spray Concrete With Power Washer
  • Step 7 (7:16) – Repeat as necessary


What Is Able To Dissolve Tar? 

The solvents mentioned above are not the only things that can remove tar.

You can use mineral spirits and kerosene to remove tar.

In addition, muriatic acid is a popular solvent used to remove tar.

When using muriatic acid, be sure that you follow the package’s instructions for use and disposal.

Regardless of what type of solvent you use, be sure that you take proper precautions by wearing appropriate protective equipment and keeping the area well ventilated.

Are There Any Common Household Products That Can Remove Tar? 

Technically, yes.

You can use vinegar mixed with liquid dish soap and water.

You can blot the area with a sponge to remove the tar.

The same goes for popular methods of peanut butter and rubbing alcohol.

You can apply peanut butter to the site and remove it with a cloth or towel.

Applying peanut butter will use the peanut oil in the peanut butter to help remove the tar.

Rubbing alcohol can be used to blot the tar stain.

It will remove some of the tar stains as well.

These may not be the best methods for tar on concrete, but if you do not have the solvents required above, you can start with these methods and go from there.

How Will The Pressure Washer Impact The Concrete Sealer?

If you have spilled tar on sealed concrete foundations, you will want to be more cautious when using a pressure washer to remove the tar spots.

Some sealants for concrete are water-based, which will be removed easily when sprayed with a pressure washer. 

Can I Scrape Away The Tar From The Concrete? 

If the tar spots are thick enough, you can certainly begin with trying to scrape away tar from your concrete driveway or concrete foundation.

Doing this may be a difficult task, depending on the condition of the concrete, and may end up being more work that’s not necessary.

I recommend utilizing a solvent to dissolve and remove tar from concrete driveways and foundations rather than slowly chipping it away.