How to Remove Tar From a Window

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Things You'll Need

  • Mineral spirits

  • Sponges

  • Nylon scrubber

  • Glass cleaner

  • Lint-free towel

Remove tar from a window with mineral spirits.

Tar leaves a black, sticky mess when deposited on surfaces such as a car window. Hot tar placed on roadways during a construction or repaving process can become stuck to car paint and windows, requiring prompt removal before it has time to etch the auto surface. Tar needs an oily substance that loosens its grip so you can remove it easily from the window without leaving behind abrasion marks.


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Step 1

Pour 1/8 cup of mineral spirits onto a damp sponge.

Step 2

Rub the mineral spirits into the tar on the window. Allow the mineral spirits to remain on the tar for 10 minutes to loosen the substance.

Step 3

Wet a nylon scrubber with 2 tbsp. mineral spirits. Rub the scrubber over the tar, loosening its grasp on the glass surface.

Step 4

Wet a clean sponge with warm water and wipe the tar from the window. Rinse the sponge as you remove the tar to keep from smearing it back on the window. Use additional mineral spirits on any remaining tar still stuck to the glass.

Step 5

Spray a glass cleaner over the window after removing the tar residue. Dry the window with a lint-free towel.


Remove the tar as soon as possible from the window. To remove tar from car paint, use a bug and tar remover found at auto stores.