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What is a tar remover

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In the world of detailing, there are several special cleaning products. Among them is the tar remover. This is a special cleaning product to remove tar and often also glue residue. Tar can come from roads and sometimes at industrial places, it is used in asphalt roads and can be used at construction sites for roofing and some plumbing jobs. It doesn’t cause damage, but shows up as ugly black spots which are notoriously difficult to remove.

What does tar look like

Tar spots running
Tar spots running

Tar is black, relatively soft and can have a bit of a shiny surface. These dots can become a bit softer when they are warm, but become pretty hard below room temperature. They are very difficult to remove and will wear your claybar very quickly. Specific tar-removers often make it run, it looks like black stripes running down from the black spot.
These tar-remover are almost always based on solvents, which means that you need to be carefull with them. They will most probably have a very negative effect on the layer of protection.

How to apply a tar remover

  • Wash the area to remove most of the normal dirt and grime
  • Spray the area with tar remover (in case it’s a paste, then rub the paste on the black dots)
  • Leave it to work for a few minutes
  • Rinse off the tar remover
  • Repeat the stept until all black dots are gone
  • Wash the area again to remove all of the solvents. You might need an APC for this
  • Rinse thoroughly

Glue remover

Since most tar removers are based on solvents, they don’t only remove tar. When you have removed a badge, sticker or have glue left over, you might want to remove the glue residue. Their are special glue removers on the market (based on acetone), but a tar remover will also work. In this case the application is the same. Just spray on, rinse off and if needed use the side of a creditcard to gently rub off the residue.
Just remember to wash the area thoroughly because a tar remover might be a bit tricky to remove without any residue.

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