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What's good for removing tar?

AndsAnds Posts: 1,437
edited March 2010 in Road beginners
I went out in the wet yesterday so was expecting to come home a bit muddy from the lanes....but when I went to clean my bike, I realised that there was a lot of tar on it. The bike has mostly cleaned up OK (a few sticky smears left). The worst bit is my white saddle, which is now a browny shade of white. :D

What is the best thing to remove tar?

Also, probably a daft question, but seeing as I didn't ride on any newly surfaced roads, where could it have come from? Is old, displaced/broken up surfacing sticky too?


  • HonestAlHonestAl Posts: 406
    there's plenty of tar removal stuff for cars which I can't see doing a lot of damage to bikes. Alternatively white spirit should work. you might like to try a little hidden area of the bottom of your saddle first, but white spirit is pretty innocuous stuff

    In terms of where it came from, newly filled potholes perhaps? Quite impressed you could get tar on the saddle. Or did you sit on the road? :) Given how cold and wet it is I can't see it likely that there's a lot of chance of tar going walkabout. Anyhoo, good luck in getting it off.
    "The only absolute statement is that everything is relative" - anon
  • AndsAnds Posts: 1,437
    HonestAl wrote:
    Quite impressed you could get tar on the saddle. Or did you sit on the road? :)
    Yes, I was shocked at that too. I had taken the rear mudguard off and went out without putting it back on. I may as well have been sitting on the road as my backside was very cold and wet! The tar was all over the back and sides of the saddle and in trying to clean it, I seem to have created more smears than were there in the first place. :roll:

    Thanks for the tip. Will try a bit of white spirit on it.
  • Ho humHo hum Posts: 236
    Autoglym tar remover is great stuff.

    You can buy it in Halfords.
  • WD40 works very well.
  • If it's red tar then rub it with white tar
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  • WoodywmbWoodywmb Posts: 888
    The answer is petrol. Buy a small tin of lighter fluid from your local grocer. (About £1.30)Use a hankie or a light cotton rag. Comes away in seconds with no rubbing. Also does a great job on your rims - stops squealing when rubber hits metal.
  • My legs are pretty good at removing tar from the road. Ruddy painful though. :shock:
  • rokkalarokkala Posts: 648
    I removed a whole load of tar from the underside of the downtube on one of my bikes. At hoppers suggestion, Pledge worked a treat!
  • Margarine - honest.
  • skyd0gskyd0g Posts: 2,540
    Baby Wipes appear to shift all manner of things. :D
    Cycling weakly
  • ProssPross Posts: 25,424
    Margarine - honest.

    Or butter - it's what my mum always said. Might make the saddle slippery or leave grease stains instead though!
  • softladsoftlad Posts: 3,587
    Woodywmb wrote:
    The answer is petrol. Also does a great job on your rims - stops squealing when rubber hits metal.

    that's because it leaves an oil residue on the braking surface - which is not ideal.
  • on-yer-bikeon-yer-bike Posts: 2,974
    Baby wipes or lighter fuel.
  • Brian BBrian B Posts: 2,071
    GT85 worked for me for removing tar.
    Brian B.
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 8,166
    Margarine - honest.

    +1 for removing from skin. But it'd probably stain a saddle.

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  • AndsAnds Posts: 1,437
    Thanks for all the suggestions.

    I used turps as I couldn't find any white spirit and it seems to have done the trick. (I probably should have done it outside and not in the kitchen (complaints about the smell) and I think I've made a big mistake in doing it 20 mins before I get on it rather than waiting until I next washed it. . :oops: . )
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