How to Remove Tar & Gravel From Tires

by Brooke Pierce
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Road tar and gravel come from the newly resurfaced or paved roads. The tar is sticky and clings to car tires. Once the tar sticks to your tires, it picks up gravel, and your tires become covered with tar and gravel. Your tires are very important -- second only to your brakes -- as they assist in the prevention of skidding. Removing the tar and gravel from your car tire is an easy procedure.

Step 1

Use the plastic knife and the screwdriver to scrape off the tar. The plastic knife will help prevent puncturing or damaging the rubber. If you use a screwdriver, be careful to avoid piercing the tire.

Step 2

Use a stiff scrubbing brush to scrub off the tar.

Use the stiff scrubbing brush -- and lots of elbow grease and detergent -- to scrub off the tar. Try to remove as much tar and gravel as possible.

Step 3

Apply the linseed oil on the tires and let it seep into the tar for about 25 minutes. Take your plastic knife and attempt to scrape off more tar.

Step 4

If you have not removed all of the tar, apply a tar-removing product on the car tires. You can safely use kerosene or a cleaning solvent such as Prep-Sol, which is designed to remove tar, dirt and road film. Water-dispersing products like WD-40 or RP-7 can also be used, as they dissolve the tar. You'll need patience and elbow grease. Read the directions regarding the amount of the product to apply and how long to wait between applications -- you may need do more than one.

Thoroughly wash your tires with detergent, water and the scrubbing brush.

Thoroughly wash your tires with detergent, water and the scrubbing brush to get rid of any residue from the tar-removing product.


  • Do not use strong chemicals, as they will destroy your car’s tires, even though they can get rid of the tar and gravel. Do not use flammable products -- for example gasoline -- as they could lead to the tire catching fire.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver
  • Plastic knife
  • Scrub brush
  • Detergent
  • Linseed oil
  • Tar-removing product (kerosene or Prep-Sol)
  • Water-dispersing products (WD-40 or RP-7)
  • Water

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