How to Wash Tar Off of Your Hands

by Louise Lawson

Tar is a useful substance for many projects, but it can be difficult to remove from your hands. It is very sticky, and washing it can be a challenge.

How to Wash Tar Off of Your Hands

Step 1

Let the tar dry as much as possible on your skin. Once it’s dry, you might be able to peel off the biggest of the dry pieces.

Step 2

Soak your skin in hot water for 30 minutes. The hot water will soften your skin and loosen the bond of the tar.

Step 3

Apply a layer of industrial soap, and scrub the tar spots with the scrubbing pads. Industrial soap often has abrasives such as sand in it and will remove the tar much better than normal soap.

Step 4

Coat your skin with oil and allow it to soak in if the tar still refuses to come off. Heavy oil such as olive oil will penetrate the skin and tar, softening your skin and removing the tar all at once.

Step 5

Rewash your hands with the soap, and scrub them again to remove any last traces of tar. You might need to scrub them numerous times to get them completely clean.

Lotion your hands well after washing them. Hot water and repeated scrubbing can be very damaging to your skin, and the lotion will help repair some of the damage.


  • Use soap that will not injure your skin. Some soaps are full of harsh chemicals that can burn your skin if used too often.


  • Do not try to cut off any tar. You could slip and cut your skin instead of the tar.

Items you will need

  • Water
  • Scrubbing pads
  • Industrial soap
  • Oil
  • Lotion

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