Hints from Heloise (or anyone else)

Okay…this is as MPSIMS as I’ve ever thought of. I have a pair of brown Doc Marten oxfords that I love to death. Unfortunately, at some point this summer, I was forced to walk through freshly laid blacktop, and got tar all over the bottom of the soles. Does anyone know how I could get this freakin’ tar off of my shoes? I’m getting to the point where I really need to wear them again, and I’m afraid that if I get some strange Tar-B-Gone over the counter, it’ll eat the rubber soles, too.

Without knowing the composition of the soles, here are a few ideas…

Hit a good hardware store. There’s stuff professional cleaning people use, usually for chewing gum, that comes in an aerosol can. It bascially freezes the goo so you can pick or scrape it off. If the soles are too ridgy (in and out, ridge intensive. whatever…!)…

Ask the hardware folks to recommend something. (Don’t try this at a “mega” place like a Wally World or Sam’s w/ a hardware dept; they pump sales but know diddly about specifics.)

As far as solvents, you could try nail polish remover (no kidding! cheap, and damned useful), Goo-Gone (trade name) or maybe they can suggest something. My first guesses would be mineral spirits or lacquer thinner.


I’ve used the hand cleaner stuff on a lot of things:paint, tar.i’ve used it on clothes, then washed them. Goop and other brand names.

Man, that sux. One time some gooy junk got on a stuffed animal of my sons and I put it in the freezer…came right off. Same theory as the spray junk I guess, but it doesn’t cost anything and even better if it works.

So you know, I’ll see you around ~ :wink:

Goo Gone or Goof Off will work. I’ve lived with a roofer, so I know.

Try gasoline. Tar is soluble in gasoline, and rubber is not.

My husband the builder ( amongst other job titles) has often come home with tar on his person. I think for getting tar off his hands or skin he has used Crisco. I’m trying to get in touch with him at work to verify this as it is the only reason I can think why we have a vat of the stuff in our laundry room as oppose to the kitchen. ( I wouldn’t know what to do with it in the kitchen anyways.) When I hear from the horses mouth, I’ll let you know. :slight_smile:

Put black shoe-polish over the entire shoe. You will not notice the tar at all afterward, so it’s LIKE making it vanish. Sorta. Kinda.

Yer pal,

Try Goof-off. But make sure you use it in a well-ventilated room or you’ll start to…goof off.


Neuro’s advice will probably work best. It’s also the cheapest.

And Veb is right. Stay away from Wally World.

The name alone should make you suspicious.

You might try taking your shoes to a shoe repair store. They’ve probably dealt with this problem before.