I had to use roof tar for some maintenance around the chimney area of my grandparents house last week.

I wasn't able to get the tar roof goo stuff off this hand trowel and it has a wooden handle with tar on it now to and it is so sticky.

I wore two gloves on each hand when i did this work but I got a small spot on top of wrist and scrubbed it forever with rubbing alcohol.

Should I trash this tool or is there any solutions to this problem with this nasty stuff?

How can I get off of metal and wooden tools and my pair of nice denim work jeans?


Apply oil to the tar, then heat it with a heat gun, then scrub/wipe off.


Naphtha (e.g. in paint thinner or charcoal fire starter) is very effective at removing tar from tools, skin or clothing (clothing may need a detergent such as Lestoil to remove the last bit of coloration). However, naphtha is quite flammable! Use it with caution outdoors, away from any source of ignition, and with water or an extinguisher at hand.

This solvent also defats skin, so use hand-cream afterwards.


There is a product call Krud Kutter and it claims to remove tar, it may be purchased at hardware stores. Hope this helps.


Try using full strength euvalyptus oil. Put on an old cloth and rub vigorously. Should help remove from both clothing and tools.


I used about a 1/4 - 1/2 cup of regular unleaded Gasoline from the lawn mower gas can. I poured the clean gas in an bowl (of course not the same one I will eat breakfast out of ) and an old towel (no not my shower towel) and the tar roofing cement stuff disintegrated.

With the wisk of a small putty knife helping move the gas over the other trowel as I dip in in the bowl, the tar turns to liquid and melts right on off. Once removed, wipe with the old towel and good as new.

When you don't have paint thinner, heat guns, and other special solvents or oils, you can use some regular unleaded gasoline from your favorite neightbohood gas station.


De-Solv-It contractor's strength will take just about anything sticky off website. Their regular strength works great for gum and other such items. WD-40 may help too. Alternately, you could try freezing it in a deep freeze, then prying/scraping off.

  • We typically don't want specific products recommended on this site, as they may not offer the best option and may also be seen as spam. Instead we prefer that you explain a type of product that could work (more general instead of specific). Could you please edit you answer to do this? – michaelpri Jul 22 '17 at 19:49

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