How to remove tar and asphalt from your car's paint

If you’ve washed your car yourself, you may notice that there are some patches of dirt that are more annoying to remove. Road grime or tar are common occurrences for nicely asphalted roads, especially if you run at slightly higher speeds. Keeping your car clean and spotless is a part of regular and proper vehicle maintenance. 

Road grime flings up and has a tendency to stick to your car’s paint, and when you try to remove it with microfiber and car shampoo, the tar ends up producing a streak that will be even harder to remove. Here's a guide on how to remove these marks from your car. 

Car Wash

The first step is to remove all of the dirt that is on the car. Follow all the proper steps to wash all off the dirt and grime. Make sure to use car shampoo and two buckets—one for the soap and one to wash your cleaning implements.

Dry your car off with microfiber cloths and make sure it is as spotless as can be. If you hit some tar stains on your car, however, do not try to remove it with force. You might take out a bit of the clear coat or paint if you try to nick at it with your fingernail or using the microfiber. Best to err on the side of caution because professional paint correction can get expensive. 

Mother's california gold claybar

After you’ve washed your car, it’s time to break out your kit for tar removal. There are in fact many methods to remove the marks on your car. Some of them involve specialized tools and solutions that help remove these pesky stains from your paint. Either you can make your own kit or you can buy a pre-assembled kit from a reputable brand. You have quite a few options and quite a few techniques to choose from. 

For ready to use packs, make sure that it contains the following: 

  • Clay bar
  • Quick detailer/Instant detailer 
  • Microfiber cloth 

If you want to create your own kit, you don’t need to use a clay bar kit to remove tar marks. A couple of things that you will need to gather in order to complete this kit are the following:

  • WD40 or Kerosene 
  • 2 microfiber cloths 

The first two products have a good track record of being able to remove tar and road grime and can be used even with just a microfiber cloth However, if you find yourself out of options, a clay bar and car shampoo will do the trick in most cases. The best-case scenario is to use a quick detailer or a detailing spray with your clay bar kit then using the microfiber to finish things off once all of the tar has been removed. 

Asphalt contaminants Cars

Whether you use clay or other methods, the technique remains the same. Spray the area with the lubricant or the detailer and then use the microfiber cloth or the clay bar in a horizontal or vertical motion. Make sure to keep lubricating the surface until the area is clean and free of marks. Do not wipe in circles as you could run the risk of swirl marks on your car's paint. 

Be sure to keep folding your clay bar and introduce a fresh surface every so often. Do the same for your microfiber cloth and make sure to always lubricate the surface you are touching otherwise you may scratch up your paint. 

Never use your fingernails to take out the tar marks, and never try to remove them by force. Doing so might damage your car’s paint. 

Cleaning your car

After you are done, make sure to apply a sealant like wax in order to protect the paint from future damage and dust. Applying a layer of wax will also smooth out minor imperfections in your car's finish and it will also 

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