How to Get Asphalt Off Shoes

If you’ve ever walked in a parking lot or on the street and your shoes got covered in black asphalt, you know how frustrating it can be to try to clean it off. Not only is the substance difficult to remove, but it can also stain your shoes pretty badly. This post will show you how to get asphalt off shoes quickly and easily. Read on for tips!

How to Get Asphalt Off Shoes

Summary: To remove asphalt from shoes, first, let the asphalt cool and harden. Then, scrape off as much as possible with a plastic tool or a butter knife. Next, use a cloth or paper towel to apply a solvent such as rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover to the affected area and scrub gently.

What is Asphalt?

Asphalt is a sticky, black, and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid that is often used for paving roads and parking lots. It is also a common ingredient in roofing tar. When asphalt gets on your shoes, it can be pretty tough to remove. However, there are a few methods that can help. Unfortunately, there are also a few things you should avoid doing, as they can make the problem worse.

What Causes Asphalt to Get on Shoes?

There are a few different ways that asphalt can end up on your shoes. One of the most common is by walking on an asphalt surface that has been freshly laid. The asphalt is still wet and can easily transfer to your shoes. Another way is by walking on an asphalt surface that is old and cracked. The cracks can trap small pieces of asphalt, which can then be transferred to your shoes.

Additionally, if you live in an area with a lot of construction, you may track asphalt into your home on your shoes. The other common way that asphalt can get on shoes is by wearing them in an area where there is a lot of road work or construction. This can happen if you live near a construction site or if you work in an industry that uses asphalt (such as roofing). Lastly, if you drive a car, you may get asphalt on your shoes from the soles of your shoes rubbing against the floor mat or carpet.

How to Get Asphalt Off Shoes in 4 Steps

Step 1. Preparing for Removal

Take off Your Shoes

The first step is to take off your shoes and any clothing that has asphalt on them. It’s important to do this as soon as possible, as the longer the asphalt sits on your clothing, the harder it will be to remove. Once you have removed your shoes and clothing, take them outside so that you can work on them away from any carpet or furniture.

Step 2. Removing a Thick Tar Piece/glob (Freezing Method)

If there is a thick piece of tar or a glob on your shoe, you can remove it by freezing it. First, fill a zip-top bag with ice cubes and place it over the tar. Let it sit for a few minutes until the tar hardens. Then, use a butter knife or a putty knife to scrape it off. If the tar is still sticky, you can place the shoe in the freezer for a few minutes to harden it further. If you don’t have a zip-top bag, you can use plastic wrap or wax paper. Avoid using metal, as it can damage your shoe.

Step 3. Removing Thin Smears or Spots (Oiling Method)

If the asphalt is in thin smears or spots, you can remove it by oiling it. This will dissolve the asphalt so that you can wipe it away. You will need:

  • A can of mineral spirits or paint thinner
  • A stiff brush
  • A putty knife or trowel

First, pour some of the mineral spirits or paint thinner into a container. Then, dip the brush into the container and apply the solvent to the asphalt. Next, work the solvent into the asphalt with the brush. Next, use the putty knife or trowel to scrape away the dissolved asphalt. Finally, wipe away any residual solvent with a cloth. If necessary, you can repeat this process until all of the asphalt is removed.

Pour Some Mineral Spirits

Step 4. Cleaning with Detergent (If Necessary)

If there is still a residue left after removing the asphalt, you can try cleaning it with detergent. This may require some scrubbing, but it will eventually come off. First, mix equal parts water and detergent in a bucket. Next, use a sponge or brush to apply the mixture to the affected area. Finally, rinse the area with clean water. If you still have trouble removing the asphalt, you can try using a power washer. This will likely remove any remaining residue. Just be sure to hold the power washer at least a foot away from your shoes to avoid damaging them.

A Step-by-step Process for How to Get Asphalt Off Shoes

Step 1. Scraping Off the Tar With a Plastic Knife

If there is a thick piece of tar or a glob on your shoe, you can remove it by freezing it. First, fill a zip-lock bag with ice and place it over the piece of tar. Let it sit for about 5 minutes so that the tar hardens. Once it is hard, you can use a plastic knife to scrape it off. You can repeat this process if there is still some tar left on the shoe.

Step 2. Cleaning the Tar Stain Out of the Shoe

Once you have removed the tar from the shoe, you will need to clean the area where the tar was. You can do this by using mild soap and water. You will want to scrub the area where the tar was until the stain is gone. If you have a tough time getting the tar stain out, you may need to use a stronger cleaning product.

Removed the Tar from the Shoe

Step 3. Use a Softener

If the tar has left your shoe feeling stiff, you can use a softener to help soften the material. There are many different types of softeners on the market, but you can also use something as simple as Vaseline. Apply a small amount of softener to the area of your shoe that is covered in tar.

Allow the softener to sit for a few minutes before wiping it away with a cloth. If you don’t have a softener on hand, you can also try using olive oil. Apply a small amount of olive oil to the tar-covered area of your shoe and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, wipe away the oil with a cloth.

Step 4. Use a Solvent

You can try using a solvent if the tar is still not coming off your shoe. There are many different types of solvents on the market, so you may need to experiment with a few to find the one that works best.

Apply the solvent to a clean cloth and rub it over the tar on your shoe. You may need to let the solvent sit on the tar for a few minutes before wiping it away. Be sure to read the instructions on the solvent before using it. Some solvents are flammable and should not be used near an open flame.

Step 5. Other Cleaning Options

If you still have trouble getting the tar off your shoe, you can try using WD-40 or nail polish remover. Apply a small amount of either substance to a clean cloth and rub it over the stained area. You may need to repeat this process a few times to get the tar to lift off completely. You can also try using a pumice stone to scrub the tar off your shoes. Be sure to test any cleaning method on a small inconspicuous area of your shoe first to make sure it will not damage the material.

Use Wd-40

Step 6. Use store-bought Products

If you are still having trouble getting the tar off your shoe, several store-bought products can help. There are many different brands of tar and asphalt removers, such as Multi-Use Product, Goo Gone, and Terminator.

To use these products, follow the instructions on the label. Most products will require you to apply the remover to a cloth and then rub it onto the affected area. After a few minutes, the tar should start to lift off of the shoe. Once the tar is gone, be sure to wipe away any leftover residue with a clean cloth.

Tips and Warnings on How to Get Asphalt Off Shoes


  1. Rinse the shoes with cold water as soon as possible.
  2. Scrape off any excess asphalt with a blunt knife.
  3. Create a paste with baking soda and water and apply it to the asphalt-stained areas of the shoes.
  4. Let the paste sit for 15 minutes, then scrub it off with an old toothbrush.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 if necessary.
  6. Rinse the shoes with cold water and let them air dry.


  1. Do not use hot water on asphalt-stained shoes, as this will set the stain.
  2. Do not put asphalt-stained shoes in the washing machine, as this will damage the machine.
  3. Do not wear asphalt-stained shoes until they have been cleaned, as the stain will spread.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Remove Asphalt From Shoes?

It depends on the type of asphalt and the shoes in question. However, generally speaking, it is not advisable to try to remove asphalt from shoes – it can be dangerous and result in damage to the shoes and/or the asphalt. If you do need to remove asphalt from your shoes, it is best to seek the help of a professional.

What Will Dissolve Asphalt?

Water is the most common substance that dissolves asphalt. Other substances that can dissolve asphalt include hydrochloric acid, vinegar, citrus juice, and other acidic liquids.

Does Vinegar Remove Tar?

ar is a sticky, dark substance that can be found on the surface of roads, in buildings and other structures, as well as on people. Tar is produced by the combustion of gasoline or diesel fuel, and it forms when these molecules enter the air stream and react with sunlight.

Vinegar has been proven to remove tar from surfaces using a process called oxidation-reduction. This involves attaching oxygen atoms to either side of the tar molecule so that it becomes unstable and eventually breaks down into smaller components. Vinegar also contains acetic acid, which speeds up this reaction by breaking down water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen gas bubbles.

This process effectively removes tar from surfaces while leaving behind less environmental toxins than traditional methods like sanding or painting. Therefore, if you are looking to clean something dirty such as your car or house exterior, vinegar might be your best option!

Does Acetone Dissolve Asphalt?

Acetone is a type of solvent that can be used to remove paint, varnish, and other types of asphalt. However, it does not dissolve asphalt – it simply removes the surface layer. So if you try to use acetone to dissolve an inch of asphalt, you will only end up with tiny bits remaining on top that are extremely difficult to remove.


So there you have a few simple steps on How to Get Asphalt Off Shoes. Follow these steps, and your shoes will look good as new in no time. Read the tips and warnings before starting, as some methods may damage your shoes if not used correctly. Thanks for reading, and good luck!

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Jennifer Branett

I am Jennifer, a passionate blogger since 2016. I like to write informative articles to help peoples in my free time. I am a family person. I have two kids who keep me busy all the time. I always try to give importance to my family. Sometimes it becomes challenging for me to maintain the time along with my family. But I never lose hope. I hope my articles are helping you in some way. If so, You can give me a thumbs up to my inbox, which means a lot to me. Thank you. You can email me at

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