Quick Tip -- Road Tar on Your Clothes

Canada has two seasons: hockey and road construction, right?

It’s currently construction season. Road construction means delays, and it also means smelly hot tar. Glad I am not a construction worker. Even if they do get to work outside. Tar is awful to get off clothes. Black oil is bad too. When I lived on the prairies, the local laundromat had one washing machine reserved for oil workers. It stunk. And it had smears all over the inside of the washing drum. I doubt that their clothes actually came out cleaner after washing. (But I digress....)

Tar often gets on your clothes if you have to walk near roadwork. Even pot hole patching can kick up nuggets of tar that glom onto your shoes or pants. Once I was wearing white jeans, and drove through an area of road construction outside Calgary. When I got out of the car, I got tar on the back of my calf.  That sticky tar had stuck to the edge of the car’s door frame. Man, was I ticked! These were my favourite summer pants! Nice white cotton jeans. I tried everything. Sprays, home remedies such as vinegar, lemon juice, peroxide, bleach, etc. etc. No luck. For the next year, I would look at my formerly white jeans and feel like crying. But I just couldn’t throw them out.  I hung onto those pants for ages.

Then somebody told me to use Coke (yep, Coca Cola) on the marks. You’re kidding me, right? This stuff is brown!! And it’s what I used to fuel my all-nighter essays at college. Coke is a fuel, not a fashion tool, I thought. But, at this point, I was in ‘what the heck’ mode, because I was about ready to give up, so I tried it. I soaked the area in Coke for an hour or so. Then I washed the pants yet again. Lo and behold, it actually dissolved the tar somewhat. I did it a few times and eventually all I had was a very faint tan mark, and a Coke stain.  Then I washed the jeans with a little bit of bleach and voila! (Not sure if this works with Diet Coke; I used regular.)