High End Car Care Supplies | 850+ Products | 57 Brands| 4,500+ Reviews | 600+ Ask-a-Pro Blog Posts
Close Menu

Ask a Pro Categories

Pro Detailer Authors

Other Authors

Subscribe

More

Clean Shine Protect

Ask a Pro Categories

Pro Detailer Authors

Other Authors

Subscribe

More

Cookies are disabled in your web browser. To shop with Detailed Image, please turn cookies on and then refresh the page.

Got Tar? Tar X and Tarminator

by

I’ve been using various products to remove road tar from cars over the years, but all are not created equal!  Here in Utah they LOVE to re-tar the roads every summer!  So this past summer I got a chance to do some more “testing” of the various products.  The two most impressive and SAFE products are Tar X and Tarminator.  I mention SAFE because you can use lots of different solvents; such as gasoline, camping fuels, paint thinners, acetone’s…. but many of them don’t have the safe factor built in.  I have used other solvents, but have noticed a hazing of the paint with them, IMO they must have helped contribute to the haze.  While Yes they might work faster………faster doesn’t equal safe.  These products also work very well for Tree sap and adhesive too.

The sooner you can remove the Tar the better, and quicker the clean up will happen.  I’ve had to remove tar that was over a year old, it was solid and was slow to get back into soft mass of tar.  If the tar is old, and you cannot pick at it with your finger nail, you need to allow the product to dwell on the surface for as long as possible.  By nature, these Tar removal products will “evaporate” fairly quick, so I spray them on a rag and hold it against the tar for as long as possible.  On the larger “blobs” I will scrape the surface of the tar with my nail, thus allowing the solvent to penetrate the tar more easily.  If you aren’t getting the tar to soften, try that method.  Using nitrile type gloves will help with the possible irritation of the chemicals with your skin.  My hands get all dried out and rough, and manicures are so expensive these days!  I typically have to use an old terry cloth with the solvents and I will have to throw them out in most cases afterwards.  I always suggest a good APC spray to help remove any residue of the solvents and a quick polish before you apply your LSP of choice.

Yes there are still water spotting, but final clean up and quick polishing yet to come.

I tested both products and here is what I found:

Tar X

Pros:  Its dispensed by a trigger in a fine mist, very good dwell times, easy to travel with, can be flown on a plane.
Cons:  More expensive, cannot get locally (mail order).

Tarminator

Pros:  Can be found locally if you’re in a pinch, much more economical.
Cons:  Aerosol style can.

In closing, I don’t think you can go wrong with either product.  I will give an ever so slight edge in performance, solely based on dwell time before drying, to Tar X.

Cheers,

GREG

Greg Nichols Reflections Detailing
Greg Nichols
Reflections Detailing
Logan, Utah
Reflections-Detailing.com

5 comments on Got Tar? Tar X and Tarminator

  1. Greg Gellas Greg Gellas says:

    Greg,
    Great article! Can’t wait to try some Tar X. Always heard great things just haven’t had a chance to order it. Now I do!
    Thanks Greg G :)

    • Greg Nichols Greg Nichols says:

      Thanks G2 !
      I used Tar X again yesterday, to remove some stubborn road grime that didn’t come off during the APC and washing regime I did. 3 min dwell time and it was GONE. Good stuff it is, just wish it was more competitively priced, atleast its not over priced and over hyped.

      Cheers,
      GREG

  2. chris says:

    Nice article Greg,
    You should reach out to Corey carpro-us.maybe he could help with pricing for you.very good product you could try there sponge also works great with tarx and ironx with removal.

    • Greg Nichols Greg Nichols says:

      Yes Corey is now the US connection for Tar X, and he is a really nice guy. Always helpful with the technical stuff!

      Cheers,
      GREG

  3. Ben says:

    The Product Description says: “The only other precautions for the vehicle is to not use it on acrylic paints…”. Would this include any known factory paints? How can this be determined? Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Commenting Rules

  • Try to keep your comments as relevant as possible.
  • Don't be abusive: no personal attacks or any other nastiness.
  • Feel free to express your opinion, but do so in an eloquent way.

If you do not respect these rules your comments may be edited or even deleted.

Detailed Image Footer Border
Close overlay