How To Remove Roofing Tar From Metal?

Let’s face it; having to remove roofing tar from metal and other materials can be a pain, especially after it dries. This oily mixture can get attached to many types of surfaces, such as metals, aluminum, plastic, wood, and last but not least, your hands. It can get messy.


But this is one of those things we have to learn to live with, especially if you’re working in the roofing industry, which relies a lot on roofing tar.

Thankfully, we can use many techniques and solutions to remove roofing tar, which I will share in this article with different scenarios.

Remove Roofing Tar From Metal – Your Options

I hear many complaints about how difficult it is to remove tar from metals, and believe me, once upon a time, I was in their shoes.

But not anymore. Get ready because I will reveal my big secret when it comes to removing tar from metal.

Are you ready? Ok.

The most affordable and effective way is to use the WP-40 Multi-Use spray. It will remove all the tar from metals like if it was magic.

I know, I know you probably don’t believe me, but I dare you to give it a try.

When you do, just apply a generous amount of WP-40, wait a few minutes, wipe away with a cloth towel, and repeat if necessary. You can thank me later.

Another more smelly option is to use kerosene or even gasoline.

Removing Roofing Tar From Metal

But if the metal your cleaning is integrated or close to flammable materials, it’s not recommended to use gasoline.

How to Remove Roofing Tar From Metal

Roof tar can be a very sticky substance which in most cases can be very difficult to remove, especially when it comes to your hands.

The main issue with removing tar from your hands is that most people don’t have the proper cleaner around their house or work area, and as you probably know, water and soap won’t do the work, so the fastest and most effective way is to do it with gasoline.

Please remember that gasoline is flammable, and you must properly wash your hands and the surrounding areas when using it.

Another more friendly solution is to use Grade Cleaner, dry oil spray for the body, or the spot remover Goof Off, which you can purchase in Walmart or Amazon.

How to Remove Roofing Tar From Aluminum?

There are so many options out there, but when it comes to removing tar from aluminum, a popular choice is the Turtle Wax T-520A Bug and Tar Remover, which is great to use on any aluminum surfaces, including your vehicle.

You can also use baking soda moistened with water then with a few drops of vegetable oil. And that should do the work.

How to Remove Roofing Tar From Plastic?

One of my favorite options is to apply mineral spirits when it comes to removing tar from plastic. This product will do wonders for any type of deep cleaning, including the removal of tar.

You can purchase this product in your closest hardware store or keep it simple shop on amazon. I recommend this product.

But if you want to go and DIY this, you can also chip off the tar as much as you can with a metal paint scraper applying hot water and dish soap.

How to Remove Roofing Tar From Wood?

As you’ve seen, there are many ways to remove tar, especially if you try to remove it from wood. You can use something as basic as acetone and a paint scraper, but this solution is for small surfaces.

Others try to use a heat blower and a scraper which works.

Ways to Remove Roofing Tar

Even an electric floor sander is a great solution if you want to remove the tar from the entire floor house, but it’s heavy and not too practical for other non-floor areas.

So, in my opinion, the best solution, especially when you’re trying to remove tar from a wood floor or larger wood surfaces, is to use a Milwaukee grinder with the 4 Inch Diamond Grinding Cup Wheel.

With this combination, you will remove roofing tar from any wood surface.

And a good tip to keep in mind you can clean the grinding cup wheel with a wire brush.

There may be a similar solution with other types of equipment, but I find this one is the most affordable and convenient.

Conclusion: What Is the Best Tar Remover?

Having to remove roofing tar from metals and other materials can be difficult, especially when you’re just trying to clean yourself or the tools you’ve been working with.

I understand the pain.

That is why if you’re looking to save time and money, the best tar remover in the market for metal and other types of materials is the WD-40 Multi-Use.

I know it may not sound like a big deal but listen to me; this is magic when removing tar. And it doesn’t get better than this. The tar can be dry or not; it will remove it.

You can try to DIY this all you want, and sure there are many natural solutions, which I mention in this article. But nothing is faster than the WD-40 spray. And you probably have some in your garage right now; if you don’t, you need to get it now.

Especially if you’re dealing with roof tar daily.

Founder & Editor

Hi, I’m Jim. I was a roofing constructor for 20 years, before deciding to start and gather the best content about roofing. I love woodworking and construction and it was only natural for me to start this passion project of mine. Thank you for visitng.