Getting your shoes or work boots messed up by asphalt can be really frustrating because, getting it out without damaging the shoes is a tough and ridiculously time consuming process.
Asphalt can easily get stuck on your work boots if you work with road construction or road paving companies. You can also get asphalt on your boots if you walk through a freshly constructed road site.
Annoyingly, asphalt is known to be very stubborn and sticky and can really be a pain to remove especially when it gets dried on the boots, so the best bet is to attend to it as soon as possible.
In this article, I’ll be explaining the easiest and most effective methods of removing asphalt from shoes and work boots with affordable and easy-to-get tools.
Other hand, you check best work boots for asphalt works.
How To Remove Asphalt From Work Boots?
One funny thing is, even boots made for road construction workers still gets stained with asphalt, but before you get annoyed, there are easy ways to remove it.
Method 1: Detergent, water and WD-40
Before we proceed, you’ll need these items to work; a plastic knife, WD-40, a toothbrush, a clean towel, and cleaning detergents.
Step 1: Use the plastic knife to scrape off the asphalt on the boots, scrape off as much as you can while moving the knife gently to avoid scratching the boots. If the tar is getting dried, lubricate it a little and continue scraping.
Step 2; After you’ve gotten off as much asphalt as you can with the knife, apply the WD-40 on the remaining stain. Do not spray this excessively on the shoes be cause it is a hardcore stain remover(also used in the automotive industry).
Leave the WD-40 on the work boots for some minutes to allow it dissolve all the asphalt, then gently scrape the stains off with the toothbrush.
Step 3: Now, use the towel and detergent along with warm water to clean the boots completely. This should remove all residues and leave the boots neat again.
Dry the work boots in a well ventilated area and apply polish when they’re dried to restore it’s shiny look if you so desire.
Method 2: Freezing
Freeze the shoes: If your work boots have a shiny surface that you wouldn’t want to scratch, put them in a shoe bag and freeze the boots for an hour at least. If they’ve been frozen sufficiently, the tar would be removable as a whole chunk. This is really helpful when the tar is greasy and sticky.
Method 3 : Lubricants(baby oil)
Use baby oil: if you do not have a WD-40, and you just have little patches of asphalt stain left, you can apply small amounts of baby oil on the spots. The baby oil contains components that can help break down the asphalt within a short time. Afterwards, you can scrub off the stain and wash your boots with warm water and detergent.
How To Remove Asphalt From Shoes?
You may want to throw your shoes in the trash when they get stained with asphalt, particularly when the shoes are light colored or white. Honestly, you shouldn’t do that because there are solutions and remedies that will restore your shoes to it’s former glory.
Firstly, get yourself these tools; plastic knife, baby oil, a conditioner, paper towel, dish detergent, toothbrush, alcohol, vinegar, warm water and vegetable or olive oil.
Step 1: Remove the large chunks of tar
Gently use the plastic knife to remove the larger chunks of asphalt on the shoes. Be careful not to scrape the shoe surface or peel it off in the process.
Greasy or sticky asphalt would be harder to scrape off so solidify the asphalt or freeze the shoes first.
Step 2: Apply softeners to break down the tar
Softeners that can be used in this instance includes vegetable or olive oil, mineral oil, baby oil, petroleum jelly and other similar lubricants.
This should only be applied on smaller spots after the large chunks of asphalt has been removed. Dab on a spoonful of any of the listed lubricants to the affected spots and leave for an hour or two.
The tar should be softer now, so you can use a toothbrush or towel to scrub off the rest of the asphalt stains.
Step 3: Use Asphalt removal solvents
If the stains still persist after step two, you can try using solvents like WD-40, turpentine, gasoline or kerosene. Although these solvents are harsh and can damage the shoes if not used properly, they are highly effective. Use a little amount of WD-40 and the stains should be gone in no time.
Step 4: Clean your shoes with detergent
After the whole tar removal process, wash the shoes with warm water and mild soap to remove all residues from the job done.
Apply shoe polish once the shoes are dried to restore the lush and shine in them.
Can alcohol remove asphalt stains?
Yes! Alcohol is quite useful in removing smaller asphalt stains, you just need to apply a little quantity on the spot and clean with a towel or toothbrush.
Does freezing the asphalt actually work?
Yes, it helps to solidify the tar especially if its really sticky or greasy, and literally makes it easier to scrape with the plastic knife.
How do I remove the residues from my rubber soles?
You can easily use the baking soda trick to remove the residues. Make a baking soda paste and apply it on the soles, leave them on for about 5 minutes and wash off.
If you have a window cleaner, that would work fine too. Just apply it on the residual stain and scrub gently with a towel.
If you ever get asphalt on your shoes, try to clean them as soon as possible, because the sooner you start the removal process, the easier and less time consuming it will be. However if you let it dry on the shoes, you’ll have a hard time removing the asphalt.
The various methods above would help you get asphalt off of any type of shoe or work boot with minimal damages.
A quick tip; always clean and polish your shoes after the asphalt removal process, also dry them in a well ventilated area.