simple solutions to life’s little (big) problems

How to take tar out of clothing

This is a departure from my usual posts, but life has changed and I’m learning to deal (as we all are) with life’s little mishaps.  Here’s the latest..

Let’s say you notice raccoons made a hole in your roof overnight. Why? To find a warm place for birthing their young of course. And when it happens, they have no qualms about ripping out cedar shingles and digging into your delicate pink fiberglass insulation.

What Tar looks like

Then let’s assume you call Wildlife Control (and they know you by name but nevermind that little detail) and they send a guy pretty quickly (who also remembers you but nevermind) to patch up the mess.

After that, let’s say your boyfriend decides to make it harder for the little culprits to come back (because they do) and decides to nail some wire mesh over the area most likely to be torn up (again) .

Then let’s say you aren’t aware that there was tar all over the area the wildlife guy patched up. 

You will most likely get a good laugh out of seeing the back end of the person doing the re-repair who is oblivious to what the back of his shorts looks like.  The only funny thing about all of this actually.

Worse if the pants or shorts happen to be his favorite pair.  So you quickly google how to take tar out of clothing.  Which brings me to the solution (I love finding solutions)…

  1. Soak the clothing (in this case, cargo shorts – hardly worth saving but anyway) in olive oil. Yes; that’s correct.  Olive oil softens the tar.  We used half a bottle of cold organic first-pressed but you don’t have to use the finest. Best done in a bucket you don’t care about.
  2. After at least one hour of soaking, if the tar does not come out this way (and of course it doesn’t) then you take it one step further.  You take an old cloth, dip it in gasoline (if you have a scooter handy you can just take it from the gas tank) and begin the process of dabbing the area (s) that has tar. Bit by bit, all the tar will come out.  Trust me on this. It’s a bit of work but if you want to salvage the piece of clothing, it’s what you do.
  3. Then you wash the piece of clothing on it’s own.  Do it in a machine preferably that does not belong to you, because the smell of gasoline will linger a little longer than you like.  I know about this for sure. You might want to wash the item a second time.
  4. To lose the gasoline smell completely, try airing it out in fresh air for at least a day… a week… or month after washing.
  5. But just to be on the safe side, make sure your boyfriend doesn’t go near anyone who’s smoking (a good idea at the best of times)… unless you were hoping to get rid of him in a flash. ;o)  
  6. My best solid advice would be this:  Unless this is a very special item of clothing, just go out and buy another (preferably online at this time of Covid but maybe not on Amazon).

    And Finally…..I leave you with an uplifting mask-free photo to show a bit of freedom.  But right after this was taken, the mask went back on (especially inside my place which smelled of gasoline).  Unlike Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now, I don’t love the smell of Napalm in the morning.

    Photo: Tamara Gauthier





One thought on “simple solutions to life’s little (big) problems

  1. AGAIN DEBBIE! Did they send the same guys out? Glad to see reference to your boyfriend. I take it this is still Paul. YOU GO GIRL! He sounds like a real keeper.

    Sent from my iPad

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s