Help getting tar off of wood floors.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by MoCrafter, Jul 17, 2004.

  1. MoCrafter

    MoCrafter Well-Known Member

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    We are taking up an old subfloor in our house. Under the subfloor was tarpaper. We have peeled that up, but it left tar on the unfinished wooden floor beneath. We have been using a wide putty knife and scraping as much as possible off, then using a scrub brush and mineral spirits to get the tar off. After this dries, we plan to sand the floor and put several coats of polyurthane on it. This is working, but is back-breaking work. Does anyone have any tips on how to get tar off an unfinished wooden floor? Thanks in advance. Winona
     
  2. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I don't have a better way for you. The only thing I can do is urge safety. I personally know someone performing the same task. They were using a flammable substance to remove the tar and the substance gave off fumes. The pilot light was enough to start a flash over and burn them badly. Be very careful, even an electrical switch can cause a flash over.
     

  3. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    Murphy's Oil Soap. Do a search on this forum for wood floors and you'll find several threads about it.
     
  4. Mrs_stuart

    Mrs_stuart Well-Known Member

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    I would use goo-gone. (my hubby uses it on carpets with tar on them and he says it is great stuff) You can usually find it at wally-world...or local hardware type store. A little goes a long way with this stuff too.

    Belinda
     
  5. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    Alright. I'm back and I have a few minutes to explain the Murphy's soap. Mix 1 cup of soap with about 2 gallons of the hottest water you can stand. Scrape as much of the tar stuff off first. Then, using a stiff nylon brush, saturate a small section of the floor, let set for about 2 minutes, and use a thin steel putty knife and the brush to scrape and brush away the residue. Once you get started, you scrape on one section while the next is soaking.
     
  6. mainefun40

    mainefun40 Active Member

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    Hi!
    We had just the same thing happen only it included some old tile cement that had soaked the tar paper. Answer?

    Diet cola, even the cheap stuff.

    No scrubbing, no brushing, just pour, soak, and scrape!

    Worked like a charm, (I wouldn't recommend this if there are yellow jackets around)!!
    Steve