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Clean Asphalt and Tar Off Flagstone
Submitted by Paul Pruitt
As usual this is an old tick for sure.
If you just had your driveway redone, and some unthinking salesman walks across the macadam, along your beautiful flagstone and up your concrete steps, how do you get rid of the stain?
Well WD40 and various alcohols have some limited effectiveness, but if your real careful you can completely get rid of the stains.
How? Attack the stains one at a time. Use your isopropyl, denatured ethanol, methanol etc. (but not WD40 because it doesn't seem to burn easily) and douse the stain being careful that the liquid doesn't run off into the dry leaves in your bushes. Next, start your little puddle on fire with a match.
After the flame dies out, rub your stain a little with a rag and you'll see some of the stain disappear. Now touch your stone or concrete to verify that it is fairly cool and then carefully add more alcohol and rub vigorously with the rag. The stain should disappear. Flagstone and concrete cools fast so adding more alcohol won't produce a new flame but of course be very careful as a fire marshal would blanche at this advice.
I think what's going on is three things. First you are burning some of the asphalt/tar off. Second you are causing it to boil and rise out of the crevices. Third the heated stone increases the effectiveness of the solvent action.