You moved to the country to enjoy nature and tranquility. Little did you know that you’ll now have to contend with the extra things that nature has to offer you. We’ve got several handy tips and recipes that show you how to remove tree sap from a car.
All it takes is one afternoon of parking beneath a pine tree for you to experience the annoyance of discovering sap on your car’s paint job. These spots can be deceiving at first glance. Those sticky stains on your vehicle’s paint look very similar to bird droppings.
Further inspection will show you that those aren’t common stains. They are sticky sap stains that attract grime and seem impossible to remove. While sap won’t harm your car’s paint initially, not cleaning the sap spot as soon as possible can lead to discoloration.
Pine sap that sits on the car for too long can etch through the clear coat of the car paint. Merely taking your vehicle through the car wash will most likely not remove the sticky substance of those sap spots.
How to Remove Tree Sap from a Car
Getting tree sap off a car is not an easy task, but it is possible if you have the right know-how, cleaning products, and methods. For the most part, using a solution of soapy water may not always get the job done. After much research, we’ve created a list of several ways that you can remove sap from your car.
1. Removing Tree Sap from a Car the Easy Way
Many times the best solution to try first is the most straight forward and uncomplicated. Therefore, our first step is a simple cleaning solution that may work on removing a fresh sap stain.
Fill the bucket with the hottest water possible without burning your hands. Pour some of the hot water directly onto the sap spots. Dunk the cloth into the hot water and apply a few drops of dish soap onto the microfiber cloth.
Use a pulling and lifting motion as you rub at the sap to try and coax the sap residue up from the surface of the car. Rinse and reapply soap to the cloth as needed.
Once done, thoroughly rinse all soapy residue from the car. If this method worked, great! If not, you now have a clean working surface for trying one of the other ways.
2. Clean Hardened Tree Sap Off a Car
When sap first drips off a tree, it’s a gooey, sticky mess. Once settled, it’s only a matter of time before that sap begins to harden to the surface. If too much time has passed, then you will have to clean hardened tree sap off a car.
The following method is an excellent way to remove that baked on tree sap. You can use any one of the three following ingredients to dissolve and remove the sap that has dried onto your car.
Apply either a dab of bacon grease, WD-40 or lighter fluid to the dried-on sap. Allow it to sit for a while to give it time to dissolve the tree sap. Once you notice that the spot has begun to disappear, use a soft cloth to wipe it away.
Add more of the grease, WD-40, or lighter fluid to the stain and repeat the process until the sap spot is completely dissolved. When the stain is gone, give the car a proper wash and wax.
These handy items can also be used as a DIY alloy wheel cleaner if sap has managed to find its way onto your rims or your tires. Follow the same procedure for getting rid of the sap and your wheels and tires will look as good as the rest of the car.
3. How to Remove Pine Sap from Car
The following method will show you how to remove pine sap from car using nail polish remover. The acetone in nail polish remover is the key. It’s a solvent that breaks down and loosens the stickiness of the sap.
Pour some of the nail polish remover on a cotton ball and rub the sap spot in a circular motion. Once the remaining sap has been dissolved, use a paper towel to wipe away the residue.
Make a paste of the hot water and baking soda and clean the affected area using a washcloth. Once the area is clear of sap, give your car a proper washing and waxing using Turtle Wax or your favorite car wax.
4. How to Remove Old Tree Sap Off a Car
Mineral spirits is a mild solvent that is useful for removing sap from a car. You may have to use a little elbow grease with this method depending on how old the sap stain is. To clean sap off of the windshield, you might want to try a vinegar based glass cleaner.
Pour some of the spirits onto a microfiber cloth. Wipe the sap-stained area using circular motions. Continue applying the mineral spirits dampened cloth to the area until the stain is gone. Be sure to give your car a proper washing and waxing once the sap is removed.
5. How to Easily Remove Tree Sap from a Car
The following method must be one of the easiest and quickest remedies for removing pine sap from your car. It’s also one of the most efficient for eliminating sap right when it happens because you probably have the ingredient resting in your glove box.
Easy Tree Sap Remover
This method requires two simple tools; hand sanitizer and a paper towel. As soon as you discover that a tree has decided to decorate your car with sap, grab a bottle of hand sanitizer. Squeeze a few drops onto the stain and rub the area gently with your finger.
The disinfectant will begin to dissolve the sap while reducing its stickiness. Once you can see and feel that the sap has been removed, use paper towels to wipe all of the grime away. Finish by cleaning the area with water.
Sometimes you may not notice a sappy stain outside your car and accidentally transfer it inside onto the car seat. You can also take care of cleaning sap from car upholstery with hand sanitizer or one of the other methods listed here. Pick a solution for sap removal and use it to get the sap off your seat with just a bit of elbow grease.
6. How to Remove Sap From a Car Window
There is nothing worse than finding tree sap on your car except for discovering tree sap on the windshield. The thing to remember is not to use the windshield wipers to clean the sap, especially if the sap spot is still fresh. This will only smear the sappy goo and make the cleaning process more difficult.
Make sure that the window has a clean surface before beginning this process. Apply some Bug and Tar Remover to the terry cloth. Lay the damp cloth across the stain on the window.
If you do not have any of the remover solution, use rubbing alcohol instead. After soaking the stain for about 30 seconds, use the cloth to rub the stain away. Once the stain disappears, clean the window using the glass cleaner.
Alternately, you can use a box cutter to remove tough sap stains from the window. While this may seem a bit unnerving, it is handy for removing dried on sap from the glass if done correctly.
Hold the cutter at an angle to ensure that you do not scratch the glass. Gently apply enough pressure to scrape the sap away from the surface. Follow by cleaning the entire window using glass cleaner.
7. Removing Tree Sap from a Car Using Wax
When all else fails, and you still haven’t been able to remove that tree sap from your car, try this method. While it does take more time and ingredients, the result is worth it. Wax also works well as a tar remover.
Start by washing and drying your car. Put a few drops of rubbing alcohol onto a soft cloth and lay it across the sap-stained area for half a minute. Rub the stain well using the cloth until the sap is gone.
Repeat if necessary for stubborn sap stains. Once the area is sap free, spray Turtle Wax Bug and Tar Remover or a quick detailer onto the surface and polish it using a wash mitt.
8. How to Remove Sap from a Car Using Baking Soda
Baking soda has a variety of household uses, and one of them is removing sap from your car. When mixed with water, baking soda can dissolve away dirt and sticky substances due to its mild alkalinity.
Make a paste with water and baking soda and apply it to the sap. Allow the paste to sit on the sap for a few minutes. Use a damp, clean cloth to buff away the baking soda mixture and sap. Rinse the area clean with water.
A car is not only a form of transportation but is also an investment. You take pride in how it drives and the shine of its paint job. Therefore, it can feel like an insult when a tree decides to spread some of its sticky sap onto the car’s shiny surface.
You don’t need to waste your afternoon at the auto parts store trying to find an automotive sap remover when all you need is a little hand sanitizer or nail polish remover, a bucket of water for cleaning, and some dry towels.
Now that you know how to remove tree sap from a car the right way using a few simple methods, why not share some of these sap removal recipes with your family and friends on Facebook and Pinterest?