Removing Tree Sap

Tree sap can get on anything from clothing to your car. This is a guide about removing tree sap.

Removing Tree Sap Stains
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Cast iron skillet.How it got there is another story, but my cast iron skillet is covered (the entire bottom and out one side) with pine sap. The weather is not yet warm enough outside for the sun to soften it. What would be the best way to tackle this situation? Any help is appreciated.

By BigDan

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Spread and gently rub dry dirt over the sap. Be sure to cover all of the sap. Let set a few minutes. Shake excess dirt off and wash in soap (I use Dawn) and water. Dry thoroughly. This also works well for sap on skin, hair etc.

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How do I remove pine tree sap on the overhead screens on my lanai? The pine tree always drips sap and I can't remove the pine tree.

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    Hi, Em. Sap is insidious, isn't it. Google has some good answers and here's one that won't cost a lot: ... ees/tgen/how-to-remove-tree-sap.htm. Going forward, however, so that you don't have to worry about sap removal on a regular basis, could you protect your screens with cheap roll ends of wallpaper or something similar? Simply remove the paper or cheap fabric periodically then replace it without having to worry about cleaning / scouring?

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    How do you remove pine tree sap from glass?

    Helen Tobey from Michigan

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    I had thought turpentine, for the reason expressed above. I was very surprised when it didn't work very well. So, since I'm out of acetone right now, I tried rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl). It worked.

    However, it dissolved the sap, distributing it in a thin film wherever the rag went. Using two rags, one in each hand, worked well. Use one soaked in alcohol and with the other (clean and dry), follow and remove the alcohol immediately. Takes a bit of doing, but it isn't too hard.

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    Red spots on skin.At the end of April I went hiking and got what I thought were splinters from some trees that I had grabbed onto with my arm bent. So it's right in the crease of my arm, opposite my elbow. Now it's July and what I now realize is that it is tree sap not splinters oozing out slowly. It burns. What do I do? Is there a way to soak out the sap?

    By Sarah W.

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    Your arm looks infected. It has been long enough that it could be a very serious infection. You need to see a doctor right away.

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    Does anyone know how to get pine tree sap off of outdoor furniture fabric?
    - Foula

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    How do you get pine sap or gum off of a hot tub cover without ruining it. Plus I'm pregnant and I can't have really harsh chemicals so maybe a natural way or not real smelly stuff.

    Editor's Note: You could try baby oil.

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    I have multiple areas with sap on a few window screens, will nail polish remover work?

    By Lady Lucy from NY

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    I would use rubbing alcohol.

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    How do you remove evergreen tree sap stains from a granite grave stone? My parents' stone is under a pine tree, and the sap has turned part of the stone black.

    By Charles from Greenville, SC

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    Try GooGone. I don't know what it will do to the Granite, but it will remove the sap.

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    A pine cone dripping tree sap.Spring and late summer are the prime seasons for sticky, gooey, tree sap. The stuff seems to ooze onto everything with ease. Getting it off, however, can be a whole different matter. Here are some sure fire methods for removing tree sap from just about anything.

    Let the Agent Do the Work

    The most efficient and effective way to remove sap from any surface is to allow the removal agents to do the work. In the case of alcohols, that means letting them dissolve the sap, and in the case of oils, letting them soften the sap before rubbing the remainder of it off.

    To avoid damaging the surface covered in sap, AWAYS test removal agents on an inconspicuous area first. Only when that area has been treated successfully should you proceed to a larger area. Always wear gloves and use precautions when using any type of chemical.

    How To Remove Sap From Vehicles

    Note: When removing sap from a vehicle, the goal is to use the least amount of pressure possible to reduce the risk of scratching the paint. After the sap is removed, treated areas should always be buffed with a high quality polish or re-waxed in order to clean up any marks created during removal. As always, test the method in an inconspicuous place before applying to a broader area.

    • To remove the tree sap from your vehicle's surface, use finger nail polish remover on a cotton ball. After removing the sap, make a paste from water and baking soda to wash the affected area, then polish or apply wax.

    • Another method to remove sap from your vehicle is to use mineral spirits or denatured alcohol (also removes tar). Use a soft towel or wash cloth dampened with mineral spirits. After removal, wash the car and apply polish/wax to the affected area.

    • WD-40. Spray some on the sap, let it sit for a while and wipe off with a soft cloth. Repeat if necessary then wash, polish/wax as usual.

    • Buff the affected area with lard or bacon grease and wipe clean with a soft cloth diaper or terrycloth towel. Wash and polish/wax and usual.

    • Make a paste out of baking soda and water and cover the affected area. Wipe clean with a soft, damp cloth.

    • Applying mayonnaise to the area is also said to remove tree sap.

    • Another technique is to use citrus-based solvents and children's molding clay. Apply a small amount of the solvent and rub with the clay. It is abrasive enough to scrub off the sap (which has been broken down by the solvent) without damaging the paint.

    How To Remove Sap From Wood (including decks and wooden patio furniture)

    Try applying non-diluted Murphy's Oil Soap with a mop (large area) or pour directly onto the affected surface. Allow the soap to sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing it clean with a soft brush. Rinse and allow to dry. Supposedly, this method works best on sealed wood.

    How To Remove Sap From Clothes (including fleece, polyester, and cotton)

    Apply a liberal amount of hand sanitizer to the area, and gently work it into the fabric. For really stubborn spots, brush the area with a soft bristled toothbrush. Rinse and dry.

    How To Remove Sap From Leather

    Rub creamy peanut butter into the leather. The oil conditions the leather while softening the tree sap. Simply rinse with warm soapy water and allow to dry.

    How To Remove Sap From Skin

    Oil-based Agents:
    • baby oil
    • tea tree oil
    • Avon Skin-So-Soft bath oil
    • mayonnaise
    Alcohol Agents*:
    • rubbing alcohol
    • WD-40
    *Caution: these can cause skin irritations with some people

    Apply to the skin with a soft damp cloth, then rinse with warm, soapy water.

    How To Remove Sap From Hair (including pet hair and paws)

    Hair is one of the hardest things to remove tree sap from, but the task can be made somewhat easier if the sap is still soft. Short of getting yourself a new haircut, try the following:

    Creamy peanut better (the oilier the better). Apply it liberally to the hair and soften it using a hair dryer on the lowest setting (careful to avoid burning the skin). Let the softened peanut butter sit for a few minutes before combing it through the hair with a large-toothed comb. Shampoo and rinse with warm water. If you can't stand peanut butter, substitute mayonnaise.

    CommentMoreRead More...Was this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    We just moved into a townhouse with a large holly tree in the back yard. Our patio doors have spots that look like water spots. We have had some success with Windex, Goo-Gone, and a razor blade. However, it is a very time consuming process. Since the holly tree branches cover the whole back yard, I can only assume that it is caused by sap or something from the tree. Might there be a specific chemical that can remove these spots?

    By Richard

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    Cocoa Cola, original

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    I have tree sap (from the yellow sticky buds off trees) that fall onto my outdoor vinyl I have on my deck. I cannot remove the yellow stickiness. I tried Goof Off, but that also took the colour out of my vinyl too. Please if anyone has a solution I would very much appreciate your response.

    By Brenda B.

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    Have you tried wd-40?

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    How do I remove tree sap from a nylon tent without damaging the fabric?

    By Amanda from Livonia, NY

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    I know coke-a-cola will remove tree sap from cars. Maybe try it on a small area?

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    How can I remove tree sap on a vinyl awning? It is on a Travel Trailer. We were able to clean the top, but the under side is vinyl and we think it has tree sap on it where it is rolled up when not in use.

    By Babychiane from Longs, SC

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    Tree sap only dissolves in alcohol so try soaking the stain with vodka (I'm not sure whether rubbing alcohol would be too strong-but think of that if the vodka doesn't work). Luckily I saw a feature on the TV recently where tree sap was used in a homemade remedy for varicose veins! I hope it works.

    Kind regards, Monique

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    My dog had stepped in a big pile of sap/pitch and it covered her whole left back foot. I read somewhere where butter would help. I tried a stick of butter and it was working but not as quickly as I would have like. I then tried olive oil and I rubbed it in her paw between the pads and it literally melted away. She had sticks and rocks embedded in between her pads. Poor girl.

    Make sure when you do this, it is either in a bath tub or out side. Also another helpful hint would be to wash the area off with Dawn liquid dish soap. It will take away the oily greasy mess. :o) Hope this helps someone!

    By Barbie from Wenatchee, WA

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    I have a colored and sealed concrete patio that is covered with pine sap. How do I remove the sap without harming the concrete?

    By Bob from Copake, NY

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    Have you tried oxi-clean it is non toxic and works wonders. Spray it on let sit till almost dry use a deck brush and rinse with water.

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    How do I get pine tar out of patio cushions?

    By Judith from Milwaukee, WI

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    I read yesterday on this site to use olive oil, it doesn't take much just a small amount.

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    How do I get sap off a pair of hiking pants made of 100% nylon material? There is alot, as I sat in it!


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    I have found that if I wash my sappy clothes in really hot water with laundry detergent, they come out clean.

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    How can I remove tree sap or resin from a blanket that was spread out on the ground? I saw all the postings for small areas but can I use the hand sanitizer in the washing machine? It's going to be a big job to get it all out! Thanks!

    Noor from Garland, TX

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    I had pine sap drip into my hair. I used a paper towel with Pine Sol on it and the sap came right out. Maybe this will work on your blanket.

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    I have used butter in the past, but decided to try spray cooking oil. It is less of a mess. Just spray on the paws and wipe off with a paper towel. Not only less mess but less licking :)

    By bigfatgreenfrog from Big Bear Lake, CA

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    Home and Garden Cleaning AdviceJune 23, 2012
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