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We were "rained on" by a newly trimmed pine tree. Not much seemed to work and the sticky gunk got everywhere!
This combo worked effortlessly:
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How do you safely remove pine sap from cars without damaging the paint?
By Amanda from TX
You take a dryer sheet and wet it some and scrub over the sap normal works for me.
We live in a pine grove in Maine - the pine tree state, so I have some experience with this... I find that Purell or a similar waterless hand cleaner works well.
Mary, the sap has dried & hardened on my car, I'ver tried a number of things that help little.
I am old & can't rub hard--no strength. I don't know what a waterless cleaner is..I have to park under these pine trees--no choice. Will they leak all winter?
Help me if you can, best wished from Jim.
Can anyone tell me how to safely remove tree sap from my car's finish?
By Claire from Chicago burbs
Wash vehicle with a quality car soap and dry. while vehicle is in shade or other cool place. Use isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) on a soft clean cloth, pour on a generous amount.Wipe over sap using very light pressure. If you use to hard of pressure, dirt in the sap or encased by the sap may cause scratching. Follow with a cleaner wax.
I just posted the same question without knowing that it was a widespread problem. I already tried to clean the sap drops. But light dark marks were left on my brand new white Mercedes I wonder if alcohol with be able to remove those dark marks?
Thanks I will try rubbing alcohol. Hope it will still work because I already removed the sap without rubbing alcohol and left dark marks on the finish. The marks are not that dark, but annoying to me.
Have to say, rubbing alcohol works magic. I bought both that and Goo Gone (for cars). Both worked but the alcohol was much easier and required less grease (elbow) to remove the sap. Thanks for the help!
If you have tree sap the best thing to do is not touch it and use a water hose to rince it off. I have tried everything also and found if you touch it, it sticks but if you rinse it with water it comes off very easy.
Mostly this is just a caution (regardless of what you see in some of the responses here (DO NOT USE NAIL POLISH REMOVER).
It contains acetone and acetone will dissolve both enamel and acrylic auto paint, it is a terrible idea.
I parked my truck over winter under a large pine tree and got hundreds of sap spots.
I am using a spray can product called "Tarminator", but my sap is in heavy spots and very dried on it takes 5 to 10 applications of Tarminator and hevy rubbing to remove each spot. The Turtle wax product does not work at all.
I am going to try mineral spirits (paint thinner NOT lacquer thinner) because from the smell it seems like it is the main ingredient in Tarminator and mineral spirits should not hurt my trucks acrylic lacquer clear coat finish.
Rubbing alcohol.or hand sanitizer.
How do you get sap off a car?
By Lena C.
Rubbing alcohol and a q-tip. wet the q-tip with rubbing alcohol and rub the sap until it lifts off. follow up with by waxing the car with your favorite wax.
Do not use fingernail polish. It will strip the paint.
Use Baby oil and rub it until gone. I wouldn't use any chemicals as they can strip your clear coat/wax or paint right off. You could also try some ice and chip it off very carefully with a blade. I use the baby oil myself.
How can I remove the sap that has fallen on top of my car?
By Jesse B.
There is a product at the hardware store called "goo gone". Self explanatory.
I have some tree sap on my car hood and would like to remove it. Any suggestions for doing so without ruining the paint?
By Rose from Malvern, PA
I googled this subject and found a video on YouTube. Appears to work pretty well. You might want to do a color test in an inconspicuous spot to make sure the hand sanitizer doesn't damage your paint. This wasn't mentioned in the video but something I wondered about.
Tea Tree oil dissolves pine sap, spruce sap. It's safe enough to use as a mouth wash and will not harm your wax or paint. Find in a drug store or a health food store (better than mayo, butter, soda, cleaners).
I have white car which remains parked under a mango tree. The sap off the mango branches fell on it, which is now not coming off. I have tried many rubbings and other market thinners like petrol, diesel, acetone, etc. but all in vain. Kindly suggest the proper solution.
How do I remove tree sap from my truck box liner/ I hauled a load of wood and now there's sap/pitch all over my liner.
Turpentine or finger nail polish remover. Helped cut down a evergreen in my front yard. Gloves were sticky with sap, then was my gloves with hands still in them and it came right off. Used gardening gloves not leather ones
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How do I safely remove tree sap from my car?
By argene1946 from Blenheim, ON
I use Goo Gone. (05/20/2009)
Try Scott's Liquid Gold. (05/26/2009)
Regular Coca Cola will take it right off the windshield. I have heard Coke can mess up your paint, but I have not ever seen it do that. Good luck. (05/27/2009)
Before you try anything, use hand sanitizer that works great. And it's so easy, just wipe on and wipe off. (07/25/2009)
I've tried everything to remove sap from my auto. What I found to work really well is Goo. It's a liquid that is used to remove almost anything that is sticky. I found that it works better in the sun. Goo seems to work best when the body of the car is warm. It doesn't harm your paint and it works well on glass too.
By SYBCM from Santa Ynez, CA
Is this stuff orange scented? I believe the name is Goo Gone. (09/30/2009)
If you mean Goo Gone, it didn't work to get the sap off my car. (10/01/2009)
How does one clean sap off a car?
By Mary Anne from McLean, VA
We used to live "under the pines" and had the same problem! Use rubbing alchohol on a soft rag or paper towel. It takes off the pine sap and also any wax, so that will need to be reapplied. Sap is nasty stuff that can change the color of your paint, so the sooner you get it off the better. (04/10/2010)
How do I clean dried pine sap off my car, without damaging the paint?
Pippa Kay from Hampshire UK
I just successfully removed 1-1.5 year dried sap on my silver-colored car. What I used:
- Murphy's Oil Soap.
- a small wooden spoon (that was already saturated with oils - basically, I wanted a smooth, wood spoon that wouldn't scratch)
1) Rainy day. Wax is a little soft (if at all possible).
2) I rubbed a lot of the oil onto the dried wax.
3) After 5-10 minutes, I rubbed it with a cloth. Then I used the wooden spoon scrape off the dried wax. Worked like a charm. The paint didn't come off. The wax came off like hard dried candied syrup.
After most of the wax came off, I rubbed the oiled cloth into the bits of dried pieces and they came off. I did this on the headlights as well and it worked well.
I had about 20-30 spots of dried wax (with a few bubbles of hard wax). (11/22/2009)
Checked today on your site for removing pine sap. Tried the alcohol as suggested. Removed sap build up from last summer, no damage to the paint. The greatest. (12/22/2009)
How do I
clean dried pine sap off my car, without damaging the paint?
Pippa Kay from Hampshire, UK
It works. Alcohol wipe from a first aid kit worked perfectly. You
need to have one for each spot. (11/25/2006)
Wow. I never would have believed it. I have a brand new car that I
bought earlier this year. It had three different spots of smeared
tree sap. By now they had dried and looked white on my dark blue
car. A touch of Purell did the trick in seconds (didn't need
scrubbing). There was a bit of residue, so I tried the butter thing.
It looks like new again. Thanks. (01/07/2007)
I never add comments to sites, but had to this time because the
alcohol suggestion worked great. My truck was covered with little
specks of what I am guessing is sap. I tried everything for a car I
could think of, and baby oil, WD 40, nothing took this off, except
the alcohol. Doesn't seem to have affected the finish at all. I
tried the nail polish remover first, but felt safer with the
alcohol. Thanks for the help. (12/04/2007)
Windex or similar glass window cleaner. It is cheap, easy, and safe.
Just used it today on my truck. (04/25/2008)
By Common Sense
I have not tried this on a vehicle, but plain vegetable oil
dissolves pine sap instantly. I have taken it out of hair and off
hands with this simple solution.
Was very impressed with the fact that plain old OFF was able to
remove month old tree sap from my son's car with very little effort.
I have that problem constantly because I have to park under a pine
tree. I tried scraping it off and it didn't work well, and while
rubbing Rain-X onto the window, I noticed it was gone. I thought it
wasn't possible so I tried it on every sap spot I had and it got rid
of it. I believe the secret is the alcohol inside, so using Rain-X
or nail polish remover or anything with alcohol would work.
I tried using baking soda and a warm rag and it really worked now I
can't even find out where it was to begin with. Thanks a lot.
Fingernail polish remover is just acetone. Instead of buying
expensive polish remover, just go to your local hardware store and
pickup a can of acetone. It's usually found in the paint department.
Works great for tree sap removal.
Editor's Note: There is acetone and non acetone fingernail
polish remover. The acetone kind could harm your paint.
I used rubbing alcohol as per advice from this site. I definitely
"do not" suggest it as it wrecked the clear coat on my car and left
me with streaky dull spots all over the hood and trunk of my car.
By Sarah B
Pure rubbing alcohol without acetone is the best. Acetone
screws up the paint. Even some Absolut vodka or rum is OK.
The best solution is to use Non-Acetone nail polish remover. It
removes all sorts of sap, you will strip the wax, give it a spray of
Son of Gun wax polish to top it off once you get the goo off.
Simple solution and works well. (08/02/2008)
By car owner
Try a used fabric softener sheet that has been dampened with water.
ByCathy from MA
Saw pine sap on new Hyundai Tucson, cleaned it with Grey Goose, just
a little, worked great. (09/09/2008)
I followed the suggestion to use a fabric softener sheet soaked in
water. It worked great. (09/22/2008)
Dry Gas works great.
Editor's Note: Dry gas is an alcohol-based additive used
in automobiles to prevent any water in the fuel from freezing.
By Jorge M
The acetone took off the paint on my Audi, very disappointing. I
will try the alcohol, but I'm leary. I could chop down that darn
tree, but it's my neighbor's and it hangs over my driveway.
The Ultimate Answer.
I read all of the posts and tried a few. One was to use
mayonnaise, "don't do that". If you care about the finish on your
vehicle "listen carefully."
I have Pine trees all around my house so keeping up with the Pine
droppings is a full time job, to say the least. My truck is red. Red
shows everything. When I tried the mayonnaise it left a spot in the
finish for some reason. I had tried WD-40 in the past with some
success, but some spots just never came up. I saw on here that
someone suggested using rubbing alcohol so I tried that. The alcohol
worked very well, but when I washed it off it left a hazy film. I
tried a few things and "eureka" I found the solution. My solution is
outlined below. Follow each step carefully.
First a warning, or disclaimer" "Do this at your own risk. There
is no guarantee that this will work as well for you as it did for
me." You will need: rubbing alcohol, Q-tips, a rag sprayed with WD-
40, a dry rag, and a water dampened rag.
completely dissolved. (Do not reuse Q-Tip. Use a a new one for each
I followed each step carefully and the result was fantastic. Hope
this helps for your vehicle. (08/12/2009)
Hi folks. These are great ideas for removing the pine sap. Here's something
else you should consider;
I live in an apartment complex, and always park in the same place,
under a pine tree, and never had a problem for about a year. All of
a sudden, I started getting the pine droppings. It was then I
realized that they were coming from the newly formed pine cones,
which were still green and just glistening with sap. So, if it's
possible for you to remove the pine cones over where you park. I
believe you'll solve most of your problems before they begin. Good
"Do not" use rubbing alcohol. I used 70% rubbing alcohol on a cotton
ball to remove dried sap from my car. It removed the sap, but
ruined my paint. I rinsed, washed and waxed (with Turtle Wax paste)
my car immediately, but the rubbing alcohol has ruined the finish.
I now have foggy-looking spots all over my car. The spots are not
smooth. I tried rubbing compound and a buffer, but no luck. I have
an '04 Corolla that is in great shape. (09/05/2009)
Can tree sap eat through car paint? We have a tree that I cannot identify, a deciduous tree with pods.
What is the best way to remove tree sap from an automobile?
My son came home from school with his car covered with tree sap. It has dried on to a lacquer finish.
What is the best way to remove tree sap from a car without hurting the finish or the paint?