Removing Tree Sap from a Car

When tree sap gets on your car it can be tricky to remove. You'll want to remove the sap without doing damage to the wax below it. This is a guide about removing tree sap from your car.

Christmas tree on top of an SUV.
Filter: All Articles Sort: Relevance

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:

  1. Scrape off carefully with single-edged razor blade.
  2. Follow by wiping with WD40 on cloth or paper towel.
  3. Wash car as usual.

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

    How do you safely remove pine sap from cars without damaging the paint?

    By Amanda from TX

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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 Rollerson

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    Read More Answers...

    Can anyone tell me how to safely remove tree sap from my car's finish?

    By Claire from Chicago burbs

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    Read More Answers...

    How do you get sap off a car?

    By Lena C.

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    Read More Answers...

    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

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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).

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    Read More Answers...

    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.

    By Cindy

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    How can I remove the sap that has fallen on top of my car?

    By Jesse B.

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    There is a product at the hardware store called "goo gone". Self explanatory.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    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


    Removing Tree Sap From a Car

    Is this stuff orange scented? I believe the name is Goo Gone. (09/30/2009)

    By OliveOyl

    Removing Tree Sap From a Car

    If you mean Goo Gone, it didn't work to get the sap off my car. (10/01/2009)

    By metroplex

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    How does one clean sap off a car?

    By Mary Anne from McLean, VA


    Tree Sap on a Car

    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)

    By Ginnywest

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    How do I clean dried pine sap off my car, without damaging the paint?

    Pippa Kay from Hampshire UK


    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    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.


    • fast
    • non-toxic
    • cheap


    • None really. For spot cleaning.

    I had about 20-30 spots of dried wax (with a few bubbles of hard wax). (11/22/2009)

    By skaypip

    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    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)

    By HBuck

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    How do I

    clean dried pine sap off my car, without damaging the paint?

    Pippa Kay from Hampshire, UK


    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    It works. Alcohol wipe from a first aid kit worked perfectly. You

    need to have one for each spot. (11/25/2006)

    By Lex

    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    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)

    By Carla

    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    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)

    By K

    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    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

    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    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.

    By Marcia

    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    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.


    By Sue

    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    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.


    By Nicolette

    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    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.


    By Stephanie

    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    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.


    By Jeff

    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    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

    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    Pure rubbing alcohol without acetone is the best. Acetone

    screws up the paint. Even some Absolut vodka or rum is OK.


    By HN

    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    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

    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    Try a used fabric softener sheet that has been dampened with water.


    ByCathy from MA

    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    Saw pine sap on new Hyundai Tucson, cleaned it with Grey Goose, just

    a little, worked great. (09/09/2008)

    By Mike

    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    I followed the suggestion to use a fabric softener sheet soaked in

    water. It worked great. (09/22/2008)

    By Andrew

    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    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

    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    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.

    Unbelievable. (11/30/2008)

    By beej

    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    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.

    1. Dip a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and rub the pine tar until it is

      completely dissolved. (Do not reuse Q-Tip. Use a a new one for each


    2. After the tar is dissolved wipe spot with wet rag to remove the


    3. Rub the cleaned area with the WD-40 rag.
    4. Once again wipe cleaned area with damp rag for rinse.
    5. Wipe with dry rag.

    I followed each step carefully and the result was fantastic. Hope

    this helps for your vehicle. (08/12/2009)

    By <a href="

    profile=thr932716">Dumpster Dawg

    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    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



    By <a href="


    Pine Tree Sap on Car

    "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)

    By <a href="


    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Can tree sap eat through car paint? We have a tree that I cannot identify, a deciduous tree with pods.

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    How do I safely remove tree sap from my car?

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    What is the best way to remove tree sap from an automobile?

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    My son came home from school with his car covered with tree sap. It has dried on to a lacquer finish.

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    What is the best way to remove tree sap from a car without hurting the finish or the paint?

    CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
    Home and Garden Cleaning AutoAugust 16, 2011
    More to Explore
    ThriftyFun on Facebook
    ThriftyFun on Pinterest
    Enter a Contest
    Free Newsletters
    Ask a Question
    Share a Post
    Related Guides
    A dog sitting near pine trees.
    Removing Tree Sap from Your Pet's Fur
    Tree Sap
    Removing Tree Sap from Carpet
    Beautiful Cedar Deck
    Removing Sap from a Deck
    Sap spot and cleaning supplies.
    Removing Tree Sap on Microfiber
    © 1997-2016 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Published by . Page generated on May 24, 2016 at 12:04:18 PM on in 643 msecs. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of ThriftyFun's Disclaimer and Privacy Policy. If you have any problems or suggestions feel free to Contact Us.
    To Top
    Loading Something Awesome!