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.
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What works to remove pine sap that won't hurt the paint on your car?
The best way to get rid of tree sap is to use a "clay bar." This should be available at Murray's or PepBoys, possibly even Wal-Mart or Kmart. The only two manufacturers I know of that make clay bars are Meguires and Mothers. If you can't find it in the store, try the web sites for the manufacturers. It's about $10-15, but it lasts for a while. I've had mine about 2 years. The instructions are very simple, although initially it may seem like a bother. (12/01/2000)
Clay Bar 2
After reading some of the other suggestions for removing tree sap, I feel I must point out that the clay bar will NOT strip the wax from the car's paint job. If you're going to wax the car, wax the whole car to keep the paint the same color and condition; don't just wax one tiny spot. I would definitely stay away from any method that would strip the wax. The clay bar is specifically designed to remove sap and tar and bugs, etc. while NOT stripping the wax. (12/01/2000)
Warm rag with a little bit of baking soda. Let it sit on sap then rub off! (08/04/2005)
The best method I've found for pine sap removal is crisco or butter. I've never tried it on a car, but can personally say that rubbing crisco on the sap in my hair removed it immediately. I've also used butter on the kids feet to remove sap while camping. It's fast, but most important it won't remove skin or paint. (08/27/2005)
Sap on Your Car
It always best to remove sap from your car quickly, while it is still soft. The harder the sap gets the tougher it is to remove and the more likely it is to scratch your car's finish. Make a paste with a mild abrasive like baking soda and apply to the sap, then rub it with a rag until the sap is removed. You can also try rubbing the sap with mayonnaise on a rag. I have also heard that WD-40 works well for softening sap so that it can be removed. Clean the area once the sap has been removed. (09/17/2005)
Turtle Wax Bug and Tar Remover
Turtle Wax Bug and Tar remover does not work (even though it says right on the label that it does). (10/01/2005)
I purchased TurtleWax Pine and Bug remover which worked very well on metal, painted surfaces (automotive) and does not harm your paint. I tried to use this same product, however, to remove white pine gum from the plastic of a pick-up box liner and it left a white stain/residue and, moreover, it did a poor job removing the gum. Noticing this white stain I then decided to experiment with butter and ice on other pine gum stains on the box liner as well as on the rubber material at the base (and around the perimeter) of automotive windows. Ice did not work for me (I used several different techniques - applying for a longer duration of time, scrubbing with cube, etc), yet butter worked wonderfully and did no harm (i.e, did not leave white stain) to the plastic, or the rubber. (05/04/2006)
I have been super busy and haven't had a chance to wash my car for the last four months. I live in an area that has a bunch of pine trees so once I finished washing my car i noticed A LOT of tree sap. I took Nancy's advice and used rubbing alcohol, it worked on every single spot. The only problem was that in some cases it left a residue. The solution is to wipe on some butter then wipe it off. My car looks like i just drove it off the lot. Don't waste your money on all that other stuff all you need is alcohol and butter. Good Luck! (06/29/2006)
By Big T
Sanitizing Hand Towels
My Beemer just got painted and was looking showroom new. It didn't take any time at all and my Beemer got attacked by a few serious shots of pine tree sap. I tried everything from Goop-gone to all kinds of so called tree sap remover with no luck at all. So I got to thinking. I wasn't to hot on the idea of pure alcohol on my paint so I looked behind my desk seen some "Sanitizing Hand Towels" with aloe and a few Vitamins. I took one to the Sap Attack and whoooosh! In seconds the hardened tree sap was gone rinsed it with some warm water and touched it up with a bit of wax and looks like new again. (07/01/2006)
I had a ton of pine sap on my new car. I read through the Internet to see what I should do. I kept reading about using rubbing alcohol. I finally decided to try it. It worked! I applied the alcohol to a cotton ball and gently worked the spots. I could only clean 2-3 spots per cotton ball before getting a residue, which I wiped away with a wet cloth. It took awhile, but I got my car back. I suggest using rubbing alcohol and a wet cloth. (07/11/2006)
Ever-popular peanut butter! It worked like a champ, and then I had a sandwich! (07/30/2006)
It's my neighbors tree and it's at the end of my driveway, the first time it got on my wife's new black Impala it cost me $200 to get it cleaned off. that was 4 years ago, now it happened again but this time it got both cars, mine is now the new one. Read through your page of tips, tried them all and found rubbing alcohol worked the best. Your page saved me some money. Thanks. (08/09/2006)
Try WD-40. It removes bugs, tar and sap and will not hurt the finish on your car. (09/13/2006)
The guy at the GM dealer who details the cars said use alcohol. Then re-wax because the wax has also been removed and the sap will stick more NEXT time.