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)
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