Removing Tree Sap

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 858 Posts
December 1, 2008

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.


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: Alcohol Agents*: *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.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 263 Posts
December 4, 2008

My sister says for pine sap removal from her car, and other items in her yard she uses hand sanitizing gel. It works wonderfully.

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53 Questions

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April 26, 2005

How do you remove pine tree sap from glass?

Helen Tobey from Michigan


April 26, 20051 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try acetone. Acetone is a universal solvent. In college chemistry lab we used it to clean glassware that had all kinds of funky stuff in it and it would dissolve everything and leave the glass sparkling clean. It was also used to clean equipment between experiments.

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By guest (Guest Post)
May 13, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

The best thing to use would be pine sap's natural solvent: turpentine (which is derived from the pine tree.)

Reference: Popular Mechanics

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By Cathy (Guest Post)
June 1, 20071 found this helpful
Best Answer

Goo Gone Automotive Spray Gel is the best thing for any surface and or clothing that has tree sap.

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April 27, 20161 found this helpful
Best Answer

I tried all the suggestions for tree sap, WD40 to alcohol. Rubbing alcohol was decent, rest, not really. Then I tried well everything else under the sink. Here's 2 cleaners not mentioned that work really well. Fantastic dissolves it, only light rubbing required.


Ammonia really dissolves it, keep it moist and rub lightly. A spray of Fantastic added some subs, keeping it from running off or drying too quick. 20 mins later, no trace of tree sap and no damage. :)

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July 1, 20162 found this helpful
Best Answer

Dab a bit of butter or soft margarine on the sap. Wait a minute or two, then rub it off with a paper towel. This tip was given to me from a auto body repair shop. So simple...and it works. I've tried it on car and boat glass, car and boat paint and even my fingers!

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June 11, 2010

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 Koelsch from Greenville, SC


June 15, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Granite is a porous stone. I would contact a monument company and have them clean it and see if there's something they can seal it with.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 126 Feedbacks
June 16, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

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

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December 3, 2017

How do I remove pine tree sap from a satellite dish?


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
December 3, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Goo-gone is a great product for this job.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
December 3, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Believe it or not fingernail polish remover is excellent for removing tree sap. You can apply this to the tree sap on the satellite dish and use a cotton ball to rub it off.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 433 Posts
December 18, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

You can also use a hand sanitizer to get the sap off.

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December 3, 2014

How can I remove a large amount of sap from my RV awning? It is approximately 8' X 8".

By Steve

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July 8, 2013

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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April 10, 2020

How can I remove the baked on pine gum from the stone floor near my stove? It comes off easily if it is fresh with Pam or another oil spray. The pine gum I didn't notice has baked on, but I am not sure how harsh a remover I can use on my stone tile. I have tried most everything.

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July 16, 2017

How can I clean pine sap from my polycarbonate deck roof please?

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September 15, 2016

We have a lovely swing set in the backyard for our grandchildren. The swings and the chains that you hold to swing are covered with either tree sap or drippings from the trees above.

It's black and sticky. How would you suggest we clean this?

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June 28, 2015

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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June 19, 2013

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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May 13, 2013

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

By Lady Lucy from NY


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 282 Feedbacks
May 20, 20130 found this helpful

To remove sap with nail polish remover effectively you'd want to use a nail polish remover with acetone because the non-acetone won't even cut through price tag adhesive in my experience. You should test a very small area of the screen to see if the nail polish remover will remove the sap without melting the synthetic material the mesh is woven from-acetone can 'melt' plastics.


I think you'd have safer and better results using one of the automotive sap removing products. The car care products for removing sap from car finishes, windscreens, and headlamps (all car parts or finishes being made with synthetic polymers nowadays) will remove the sap easily without 'melting' your screen mesh.

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August 7, 2005

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



August 7, 20050 found this helpful

I would *try* rubbing alcohol .. it should break down the sap and is safe to use on nylon!

Good Luck!

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August 8, 20050 found this helpful

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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