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How to Remove Tree Sap From Your Car?

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Parking under a tree in early spring can be treacherous. You have to worry not only about bird poop but sap as well! The sap is troubling because if left long enough can ruin your car’s paint! If you find yourself with dry tree sap on your vehicle, don’t panic! It’s easy to remove and won’t damage paintwork if removal is done immediately.

Tree sap is an adhesive that can strip away paint and eat through clear protective coatings. Left under a beating sun, tree suds on the car harden like epoxy; if it’s been there long enough for any significant amount of time then there’s potential to harm your vehicle in many ways.

How to Remove Tree Sap From Your Car

If there’s tree sap on your car, keep calm and follow these steps on how to remove tree sap from your car without damaging the paint.

Wash Hardened Tree Sap ASAP

Hand washing is the best option if you want to avoid having dry tree sap on your vehicle. Automated car washes can spread it around even more, and they’re usually quite inconvenient for people who work or study late in their day! A quick washcloth and soap can do miracles.

If you act within a few hours you should be able to get it off this way, but for more thorough cleaning solutions follow the steps below:

  1. Grab all your materials: a couple of buckets of hot water– the key to cleaning tree sap is really, really hot! You’ll also need sponges and car-washed soap. To make things easier on yourself (and save time), grab an old microfiber cloth too; it’s perfect for wiping down surfaces after washing.
  2. Find a place to park your vehicle somewhere shady. Don’t park under a tree. Sun will prematurely dry the water, leaving water stains and of course, scratches from falling tree branches.
  3. Once you have finished washing your vehicle, be sure to rinse it thoroughly. If using a power washer, make sure to use a wide spray pattern. That way not to damage the paint on any of those nooks or crannies that might escape from rinsing well enough by hand!
  4. If you want to get rid of any stubborn sap on your car, use hot water. It will help soften dry samples and make washing easier!
  5. After rinsing the vehicle, scrub it with a sponge or washing mitt and soap.
  6. Once the sap has been rinsed away and any leftover bits of it have been removed, you can repeat this process until all signs that tree saps exist are gone.
  7. The final step in this process is to apply a strong coat of wax. This will protect your car from dirt and water, as well as give it an amazing shine.

Wash hardened sap asap

Hand-washing is the most common method for removing sap, though you may need to take additional steps. There are other methods that should work well in getting rid of it like these!

Sap On Windows or Windshield

For those of you who have had a hard time cleaning off windshields and windows from dry tree sap, I’ve found that it is relatively easier because there’s no need for cautious movement.

  • Use Rubbing Alcohol – Rubbing alcohol is a great way to remove tree sap from your car. Soak one cotton ball in the liquid, place it on top of each affected area for about 5-10 minutes then rub away any excess
  • Use White Vinegar – Make sure you spray an adequate amount of vinegar on the affected areas and let it sit for five to seven minutes before wiping off any extra residue.
  • Razor Blade – The easiest way to remove tree sap from your car’s windows is by scraping it off with a box cutter blade. *This is a last-resort method, as taking a sharp blade to your vehicle can seriously damage your car if done incorrectly.


You can use WD-40 to remove sap from your vehicle. Just spray the lubricant directly on top of any stains, let it soak for 5 minutes then wipe it away with a cloth!

Cooking Oil

  1. Coat the fresh sap in a non-toxic cooking oil, such as coconut or canola. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Apply a wet cloth, soaking in hot water on top for added penetration.
  3. After you’ve completed steps 1 and 2, wipe away any remaining sap with a cloth. If necessary repeat this process until there are no more stains on your surface!
  4. Finally, wash the area with hot water and soap.

What Is Tree Sap?

Remember when you were a kid and you used to run around looking for trees to climb? You’d start climbing, but then you’d realize that all your fingers were stuck together and your clothes were ruined. When you looked closely, you saw that the tree was leaking a substance that looked like pancake syrup. That’s tree sap! But how and why does it happen? What is tree sap?

One thing to watch out for when parking under a tree is sap, which can damage your car’s paintwork.

Commercial Cleaners

Purchase a commercial cleaning or adhesive removal product that’s designed to help remove sticky substances.

  • Goof Off
  • Goo Gone
  • Turtle Wax Bug
  • Tar Remover
  • 3M™ Adhesive Remover

These are all good options, but there are numerous products that work well.

Baking Soda

  • To make a powerful paste, mix together baking soda and water in equal parts.
  • To protect your car’s paint job, cover the tree sap with paste and gently spread it around without scratching.
  • Give it time to work its magic!
  • Pour a stream of boiling water over the top of the sap and baking soda.
  • Make sure to clean the area thoroughly, then dry it off with a clean cloth.

5 Ultimate Tips For Watering Your Trees During A Drought

Drought conditions are affecting more and more parts of the country every year. If you’re a homeowner, it’s important to take steps to conserve water, including properly watering your trees. Here are five tips for ensuring your trees get the water they need during a drought.

What Does a Maple Tree Look Like?

The red maple is a medium-sized tree with a moderate growth rate. Its bark is smooth and light gray when young, but becomes dark gray and rough as it matures. Unlike the silver maple, the crushed twigs of the red maple do not have a rank odor. Its twigs are reddish and have rounded, oblong, vegetative buds. The tree’s lower branches tend to grow upwards.

Red maples are well-suited for suburban or rural landscapes in acid soil regions. They are available in a variety of cultivars that are marketed based on their fall color and growth habit. The tree requires acid soil and is sensitive to wounding. Manganese deficiencies are common in neutral to alkaline soils.


The key to getting rid of dry tree sap without damaging your car’s paintwork is being careful! If you don’t want any damage, then scrubbing and scraping should be done gently so as not to cause more harm than necessary. Are you a homeowner? Check out 7 Mistakes Homeowners Make When Trimming Their Own Trees and Surprising Reasons Why Your Tree Might Need to Be Removed.

If you need tree removal in NYC, check out our Emergency Tree Removal Services and our commercial services.

If you like articles like this and want to read them faster make sure to signup for our newsletters! Also have a look at our home care and automotive care resources.

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