Car Maintenance

How to get tree sap out of your car

Everyone hates having their car covered in dirt and grime. However, the feelings are intensified when, instead of mud or dust, you see drops of tree sap on the surface of your vehicle. Tree sap is so sticky hence the challenge of removing it from the car. Despite the rigors of the removal process, thankfully simple household tools can be used. That’s correct; You can definitely remove tree sap yourself. In order not to panic if you discover sticky stains on your beloved vehicle, learn how to remove tree sap from your car!

How to avoid tree sap

Before discussing various imaginative ways to remove tree sap from your car, it’s best to know how to prevent it first. After all, prevention is always better than cure.

  • Stay away from trees that drip too much sap.

    Some trees are known for their excessive sap content. One of the most popular is the maple tree. No wonder the maple syrup industry never dies; Maples really do produce too much sap. Another tree known for its sap is the birch. Birch sap is not only popular as the main ingredient in some syrups; it can also be used for beer production.

    Another tree to avoid if you don’t want sticky sap on your car is the elm. Once a bark or branch is damaged, the elm produces excessive sap.

    To better avoid sticky sap, don’t park your car under maples, birches, elms, and trees known for their honeydew.

  • Avoid old or diseased trees.

    Bad news: All trees can actually produce sap. However, some of them can resist pests and diseases that trigger bleeding. Even so, one may eventually drip juice when it eventually succumbs to the effects of decay.

    The ultimate pests that cause tree bleeds are bark beetles. How is that even possible? The tree can detect an infestation and therefore produces sap to fill the holes where bark beetles lay eggs. Fortunately, there are specific insecticides designed to control bark beetles. However, you must consult a licensed exterminator.

    Interestingly, there are pests that don’t actually produce juice but excrete a different type of sticky substance that can also damage your car. Pests like mealybugs, aphids, and scales eat sap, producing their own sticky excreta called honeydew. These critters can be eradicated with simpler methods like horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps.

    When it comes to tree diseases, fungi are common indicators. Wet wood is a real example of infection. It’s a common thing for elms. You can easily spot wet wood as the tree would have yellow leaves due to wilting and branches with dying tips.

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How to get tree sap out of your car

Sometimes things happen even if you are very careful. If you see tree sap marks on your vehicle, don’t let it ruin your day. Here are easy ways you can remove tree sap from your car:

  • household products

    At home, look around for hand sanitizer, WD-40 solvent, alcohol wipes, or mineral spirits. All of these household products have the potential to remove tree sap from your car. However, you must first apply them to the hidden painted areas of the vehicle to see if they affect the particular nature of your car’s finish. After all, they are not primarily formulated for car care. Also, make sure you wash your car with soap and hot water first to make the removal process easier.

    To apply hand sanitizer, simply spray or pour a small amount onto the tree sap. Wait a few minutes before wiping it off. Use a clean cloth to rub off the sanitizer and juice. The juice should dissolve when rubbed.

    If hand sanitizer doesn’t work, try WD-40 solvent. Simply spray on the tree sap. Wait for the juice to absorb the substance until it separates from the surface. After a few minutes, use a rag to wipe off the juice.

    Another home remedy is alcohol, specifically 91 percent isopropyl. This time, however, you’ll have to be quicker because the alcohol will evaporate quickly. Once you have wet the cloth with alcohol, immediately wipe it over the tree sap using gentle motions. It should be able to remove wet or dry sap.

    The last resort, if we are talking about household products, is mineral spirits. It’s the sharpest here because it’s also known as paint thinner. Pour a small amount of paint thinner onto a soft cloth and rub gently on the tree sap for a few seconds. As much as possible, don’t bother with this option as mineral spirits can really destroy the paint job.

  • Commercial remover

    While you still have to go to an auto parts store to buy it, commercial removers designed specifically for tree sap removal are always your best options. They are the safest products as they typically remove tree sap without damaging the paintwork.

    After washing your car—again—with soap and hot water, follow the label directions on the commercial remover. Usually you apply the liquid to a clean cloth. Then gently press the cloth onto the tree sap for at least 60 seconds. Then gently rub the affected area with the cloth. Keep the cloth in a small circle as much as possible to prevent the juice from spreading.

    The last thing you have to do is wash the area again to make sure there is no residue. After everything is in order you can wax your car.

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It’s surprisingly easy to learn how to remove tree sap from your car. Despite the stickiness of tree sap, the products you need to remove it are so simple. If you prefer to stay at home, opt for the option of using household products. However, we strongly recommend purchasing a commercial remover designed for removing tree sap on cars to ensure paintwork safety. Sure, it can be exhausting to leave home just to buy a product, or to wait a few days if you decide to buy online, but it will all be worth it.

For more cleaning tips, learn how to keep a black car clean!

Chloe Rimmer
Tv geek. Content practitioner. Creator. Wannabe beer nerd. Thinker. Passionate explorer. Proud bacon trailblazer. Travel fanatic. Award-winning introvert.

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