Trees like Pines and Maples produce a lovely organic resin called sap. Tree sap plays an important role in our eco-system, but when it drips onto our stuff, it serves no better purpose than to annoy us! Not only can tree sap be a sticky and frustrating dilemma, it can pose a threat to the structural integrity of virtually anything surface it sticks to. This includes clothing, vehicles, patios, siding, outdoor furniture, paint, textiles, and more. If you have sap-producing trees on your property, you know exactly what we are talking about. And since there is no realistic method for preventing all tree sap mishaps, it is best to simply learn how to manage a “sappy” situation instead.
Continue reading to learn how to remove tree sap from just about anything!
Tree Sap Removal
The materials needed to remove tree sap include cotton balls, acetone nail polish remover, baking soda, undiluted oil soap, stiff-bristled broom or brush, a mop, water, a garden hose, even ice packs or a freezer, and even a butter knife! The materials you’ll require for tree sap removal will depend on where the sap is located. This awkward combination of materials may be silly-sounding, but they are highly effective when administered properly.
Tree Sap on Vehicles 🚙
Especially in the summer time, drivers are likely to park their cars under a tree for shade. And if that tree is a resin-producing tree, it is highly likely that their car will get tree sap on them. This is something you want to avoid since tree sap can corrode clear coats and discolor underlying layers of paint. Fortunately, there is an effective, DIY remedy to remove tree sap without damaging a car’s paint. If you have tree sap on your car, all you need to get rid of it is some cotton balls and acetone-based nail polish remover.
Simply apply the acetone to the areas covered in sap, and watch it disappear like magic! Just be sure to not let the acetone linger to long since it can also erode the car’s clear coat. Avoid damage by using a constant circular motion to wipe away tree sap. When you are finished, wipe down the surface with a clean wet rag. You can even choose to make your own streak-free cleanser by mixing 1 part baking soda with 3 parts water.
Tree Sap on Clothing 👕
When tree sap gets on your clothes, freeze it off! Place your sap-stained article of clothing inside the freezer for at least 2 hours, so that it completely freezes up. If you do not have a freezer (or simply no room like the rest of us!), then use ice cubes or ice packs instead. Place them on the affected areas and wait until they are frozen stiff. After freezing, remove your article of clothing and wedge a butter knife in between the frozen sap and the fabric. Work your way in until the piece is free. Once the sap is scrapped off, apply warm water and vinegar to the spots, and
then wash it in your machine using detergent.
Tree Sap on Decks 🏡
To remove tree sap from wooden decks and patios, you must purchase some undiluted oil soap. A popular and recommended products is Murphy’s® Oil Soap. This is available at any home improvement store for under 5 dollars. Oil soap is a natural sap-softener, and works well to eliminate stubborn tree resin on wooden decks. Use a mop to apply thin layers of oil soap, one layer at a time. You’ll have an even bigger mess if you use too much. After one to three thin coats, allow the product to absorb into the wood for 15 minutes. Next, scrub the surface with a stiff-bristled broom and finish by rinsing your deck clean with a garden hose.