From Tips and Steps
Jump to: navigation, search

Remove Tree Sap From Your Car

Less exciting than discovering your vehicle covered in tree sap is the thought of removing the sap. Hand picking sap from your car can be tedious and can scratch your car's paint. A regular wash might not do the trick. There are several methods of sap removal from your car that make the task easier. The most important thing in all this is to use the least amount of scrubbing and pressure necessary to get the job done. The goal is to take the tree sap off your car while leaving the paint on it.


  1. Clean your car as soon as possible. The longer tree sap or any substances like bird droppings or insect remains are left on the surface of the vehicle, the more difficult they are to remove. For the least amount of effort and the most success at a sparkling car exterior, act fast to remove tree sap from your car.
  2. Follow the instructions on the container of commercial tree sap remover. The most highly recommended way to remove sap from your car is to purchase tree sap remover and follow the instructions. This solution is formulated to dissolve sap the best without hurting your car's exterior. Place some of the remover on your rag, and hold the rag on the sap while gently applying pressure. The sap will soak up some of the remover. Using the rag, rub in a circular motion to lift the sap from the surface.
  3. Use fingernail polish remover. A home remedy for taking sap off your car is to douse a cotton ball with fingernail polish remover and rub it lightly on the affected area. Rubbing too vigorously can jeopardize the paint's integrity. Follow up by washing the area with a mixture of baking soda and water and then applying a coat of car wax to reseal the area.
  4. Try mineral spirits. Mineral spirits applied lightly with a soft cloth will break down the sap and remove it. Do not rub too vigorously or for too long so that your paint job is not affected. Follow this treatment with a regular car wash and wax.
  5. Spray WD-40 on the tree sap. The sap will begin to absorb the solvent. Let it sit for a few minutes. You can use your rag to lift the loosened sap from the car.
  6. Finish with a regular car wash and wax. The car wash will help remove any residue left over from the sap or the cleaner used to remove it. Any solution that would deteriorate paint will be washed away. A new coating of wax is recommended to renew the protective coating on the vehicle.


  • Wash the affected areas with warm water prior to trying to get the sap off. The warmth of the water will begin to soften the sap, making it easier to remove. This is also helpful if the sap has been on the car for a while.

Things You'll Need

  • Tree sap remover
  • Fingernail polish remover
  • Cotton ball
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Car wax
  • Mineral spirits
  • Soft cloth
  • WD-40

Sources and Citations