The Average Driver

How to get sap off car easily (2023)

a woman cleaning a car

Taking care of a car is an important of maintaining its value and condition. One of the things that can harm your car’s paint job is tree sap. Therefore, it is important to remove tree sap as soon as possible to protect the affected area. Removing sap is similar to bird droppings, but removing sap from your car can take some elbow grease.

The properties of tree sap

maple forest with buckets attached to trees in winter

Tree sap is very sticky. This can remove your paint if you aren’t careful with how you remove it. If it gets on your windshield, it is a little easier to take care of. You can use a razor blade to scrape it off the windows.

How to remove tree sap from your car

closeup photo of red car near concrete wall

In this blog, we will be going over how to remove tree sap properly, without damaging your car’s paint job.

Nail polish remover, rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer

Courtesy: Wikipedia

One of the most common ways to try and remove tree sap is by using some sort of nail polish remover or anything with alcohol in it. Isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol works well for this instance. You should use a microfiber cloth or cotton ball to dab it on the tree sap.Then, you can gently rub the tree sap away. Make sure there is no left over solution after the wipe, otherwise your paint will get damaged from that.

Baking soda

flour in a jar

Using baking soda and water to create a paste is also a good way to remove hardened tree sap. This method is also good to use after an alcohol-based solution to clean the area and reduce paint damage.


black vehicle with soap bubbles

Soap and water is a tried and true classic when cleaning a car. Wash your car for sap removal. Even though this is simple, it is good for your whole car to be cleaned. Wipe the area down with a towel. Sap can be stubborn, so trusting the process to remove the sticky residue is important to keeping the surface and car exterior protected.

Warm water

hand holding a yellow microfiber towel

Even more tried and true than soapy water is warm water. In the case of sap, using spraying hot water onto the affected surface will give it a chance to soak and soften. You should let it sit for at least 30 seconds before you try and get rid of it.

Why you can't let tree sap sit

top view photo of cars on parking lot

As previously stated, learning how to remove tree sap from your car will help your vehicle stay in the best condition. Removing sap from a car isn’t difficult–it just takes some patience, elbow grease, and rubbing alcohol. Once you’re done cleaning it up, you could wax the area to finish off the job. Removing tar is similar to removing sap, with the same processes applying.

Leaving tree sap on your car can lead to paint damage, ┬ápotentially pealing up a coat of paint. If you use anything abrasive to clean it off, it could leave a scratch. When parking your car in the future, avoiding parking spots next to trees will ensure that the pesky pine sap will stay off of your car’s paint.

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