How to Remove Tree Sap From Your Car Effectively

How to Remove Tree Sap From Your Car Effectively

If you own a car then it’s inevitable that, at some point, you’re going to suffer the dreaded tree sap issue. This sticky substance will soon dry if not removed. The longer it’s there—and the more the sun bakes it—the harder it is to remove.

The following discusses all the do’s and don’ts when it comes to how to remove sap from a car.

Everything You Need to Know About Removing Sap from your Car 

  • Why ‘remove sap from car’ is such a popular online search term
  • The 1, 2, 3 to a clean exterior car

Why ‘remove sap from car’ is such a popular online search terms

Tree sap is hugely damaging to a car’s paintwork. It’s also extremely difficult to remove if you don’t know how. Any quick Google search as to how to remove sap from a car brings up a plethora of methods. Some work, some don’t. Others not only fail to remove the sticky stuff but risk causing plenty of damage to your paintwork along the way. 

Let’s first look at the ones you certainly shouldn’t do:

Nail polish: Most nail polishes contain acetone and are designed to melt away paint-like products. While your car’s paint is protected by a thin coating, if there’s any break in its integrity then you run a very real risk of removing the paint from the metal of the car.

Hand sanitizer: No doubt you have plenty of this hanging around. However, while it may well lift the sap from the surface of the car, most contain alcohol—and alcohol is not kind to car paintwork. The same applies to rubbing alcohol. While either product may work, why would you risk your gleaming paintwork when there are far less risky methods of removing sap.

Lighter fluid: Once again, this has paint-melting potential so—no matter what that dodgy online article suggests—this shouldn’t be attempted if you have any love at all for your vehicle’s good looks.

Baking soda: It’s abrasive, so why on earth would you want to rub it onto your car? Enough said about this one…

So, now we’ve hopefully dispelled some of the myths returned from that ‘remove tree sap from car’ search, let’s concentrate on how to safely get rid of the sticky stuff. 

The 1, 2, 3 to a clean exterior car

While it might not be the easiest task in the world, the following steps will help ensure the safe removal of tree sap.

  1. Remove it as soon as possible: The longer tree sap remains on the paintwork or windows, the harder it is to remove and the more likely it is that it’ll leave a residue.
  2. Rinse and wash thoroughly: Before using any product, use the hottest soapy water possible to wash the car by hand. This heat will help start to break down the sap. Work the water well into the sap—using a little elbow grease will be necessary. Rinse the car well. If the sap is gone then proceed to drying and waxing as normal.

If this hasn’t worked, then it’s time to move onto step 3:

  1. Use a specialist product: There are many tree sap remover products on the market. These are specially formulated to break down the structures of the sap and gently lift it from the paintwork. Follow the instructions on the bottle—these generally tell you to use a clean cloth and to soak the sapped area for around 30 seconds. Hard, sunbaked sap might need longer. Once well soaked in, work the cloth in small circular motions to gradually remove it. This will take a while and might need to be repeated many times for stubborn, dried-on sap. Once it’s gone, rinse, dry, and wax as before.

The Ultimate Tree Sap Protection 

  • The wonders of clear bra paint protection film

The wonders of clear bra paint protection film 

Protecting your paintwork from tree sap is easily done with a professionally applied PPF. While you’ll still need to remove sap from the surface, there’s no worry that it’s going to damage the paintwork beneath. You can also be a little more vigorous in your attempts to remove it, thanks to the self-healing properties of PPF.

Ready for PPF? Contact Auto SuperShield Today

Tree sap, bird strikes, insect splats—not to mention the damage caused by UV rays, stone chips, and other environmental aspects—are all reasons to protect your car from the elements. Whether you want outstanding paint protection from PPF, a complete vehicle makeover with a car wrap, ceramic coating, or even window tinting, then there’s no better Florida provider Auto SuperShield.

Find out more at and give them a call to discuss your requirements today.

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