How to Get Rid of Tree Sap from a Car

VD September 09 2021

Whenever your car gets parked under a large tree, you may come back to see a sticky substance covering the paint of the car. It is referred to as a tree sap by most people, but it is somewhat like insect honeydew excreted on the branches or the leaves of the tree. This tree sap is composed of sugars as well as other waste products that are undigested by insects.

No matter what you call the sticky stuff, it is not easy to remove it from your car, and therefore, you wonder how to remove tree sap from your car. It even doesn't respond very well to a standard soap solution. It will turn black and get harder to remove if you leave it alone. 

There are proven ways that can be helpful in tackling this issue if you want to know how to get sap off the car.

Different methods to remove tree sap

A real headache for you to remove can be dried tree sap, and although various products claim to do the job, mostly sap can still be found, and the same issues happen when in spring, the sap liquifies. 

The following are the methods that are useful to tackle the removal of tree sap from your vehicle.

  • Use a car shampoo or a similar solution

Washing your car with shampoo should be the first thing to consider. You should try to see if it comes out because pressure washers can sometimes be quite enough to remove these. Typically, this should work for you, as car wash shampoos are excellent lubricants to clean the paintwork.

If the sap still doesn’t budge, then you can go for the heavy-duty car wash shampoos. In order to supply you with additional cleaning power, these shampoos have a stronger formula. In addition, such shampoos can strip off any wax that you have previously applied.

  • Use an alcohol-based solution

Diluted isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is among the unique components that you should come equipped with, especially when there are sticky substances. It is a practical solution regarding how to remove tree sap from the car. Therefore, when you wipe with the help of a clean microfiber, it may come off quickly.

It would help if you tried not to let IPA sit on the paint for a long time or under the sun, especially when there are strong dilutions because this can damage your car's coat. Everything depends on how concentrated the IPA solution is, as you can find it in numerous strengths. It would be best for you to be safe and dilute it with water.

  • Use a clay bar

Shiny paint is something that makes your car look good, and it is also essential to keep the vehicle in good shape. Clay bar is one of the easiest and the most effective ways of doing this, as it is a specialized clay block that is intended for use on vehicles. When you rub it over the car's surface, it will remove tree sap, grime, dirt, or other contaminants.

It would be best if you used enough lubrication between the clay bar and the surface of the clay when going for the clay bar. Without sufficient lubrication, the clay bar would not work, and there can be chances of marring your car's paintwork. Therefore, it needs to be appropriately applied in order to get the job done.

  • Use a car polish

This is one of the best ways of getting tree sap off the car because from the least aggressive one to the most, a hand polish, machine polish, and wet sanding will be the ideal choice to get rid of the stubborn stains. If one method happens to fail, you can go for a much more aggressive technique.

It is always recommended for you to get help from an experienced machine polisher because you would never want to create additional marring on the paint. In case you are using a wet-sanding technique, then it is highly likely that you will be required to finish things off with a machine polish.

Final Thoughts

There is no doubt that parking your vehicle under the tree has some significant disadvantages like tree sap, pollen, and bird droppings. In order to know how to remove tree sap from a car, you will find a number of available products, and most of these work when the sap is removed immediately. 

You can also try different methods if you can’t park your vehicle anywhere else but hate tree sap. It doesn't matter which method you choose, always try to protect your car from sap as much as possible.