How to Remove Pine Tar or Oak Sap From Car

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Pine tree and oak tree sap are common problems for those unfortunate enough to have parked their car under one of these trees. The sap is sticky and will not come off with soap and water. If it is on your windshield, it will smear when you use your windshield wipers and stick to the wiper blade as well. Tree saps contain turpentine and can permanently ruin a car's paint if left on for extended periods. There are various methods of removing tree sap, but always make sure to test the cleaner on a less visible area of the car first.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic razor or old credit card
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cleaning rags
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Cotton swabs
  • Acetone-free nail polish remover
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Baking soda
  • Car wax
  • Scrape off as much of the tree sap as you can using the plastic razor or an old credit card. Work gently and be very careful not to scratch the car's finish.

  • Apply a generous dab of mayonnaise on the tree sap. Wait for 10 minutes, then wipe the spot with a cleaning rag. Repeat until the tree sap is removed.

  • Squirt a little hand sanitizer on the end of a cotton swab. Swab the spot of tree sap, and let the hand sanitizer work for one minute. Wipe the spot with a cleaning rag, repeating if necessary.

  • Dip a cotton swab into a bottle of acetone-free nail polish remover. Rub the spot of tree sap with the swab, and replace the swab with a freshly dipped one if it becomes gummy.

  • Pour alcohol over the end of a cotton swab, and rub the spot of tree sap with the wet swab. Keep replacing the swabs with fresh swabs soaked in alcohol until the sap is removed.

  • Mix up a paste of baking soda and water. Apply gently to the cleaned area, after the tree sap has been removed, to neutralize any cleaning residue. Rinse with water.

  • Wash and wax your car after removing the tree sap.

References

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