How to Get Out Pine Resin


Pine resin or pine tree sap is the sticky exudation of pine trees. It is rich in chemical substances called terpenes, phenolics, and resin acids. It also contains gum and mucilaginous substances. Kids like to climb pine trees. They get the sticky substance on their skin and clothes. It is important to clean their skin and their clothing right away. Doing that requires knowledge not only of what will remove the resin, but of the delicacy of affected clothing items.

Things You'll Need

  • Torn towels, T-shirts, or other rags
  • Pine oil or Green terpene-based cleaner
  • Rubbing alcohol or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Vegetable oil or peanut butter
  • Soap or liquid detergent
  • Examine the clothing. Check the labels for fabric type and handling delicacy required. If it is not very delicate or the location of the pine resin or sap is not obvious, a stronger, easier-to-use cleaner can be used.

  • Evaluate the amount of resin staining. If the article of clothing is washable and has only a film on it, rub pine oil detergent or another terpene-based cleaner into the fabric and wash it in water at the hottest permissible setting.

  • If the fabric does not require delicate treatment, use alcohol or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Apply the alcohol or sanitizer generously onto a portion of a rag and rub it in thoroughly, using additional portions of alcohol-soaked rag as needed.

  • Do not use alcohol or hand sanitizer on clothing that could be damaged by alcohol. Vegetable oil or peanut butter can be applied to pine resin until it is removed. Follow up by using soap or liquid detergent and rinsing to clean the clothing article. However, if the article of clothing requires dry-cleaning, after removing the resin with the vegetable oil, it should be taken to the dry cleaner.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you use vegetable oil to remove the resin, try warming it a little first. Do not do this if you will use alcohol or alcohol-based hand sanitizer or solvent cleaners.
  • Turpentine, derived from pine sap, is, naturally, the best solvent for pine tree resin. It works just fine on skin but is not the best choice for clothing. Solvents such as turpentine or gasoline may impart an odor that may never entirely leave a piece of clothing, so take that into consideration before using them. In addition, they pose the risk for fire. Rags soaked in such solvents can cause spontaneous combustion.

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