How to Remove Sap


Tree sap is sticky and difficult to get rid of when it gets on cars, clothing, decks and other surfaces. That said, getting tree sap off of things isn't impossible. In fact, with a few ordinary household items, you can remove sap from things in no time flat. You just need to know what you are doing before you try to remove sap, otherwise you may damage your items and/or drive yourself to complete frustration.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer
  • Peanut butter or mayo
  • Comb
  • Hair dryer
  • Paper towels
  • WD-40
  • Vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Mop
  • Murphy's Oil Soap

Remove Sap From Automobiles

  • Spray WD-40 on the sap-covered spot. Only spray the spot with the sap. WD-40 is a lubricant and mild solvent, so it emulsifies the sap, making it easier to wipe away with a cleaning solution.

  • Mix a cleaning solution of vinegar and water. Put 2 cups of warm water and 1/4 cup of vinegar in a spray bottle and shake it well so the two ingredients are blended.

  • Spray the vinegar cleaning solution over the WD-40. Use a clean sponge or paper towels to wipe the area clean. When the sap is gone, you can wash the vehicle as you would normally.

Remove Sap From People

  • Wipe areas of the skin that have sap on them with a paper towel with rubbing alcohol on it. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Alcohol is a mild solvent and will break the sap up.

  • Clean the rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer off your skin with soap and water. Rub the soap on the area that you had sap on and rinse it clean with warm water.

  • Apply creamy peanut butter or mayonnaise to any hair that has sap on it. Rub the peanut butter or mayonnaise into the sap so the oils penetrate it.

  • Use a hair dryer on a warm, low setting to warm the sap and oils up. Run a fine tooth comb through the hair, and the sap should slide out with the peanut butter or mayonnaise. Wash your hair as normal when the sap is removed.

Remove Sap From Wooden Decks and Furniture

  • Saturate a mop or sponge with Murphy's Oil Soap. Wipe the sap-covered area of the wood with the mop or sponge.

  • Allow the Murphy's Oil Soap to sit on the wooden furniture or deck for at least 15 minutes. This will give it time to soften the sap, making it easier to remove.

  • Scrub the sap-covered area with a scrub brush to loosen the sap. Rinse the soap and sap away with clean water.

Remove Sap From Clothing

  • Rub the sap stain on the garment with hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol.

  • Launder the sap-stained garment immediately after applying the alcohol-based product. Wash it with detergent as you normally would, but do not wash it with other garments unless they were spot treated to remove sap.

  • Remove the item from the washer after the laundry cycle is over. Check to make sure the sap stain is gone before you place the item in the dryer.

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