How to Remove Tree Sap on Painted Concrete

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Tree sap will ooze out of the tree if the bark has been damaged.
Tree sap will ooze out of the tree if the bark has been damaged. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Trees that hang over your painted concrete may drip a sticky, amber-colored substance known as sap. Sap is vital for the life of the tree and contains water, nutrients and hormones needed for a healthy tree. Unfortunately, this sap can leave an unsightly mess on your painted concrete and you typically cannot remove it with soap and water. However, various methods will successfully remove the tree sap from a variety of hard surfaces -- including vehicles and concrete -- without harming the paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton balls
  • Nail polish remover that contains acetone
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Water hose
  • Petroleum-based hand cleaner
  • Cloths
  • Paper towels
  • Mineral spirits
  • Bug and tar remover
  • Butter knife

Dampen a cotton ball with acetone nail polish remover. Rub the tree sap with the cotton ball for several seconds. When the cotton ball becomes soiled, saturate a fresh cotton ball with nail polish remover and continue rubbing the sap. Once you have removed the sap, wash the painted concrete clean with warm, soapy water and rinse with a water hose.

Apply a petroleum-based hand cleaner -- such as Goop -- to a clean cloth. Scrub the tree sap with the cloth in a back-and-forth motion. Continue applying the hand cleaner as needed and scrubbing until you have removed the sap. Wipe the excess hand cleaner off the painted concrete with several paper towels.

Saturate a cloth with mineral spirits and rub the tree sap in a circular motion. Add more mineral spirits to the cloth when it becomes dry and continue scrubbing in a circular motion until the tree sap is no longer present. Rinse the painted concrete clean with a water hose.

Spray a liberal amount of bug and tar remover to the tree sap. Bug and tar remover is available in the automotive section of department stores. Scrub the bug and tar remover with a cloth. Use the back of a butter knife to gently scrape the softened tree sap of the concrete. Repeat the process until you have removed the sap. Rinse the bug and tar remover off the concrete with a water hose.

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