How to Clean Pine Sap Off of Car Paint

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Tree sap can be hard to detect on some vehicles, but it can be removed with an all-purpose lacquer thinner that won't harm a car's clear coat. Discover why it's important to get pine sap off of a car immediately with help from a professional car detailing specialist in this free video on auto detailing and cleaning.

Part of the Video Series: Auto Detailing
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Video Transcript

Hi my name is Nick Charette and I'm down at Concord Auto Spa and I am about to show you how to clean tree sap off of a vehicle. Sometimes it is hard to see tree sap on a vehicle. A lot of times, most of the time it is actually big and visible but in this case you can't really see it. It is the same basic process as if you were taking tape from your vehicle. You want to take an all purpose lacquer thinner. Make sure it is all purpose anything harsher or more concentrated will harm your clear coat and your base coat eventually if you leave it on too long. You do not want to leave it on too long. You want to wipe it away immediately. Never leave a rag with lacquer thinner on it on a bumper on a panel because it will boil up. It will clear coat and it will leave a mark that you will never really be able to get away so you want to take a little lacquer thinner, put a little bit on a corner of a cloth and find a spot where you want to get, put it on and apply light pressure with a circular motion up and down left to right, whatever you really feel comfortable with. Once you can see or feel that it is gone and you want to wipe it away, there is still some there and you want to wipe it away. If there is still some there you may want to hit it again. In this case it all went away the first time. You don't want to hit it too many times at a certain point if it is in the clear coat it will actually damage the clear coat if it has sat there too long and unless you are a real professional it is hard to distinguish whether it did harm the clear coat or it's actually still there so if you do it multiple times and it is still there most likely your default will be that it is through the clear coat and you can't get rid of it. It is really, you should really get it off right away, the same thing with bird droppings. It is very acidic and it will eat through your clear coat and this is really the best solution to do it. If you don't have access to this you can get a product called Goof Off which is like Goo Gone but the car version. You can use either or and it is the same process and the same warnings, don't leave it on it will take a little longer but it will also get the job done eventually and Isopropyl alcohol will work. It will take a little longer to work but it will actually be less prone to harm your vehicle. It is just a matter of how quickly you want it off, how much you want to work and what you have access to.

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