When cleaning tree sap off the clear-coat finish of a car, you need to be careful not to use any heavy solvents like acetone or mineral spirits. These chemicals will dissolve and remove the tree sap, but they will also cause your clear coat to become cloudy. If you do have a clear-coat finish, there are other ways to remove tree sap with common household items.
Fabric Softener Sheets
Take some fabric softener sheets and get them wet. Slowly start rubbing the damp sheets over the tree sap. Be careful not to use too much pressure, because you may scratch your car's paint.
Apply a little baby oil to the tree sap and allow it to set for an hour. The baby oil should soften the tree sap, allowing you to remove it with a soft terrycloth towel or an old T-shirt.
Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover
Nail polish remover will remove tree sap, but make sure it does not contain acetone, because the acetone will damage your clear coat. Apply the nail polish remover to the pine tar spot with a terrycloth towel. The nail polish should dissolve the pine tar, allowing you to remove it from the car.
After you remove the tree sap, it's important to wash the surface of your car with soap and water and reapply some car wax. Using any of the aforementioned items to remove the pine tar may also remove the wax from your car, so it's a good idea to reapply some wax to the newly cleaned spot and buff it out according to the car wax directions.
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