How to Clean Tree Sap Off Vinyl Decks

Sap can ruin a beautiful deck.
Sap can ruin a beautiful deck. (Image: cabin 2 image by Colin Buckland from Fotolia.com)

Trees may be lovely to look at and provide much-needed shade in summer, but the sap they produce can stain vinyl siding and decking. Remove the tree sap within one week, if possible, or it can stain the deck permanently. Trees naturally release sap, leaving a sticky mess on your outdoor areas. Family and guests can then track it into your house on the bottoms of their shoes and bare feet. Kitchen cleaners and chemicals help remove tree sap from vinyl decks.

Things You'll Need

  • Kitchen cleaner
  • Scrub sponge
  • Rag
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Hose (optional)
  • Power washer (optional)
  • Turpentine
  • Simple Green or similar green cleaner (optional)
  • Goo Gone or other sticky-material remover
  • Vinegar

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Kitchen Cleaners

Spray kitchen cleaner on the sap stains.

Use a rag or scrub sponge to work the cleaner into the deck. If you treat the stain within one week, the kitchen cleaner should remove it.

Allow the area to dry. Wash the entire deck with clean water using a bucket or a garden hose. A power washer is also effective because vinyl decking will not chip like a painted wood deck might.

Chemical Cleaners

Rub the turpentine into a small area of your vinyl deck with a rag to test it. Make sure the turpentine does not harm your deck. If the turpentine has not damaged the test area, you can continue. If you would rather not use turpentine, squirt some Goo Gone or a similar product on a rag and scrub the tree sap spots.

Pour turpentine over the entire affected area. Scrub the area with a rag or scrub brush. The tree sap should lift immediately.

Hose off the deck using a garden hose or power washer.

Green Cleaners

Apply a natural cleaner to the sap stain. Such cleaner include: Simple Green or similar brand; a home remedy of 1 cup of vinegar to 3 cups of water; or fresh lemon juice.

Scrub the sap stains. Use lemon juice on a sunny day and allow it to sit on the stain for 10 to 20 minutes. The sun will help oxidize the lemon juice, making it easier to remove the tree sap.

Rinse the area with water using a garden hose or power washer. You may also have to use a scrub sponge to get the remaining bits of tree sap off the deck.

Tips & Warnings

  • Trim back branches that overhang your deck to prevent future sap stains.
  • When using chemical products, keep pets and children away from the area. If the smell gets too strong, wear a face mask to prevent inhalation.

References

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