How To Remove Sap From Your Car

Posted on: 26 January 2017

Sap is that sticky substance that comes out of trees such as pine, oak, or maple. If you park beneath one of these types of trees, you'll notice drops of this sticky substance appearing on your car, which can be difficult to remove, especially if it has been baked on. If left there, that baked on sap can damage the paint on your car by eating through the clear coat and discoloring the paint beneath. It's important to remove the sap immediately if possible to prevent this from happening. See below for instructions as well as different methods to remove sap from your car's paint.

Scrape Off Sap

Scrape dried on sap from your car using a plastic scraper or a credit card to get up as much as possible. Be sure not to scrape the paint on your car. When you get the majority off of your car, move to the next step.

Wash And Rinse

Wash your car with hot soapy water. You can use mild dish soap, but if you have car wash soap, that is preferred. Wash your car thoroughly in a circular motion to try and remove the sap with the soapy water. Rinse the soap from your car thoroughly by spraying it with clean water several times.

Wax And Buff

Wax your car when finished to help remove sap from your car. Wax in a circular motion, removing it in the same circular motion using a microfiber cloth.

If these methods didn't do the trick, follow the instructions below for a few do-it-yourself removal tricks using household items. Be sure to test all of these on your car in a small inconspicuous area before using it on a more noticeable area to be sure it doesn't damage your car's paint or clear coat.

  • Mayonnaise. Apply a small amount to a soft microfiber cloth and work it into the sap. Leave it on for ten minutes, then rinse the area thoroughly. The sap should be removed.
  • Hand Sanitizer. Apply a dab of hand sanitizer to a cotton swab, then apply it to the sap, leaving it on the sap for just a minute. Next, rinse the area thoroughly. Repeat the process if need be.
  • Alcohol. Dip a cotton swab into isopropyl alcohol, then rub it on the sap. Let the alcohol soak up the sap, using more swabs to help prevent spreading the sap around. Repeat the process if necessary.

Once the sap has been removed (by any of these methods), be sure to wash and wax your car again to remove any of the residue left behind by any of these items.

Remember to remove sap immediately to help prevent the sap from baking onto your car's paint. Wash your car often to prevent a build up of sap as well as bugs and tar.

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