How to Remove Tree Sap Stains from Car’s Exterior?
April 2, 2012
Spring and late summer are the prime seasons for sticky, gooey, tree sap as well as bird droppings. The stuff seems to ooze onto everything with ease. With its sticky, goo-like texture, tree sap quickly adheres to just about anything it comes into contact, from skin and hair to clothing, cars and more. Getting it off, however, can be a whole different matter. Trying to get rid of tree sap stains can be quite difficult and annoying.
Methods to Remove Tree Sap Stains
Here are some sure fire methods for removing tree sap stains from just about anything, including your car’s exterior.
- To remove tree sap stains from your vehicle’s surface, you can use nail polish remover. Allow the nail polish remover to soak into a cotton ball. Rub onto the affected area using a circular motion. Once the sap is removed, make a paste of baking soda and hot water solution to wash the affected area (1-cup baking soda to 3 cups water). Then wash and wax the car as usual.
- Mineral spirits is an oil-based solvent oftentimes used as paint thinner and commonly found at your local hardware store. This household item is also effectively used for removing tree sap from cars. Use a soft, terry towel, or wash cloth dampened with mineral spirits. Repeat as needed until the tree sap is gone. After removal, wash the car and apply wax to the affected area.
- Another great pine tree sap stains remover is WD-40. Its mild solvent properties easily break down sap. The lubricant is safe on most types of paint. Spray it on and rinse it off with vinegar and water solution. Wash as usual.
- Lastly, you can also use commercial wax and grease-removing products available at auto supply stores. Be sure to wash and dry the car before applying the wax and grease remover. Then dampen a clean cloth with the solvent and rub the affected area. It may require several attempts if the sap is very thick or extremely hard. The surface may appear hazy after the solvent evaporates, but a good wax application will eliminate the haze and complete the job.
What You Need to Keep in Mind When Working on Tree Sap Stains
To avoid damaging the surface covered in sap, ALWAYS test removal agents on an inconspicuous area first. Only when you treat that area successfully, should you proceed to a larger area. Always wear gloves and use precautions when using any type of chemical. Be cautious when using mineral spirits, WD-40, and nail polish remover, as they can also remove paint.
Removing tree sap stains from a car’s finish is a bit more difficult than tar, as hardened sap can scratch your paint. DetailXPerts has tested both mineral spirits and denatured alcohol. By rubbing the spots with these items we were able to remove the sap without damaging the finish. Mineral spirits and denatured alcohol act as a solvent to break up and dissolve the sap. Steam cleaning the car’s exterior once the sap is removed will make sure no residue is left behind.
Tree sap stains are difficult to remove from any surface, especially once they harden. Learning how to remove tree sap using common household items can make this task easy. However, if you have real tough tree sap stains, then you have to take the help of professional detailers.
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