How to Remove Tree Sap from Your Car

A Scrigit Handy Household Hint

If you discover that you parked your car or truck under a tree that drips sap, you quickly realize that you have a major cleaning task ahead of you. This might be at home or in a parking lot where that “great” parking space you found turned out to be not so great after all. Car washes or normal washing at home will usually not remove the dried tree sap, though either type of washing will remove some sap and gritty dirt that could scratch your car’s paint while trying to remove the sap. Using hot soapy water will help soften and remove some of the sap. Here are some hints on how to remove the tree sap that remains on your car.

scraping tree sap

Scraping Tree Sap from Car Window

  1. A variety of different solvents will help soften tree sap, though some work better than others depending on the type of tree sap, how long it has been on the car, and how thick the spot of sap is. From your normal household supplies, try rubbing alcohol, alcohol wipes or hand sanitizer, which contains rubbing alcohol. Some people use WD-40 penetrating oil spray or mineral spirits (paint thinner). There are also a variety of specialized cleaners, such as TurtleWax’s Bug and Tar Remover or Goo Gone. Use a clean soft washcloth with any of these solvents to apply the solvent directly to the spots of sap and rub in a circular motion. Turn the cloth frequently and wipe off excess with another cloth so you don’t just spread the softened sap in a larger area. Don’t leave the solvents on the paint any longer than necessary to remove the tree sap.
  2. For thicker spots of tree sap that might take a long time to rub off, soften the sap with hot soapy water or one of the solvents mentioned above (but not both at the same time) and then use a Scrigit Scraper cleaning tool to gently scrape off the tree sap from painted surfaces and windows. The Scrigit Scraper is about the same hardness as fingernails, so it is safe to use on most automotive surfaces, though test this cleaning process on the least conspicuous spot of tree sap to make sure the paint does not get scratched.
  3. After scraping, go back over the areas with your washcloth and solvent of choice to remove any stray bits of tree sap. Then wash off the car with soap and water.
  4. Consider waxing the car, since the cleaning process probably stripped off any existing wax, and the wax will help reduce the ability of future tree sap drips to adhere tightly to the painted surfaces of your car.

    Scraping Tree Sap

    Scraping Tree Sap from Car Paint

The pocket-sized Scrigit Scraper is easy to keep handy where you can grab it quickly when needed. Keep one in the car, where you keep your car cleaning supplies, and other places around the house, such as the kitchen and bathrooms. Order a package today! They also make great gifts.

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4 comments on “How to Remove Tree Sap from Your Car
  1. John Joseph says:

    This sounds like it could be a great thing for use on the car especially that makes a lot of road trips. It just might make a great stocking stuffer for some of the adults.

  2. Jay Feinberg says:

    Yes, a Scrigit Scraper is also good for removing bug splatters that are often difficult to remove with just a gas station squeegee.

  3. Sarah L says:

    My car has a lovely garage but sometimes I visit friends who do have yucky trees that rain down sap. Thanks for the tips.

  4. Pam H. says:

    I have been trying to remove tree sap from my car for nearly a year. I’ve tried all the tips I could fine. I NEED a Scrigit Scraper.

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