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How To Remove Tree Sap From Your Car Safely... Without Damaging The Paint!

There are many great things to look forward to when spring blooms. However, one thing I never look forward to is sap on my car. It seems that even when I don’t park under a tree, my car still gets covered in sap.

It doesn’t matter if it’s sap from pine trees, palm trees, pecan trees, or sycamore trees - it’s still a frustration we need to address. Removing sap from your car doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does need to be removed quickly. The longer it sits, the harder it is to remove. Read this article to make sure you understand the steps you need to take to remove sap properly and easily.

The Ultimate Sticky Residue remover
Sap Attack! Tree Sap, Tar & Sticker Remover

Carefully formulated to ATTACK the stickiest substances, Sap Attack gets rid of stubborn tree sap, tough tar, old bumper stickers, bugs, gum and asphalt. Works quickly to break down the contaminants and allow for easy removal.


It Helps To Start With A Basic Wash

The first step is to completely wash your car. This is a valuable step that you shouldn’t skip. In general, it’s good practice not to let anything like tree sap or other residue sit on your car for days, as when you leave things like this on your car, it can damage the paint over time.

Much of it can simply be removed with soap and warm water. When you wash your car thoroughly, it can remove dirt, grime, and sediment from it. If you attempt to remove sap from your car before you wash it, you could grind lingering dirt particles into the paint.

Removing Tree Sap From Paint

While removing tree sap from the pain of your car usually isn’t difficult, you may have to apply some pressure to the area to remove the sap. As soon as you see sap on your car, you should work to remove it as quickly as possible. Sap is always easier to remove when you first see it.

You have to be careful if the sap is baked on from the sun. If it is, applying too much pressure could cause scratches by moving around the hard sap material.

Here’s how to remove tree sap the right way.


Before We Start, Understand This

It’s always best to wash your car before and after you use any products to remove sap. There are many products available to remove sap, some of which can also remove the protectants on your paint. Wax is one of those protectants.

You shouldn’t use liberal amounts of tar remover - only use as much as you actually need. Using your muscles is a better option than applying more remover. After you remove the sap and wash your car, it’s best to apply a protective coat of wax.

How To Remove Tree Sap EASILY (Pro Tips)

The process to remove tree sap with Sap Attack is dead easy.

  1. Shake the bottle
  2. Spray Sap Attack on a microfiber towel
  3. First hold the dampened part of the microfiber towel on the tree sap, not moving, letting it sit for 30 seconds.
  4. Gently begin rubbing the tree sap - not applying too much pressure.
  5. You will begin to feel the contaminents loosen up. Repeat this process with more product if need be.
  6. Rinse off your cleaned area
  7. Seal and shine your work with a protective coating like Graphene Burst

Removing Tree Sap From Your Windshield

The steps to remove tree sap from your car are likewise very simple:

  1. Spray a little bit of Sap attack on a microfiber towel.
  2. Put the damp part of the towel on the sap on your car and let it sit for 30 seconds or so.
  3. Rub the area gently until the sap is gone. Depending on how stubborn the sap is, you may have to repeat this step several times. If the sap is really difficult to remove, you can use a razor blade to gently scrape the sap off the windshield. Be very careful doing this and we recommend using an automotive detailing lubricant like Torque Detail Clay Lube to glide the razor. We wouldn't recommend a lubricant like WD-40 as it is quite greasy.
  4. Wash the windows using an automotive glass cleaner. You may use a household product like Windex as long as it is an ammonia-free version.

Tips For Removing Hardened Tree Sap That Has Been Sitting For A Long Time

After sap has been sitting on your car for a little bit, it becomes hardened and almost baked onto your car. However, there are some items you can use to remove the sap once it has created a hard layer on your car.

A deditated tree sap remover like Sap Attack will always be the best for removing hardened tree sap. It's formualated to attack this exact problem.

Bacon grease, WD40, or lighter fluid are common household solutions that have been used in the past for this problem. We less so recommend the greasier of these remedies, especially on paint. No matter which of these you decide to use, you’ll need to let them sit on the spot for a while. You should let the product sit on the sap until you see the sap begin to disappear. Once it starts to disappear, you can use a soft cloth to wipe it away.

If you have pine sap on your car, it may take a little more effort to remove because it’s so sticky. A great home remedy for pine sap is acetone nail polish remover. The acetone is key to breaking up the sticky sap. Soak a cotton ball with nail polish remover and rub away the sap in circular motions. Once you’ve completely rubbed all the sap away, make a paste of one cup of baking soda and three cups of hot water. Applying this paste to the area of the car with a washcloth where you used the nail polish remover will clean it. However, you should still wash your car as normal even after cleaning it with the baking soda paste.

Video demonstrating removing tree sap with bacon grease.

The Ultimate Sticky Residue remover
Sap Attack! Tree Sap, Tar & Sticker Remover

Carefully formulated to ATTACK the stickiest substances, Sap Attack gets rid of stubborn tree sap, tough tar, old bumper stickers, bugs, gum and asphalt. Works quickly to break down the contaminants and allow for easy removal.



Parking under a tree has some major disadvantages such as tree sap, bird droppings, and pollen. There are a number of products available to help remove annoying tree sap. Many work best when you remove the sap immediately.

There are other options available if you don’t want to give up the shade of a tree but hate dealing with the sap. You could consider parking your car under a collapsible carport. This structure under which you can park your car offers shade and protection from the elements. Some materials are stronger than others and have a canopy, making it look like a tent. The best part is that although some assembly is required, they’re usually very easy to assemble and set up.

No matter which option you choose, make sure you protect your car from sap as best you can. If you have to leave your car exposed to the elements, address any sap or dirt immediately.

  • Published on Aug 12, 2020