How To Remove Tree Sap from Clothing: Laundry Tips

Learn About Removing Pine Sap from Clothes

Who has not had the experience of leaning against a tree, smiling, posing for the camera, only to find out later that your entire back area is full of sap? And who has not had the experience of washing out that same goo over and over again, without it ever coming off? And who has not had the experience of agonizing over a favorite shirt or a beloved pair of pants being thrown away in frustration after finding out that the sap is still there after almost washing one's hands off just in a vain attempt to take it off? Plant sap really is a pesky substance that does not come off with soap and warm water. It is often seen oozing out of an injured branch or trunk of a tree.

Removing pine sap can be a pain but these laundry tips should help with its removal. 

Common versions of sap are those that are from evergreens, such as pine trees. Pine tree sap has a similar composition to that of chewing gum.

A friend once recommended that I freeze the piece of clothing and try to scratch the frozen sap off the piece of clothing. Well, imagine finding a nice shirt inside my freezer! To my chagrin (and embarrassment), the sap never came off.

However, the solution to removing pine and plant sap really is simple. For clothing made of fleece, polyester, cotton and many other materials that have been affected, the solution is simply to squeeze a reasonable amount of hand sanitizer over the ‘affected area' and rub the sap away. Apply what is needed, and one must not use the hand sanitizer sparingly. It is certainly better to preserve a favorite article of clothing rather than scrimp on hand sanitizer.

Since alcohol is also what makes up hand sanitizer, then rubbing alcohol can also do the job of removing the sap from clothing.

For sap that has made its way into leather - such as a leather jacket, pair of pants, gloves, or even a leather seat or back, then removing it is a cinch. Just use a reasonable amount of peanut butter (not the crunchy type), and then begin rubbing. You will find out that the sap will slowly come off the leather surface.

Many suggest washing the article of clothing first with a prewash stain remover before using alcohol or hand sanitizer. This helps ‘prep' the piece of clothing so as to make it easy for the hand sanitizer or alcohol to do its job.

These laundry tips should help with removal. As a final word of caution, perhaps it would be easier if one was more careful in looking at the surfaces that one might be leaning on, to check if there was sap flowing out of an opening. It does not hurt to check first. Prevention again is the operative word here, so that you can be saved from the effort of taking out sap from your clothing.


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