How To Remove Tree Sap

Are you having a problem with sticky tree sap? This sticky mess can adhere to your vehicle, clothes and even your hands. Unfortunately tree sap won’t wash off with soap and water. Follow these steps to remove sap from almost any surface.

You'll need the following:

  • Soap and warm water
  • Paper towels
  • Rubbing alcohol


  1. Dip the paper towel into the rubbing alcohol. You want to dampen the edge of the paper towel but not soak or saturate it. Alcohol can be harsh so you want to use a small amount.
  2. Press the paper towel against the surface. Hold towel with rubbing alcohol against the sap for a few moments.
  3. Dab the sap and rub lightly. Try to turn the paper towel as you rub some off so that you don’t get sap stuck to another area of the surface. After a few turns of the paper towel you should notice the sap dislodging from the surface and sticking to the rag.
  4. Repeat steps one through three until all the sap is removed. Sometimes the sap will need a few repetitions before you can remove it all.
  5. Wash the surface and your hands with soap and water. Try not to leave alcohol on the skin as it might cause irritation. Wash the surface as well as your hands to remove the mineral spirits and any sap residue.

Using alcohol works to remove sap from most common household items. For harsher sap stains you may try nail polish remover or mineral spirits. Experiment to remove sap and you might be able to save many items you once thought were beyond repair or cleaning.


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