How to Remove Tree Sap from Your Car

Fun fact: trees sweat. Unfun fact: they can sweat and stain your car’s paint. Whether your windows and paint is covered in tree sap and sweat or if there’s just a little, this guide and video will show you how to remove tree sap from your car with some water, soap, and a microfiber cloth or sponge.

How to Remove Tree and Pine Sap and Stains from Your Car

How to Remove Tree Sap and Sweat from Your Car’s Body and Windows

How to Prevent Tree and Pine Sap from Staining Your Car

Tree sap on a car’s hood

Don’t park underneath a pine trees in the summer. Pine trees can leak pine sap, and even hardwood trees can drop hardly visible “sweat” that can also land on your car. These can manifest as sap bubbles on the paint and adhere dust, dirt, and other kinds of debris to your paint.

Sap may not cover the entire hood in a single day, but you may find areas with a little sap that looks like misty raindrops and smudges when touched. That is the “sweat” that comes from the hardwood trees.

Steps to Remove Tree Sap and Sweat from Your Car

You may find that taking your car to a car wash does not remove all of the sap. These steps explain how to remove pine and tree sap stains from your car’s paint and windows with soap, water, and a microfiber cloth or sponge.

How to remove tree and pine sap from your car’s paint and windows

  1. Spray the Area with a Pressure Washer

    If you have a pressure washer, spray the area to remove any loose debris, or use a garden hose

  2. Let the Water Soak in the Sap

    Let the water soak for a few minutes before continuing

  3. Apply Soap to the Stained Area and Clean It with a Microfiber Towel or Sponge

    Apply gentle dish detergent or car wash soap to the area, and gently move the sponge or microfiber cloth up and down in vertical strokes. Don’t press too hard to not damage the paint and remove the sap.

    You want to wipe it with a smooth, soft and non-abrasive item like a microfiber cloth or a sponge instead of a scuff pad to prevent leaving marks on and damaging the paint, especially on darker vehicles.

    As a general note, putting any objects other than what’s specified can damage the paint. For example, a detailer product could work, but it could also ruin the paint

  4. Wax the Surface

    Apply a light wax by spraying the surface and lightly wiping it down with a microfiber cloth

  5. Spray Glass Cleaner on the Window

    If there is tree sap on the window, spray it with glass cleaner and let it soak for a few minutes

  6. Remove the Sap with a Razor Blade or Cloth

    Scrape the sap and cleaner off with a razor blade, or clean it off with a cloth. You might have to use a lot of cloth if the window is covered in sap.

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How to Remove Tree Sap from Your Car - Expert Advice - 1A Auto
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How to Remove Tree Sap from Your Car - Expert Advice - 1A Auto
Follow the steps from our expert mechanics in this guide and video and learn how to remove tree sap from your car in a few simple steps
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1A Auto
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