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How to Safely Remove Tree Sap From Auto Paint

by Constance Barker

When tree sap drips onto your car it has a sticky, syrupy consistency, but after air and sun exposure, it thickens and hardens. Scraping the sap after it has cemented onto the auto could remove part of the paint or leave scratches. Tree sap removal requires a product that can dissolve it so it can ease from the paint without damaging the auto.

Mineral Spirits

Pour 2 tbsp. of mineral spirits onto a rag.

Wipe the tree sap generously with the mineral spirits. Allow the substance to permeate and soften the sap for 10 minutes.

Rub the mineral spirits and the tree sap from the paint with a clean, damp rag.

Baking Soda

Mix 2 tbsp. of baking soda with enough water to form a thick paste.

Cover the tree sap with the baking soda. Rub the baking soda into the tree sap with a damp sponge.

Pour boiling water over the baking soda and tree sap.

Wipe any remaining baking soda or tree sap from the car with a damp rag.

Hand Sanitizer

Squeeze 1 tsp. of hand sanitizer directly on the tree sap. Spread the sanitizer with your finger so it completely covers the sap.

Wet a soft cloth with warm water.

Wipe the cloth over the tree sap, removing it and the sanitizer from the paint. If portions of the sap remain, cover it with the hand sanitizer and wait five minutes before removing.


  • Wax the affected area of the paint after removing the tree sap. Most removal methods strip the car of wax and polish.

Items you will need

About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.

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