How to Remove Tree Sap Quickly and Easily

Published August 5, 2020
drop of sap

You can remove tree sap quickly from various things, including your skin. If you follow a few simple steps, you'll find it's easy to learn how to remove tree sap.

How to Remove Tree Sap From Skin

One of the easiest ways to remove tree sap from your skin is a simple hand sanitizer. If you don't have hand sanitizer, you can use rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl alcohol), which is the actual ingredient in hand sanitizer that breaks down the chemical properties of sap (resin) so it's easy to remove.

Use Hand Sanitizer

Apply the hand sanitizer directly onto your skin to cover the sap. Then, use a piece of paper towel to swipe the residue from your skin.

Mother squeezing hand sanitizer

Rubbing Alcohol

If you opt to use rubbing alcohol, douse a folded piece of tissue, paper towel, cotton ball, or gauze with the Isopropyl alcohol and gently rub it over the sap on your skin. You need to work fairly quickly since alcohol evaporates rapidly when exposed to the air. You may need to reapply if the sap is stubborn or has hardened on your skin.

How to Remove Sap From Hair

While you can use Isopropyl alcohol to remove sap in your hair, you may want to try something gentler. You can use an oil--any kind will work--to break down the sap. Likewise, you can safely use cooking spray if you prefer. This is very effective if the sap has begun to harden.

  1. The oil will lubricate your hair, so the sap will easily slip and release from your hair.
  2. Work the oil into your hair with your fingers.
  3. Use a paper towel to pull the sap and oil from your hair.
  4. Finish the final removal with a fine-tooth comb.
  5. Wash and condition your hair as you normally do.
Woman applying conditioner on hair

How to Remove Tree Sap From Clothes

The most common way to remove tree sap from clothing is with Isopropyl alcohol. Work the area covered with sap by using a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol. You can also use a dishcloth or washcloth.

  1. Gently rub the sap area with the cotton ball or cloth.
  2. It may take a few minutes for the chemical reaction of the alcohol and sap.
  3. The sap will eventually release from the fabric.
  4. Launder your clothing as you normally do.

How to Remove Tree Sap From Car

There are a few methods for removing sap from your car you may want to try. Just be sure to do a test area before applying any method. You can safely use hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol on most car interiors. Be sure to always do a test spot before committing to using either one.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Use the same method of cotton balls and rubbing alcohol to remove sap on a vehicle.

  • Do a small test area; however, Isopropyl alcohol shouldn't be harmful to the paint finish on your car.
  • Don't attack the sap too vigorously since you could end up scuff or scratching your car.
  • Take your time and work in the alcohol slowly so it breaks down the sap and it releases.

Spray WD 40 on Sap

WD-40 removes sap and tar stains from many surfaces. If you have a can of WD 40:

  1. Spray it directly onto the sap.
  2. Allow it to set for a few minutes.
  3. Take a clean cloth and wipe the sap away with the WD 40.

That's all it takes. The WD 40 won't hurt your paint finish, although it could remove any wax application. If it does remove some of the wax, you can always reapply the wax to restore that shine!

Spraying WD 40 on car

Removing Tree Sap Is Easy When You Know How

Once you understand the type of chemicals you need to remove the stickiness of sap, you realize it's easy. You can remove sap (resin) from a wide variety of objects and items with these methods.

How to Remove Tree Sap Quickly and Easily