How to Clean Tree Sap From Your Clothes (and Everything Else)

How to Clean Tree Sap From Your Clothes (and Everything Else)

Tree sap can get on your clothes, car, shoes, deck furniture, and countless other places you might not expect it. Here’s how to clean it off.

Use a small amount of alcohol to clean sap from your car

Not only is sap on your car annoying, but according to Big’s Mobile Detailing, it can also be harmful to your paint and windows. The most important thing is that you should try to clean it off sooner rather than later, as the heat can further attach the sticky stuff to your paint, risking more damage when you finally remove it.

First, consider how long the sap has been there. If it doesn’t come off easily with your regular soap and water, add a dab of rubbing alcohol, let it sit for 30 seconds, and wipe it off with a clean rag. Keep doing it until the sap is gone. The same process works for your windshield, but if the sap is resisting even the alcohol, you’ll need to use a razor blade to pry it off, then clean your glass as normal.

Put your shoes in the freezer to get rid of tree sap

Sap on the ground quickly becomes sap on your shoes, which is a problem for not only your footwear, but any carpets or rugs in your home. To get it off, put your shoes in the freezer. According to Backpacker, they should be in there at least two hours. (For small stains, you can also dab them with ice, but that’s going to take a while.) After the sap is frozen, scrape it off gently with a butter knife or other solid tool. Next, use rubbing alcohol again: Dab some on with a cloth or cotton ball to get rid of staining. You may have to repeat the dabbing a few times, but you can wash the shoes as normal when you’re all done.

How to clean tree sap from your carpets

Dab at the stain with alcohol, but be advised you may need to really work it in with your fingers if it’s sunk deep into the fibres, per All Kleen Carpets. Continue to dab it up with a paper towel until the stain is gone, and rinse with warm water and a clean cloth.

How to get sap off your outdoor furniture

Cleaning sap off of outdoor furniture depends on what your furniture is made of. If it’s fabric, Lazy Susan Furniture recommends not picking at it, but mixing four parts white vinegar with six parts water and soaking the spot to soften it. Do this with a clean rag and press the rag to the area for two minutes. Once it’s softened, wipe it with a cloth and then use a little laundry soap mixed in warm water to dab at it again before rinsing with cold water and letting it air dry.

On plastic or rattan furniture, rubbing alcohol can be a little harsh, so try dabbing hand sanitizer or Goo Gone on it instead, but keep the rest of the process the same.

How to clean tree sap from your clothes

You’ll want to remove excess sap with a blunt knife or similar tool, then dabbing the stain with rubbing alcohol or alcohol-based hand sanitizer and blotting it off. (You can test the fabric first by dabbing alcohol on an inside seam and blotting it with a towel after one or two minutes. If the colour starts to bleed, skip the alcohol and move straight to the next step.)

Next, take a soft-bristled brush and work some laundry detergent into the fabric. Let it sit about five minutes and then wash the item as normal — on hot, if your clothes can take it. If any sap is left after the cycle is done, repeat the process again before putting it into the dryer.

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