Have you ever left your car parked under the shade of a huge tree? Sure, it can be useful in beating the heat, and the sun won’t hurt the paint job too much.

But that doesn’t mean your car is safe.

No, the biggest problem with leaving your car under a tree is tree sap – one of the worst things to get on your car.

Are you looking for ways to get rid of it? Then rest easy because this article will help you with the process of tree sap removal!

What is tree sap, and where does it come from?

Tree sap is a liquid that is formed inside the trees. These plants sometimes let it seep outside. Other times, insects suck it out of the trunk of the tree.

How does it get on your car? Well, the one thing to know is that trees don’t generally spew sap everywhere. The sap on your car is more likely to be honeydew, an excretion by insects who feed on the trees.

Why should you get rid of tree sap on your car?

Do you want scatterings of sticky material all over your car? We sure don’t! Not only is this material gluey and annoying, but it also darkens over time and will look hideous on your otherwise beautiful car.

Plus, it gets harder to remove with time, making it all the more irritating and dangerous because it can damage the car’s paint job.

Ways to remove the tree sap:

As mentioned above, the longer you leave the tree sap on your car, the harder it will be to remove. Thus, your best option is to do it quickly.

Of course, to clean up, you’ll need a few products to help you along the way. Normal soap and water don’t cut it – you need special stuff. Here are a number of the items that may prove useful during this process.

Products Required for Tree Sap Removal

  • Nail Polish Remover

You have to pour this on a cotton ball and wipe it on the sap. The mess should come right off! After the removal, clean away the residue left on the car with a mixture of baking soda and water. Finally, you can wash everything off to leave behind a shiny car that exceeds your expectations.

  • Mineral Spirit

You will need to wet a small cloth with this spirit, i.e., turpentine. Once the sap is taken off, you can wash the car to destroy the residue.

  • Commercial Car Cleaning Products

These products are available with car dealers and at automotive shops. These may be a bit more expensive than the other options, but they are for professional-level cleaning, making them worth it!

  • Tar Remover

A tar and bug remover can also be considered a sap remover with how it easily helps get rid of the tree sap and aphid honeydew.


Processes of Tree Sap Removal From Car

  1. Warm washing

2. Spraying and Cleaning with a Cloth

3. Rubbing it off after using a removal product (may be more likely to dull or damage the paint job)

Removing Hardened Tree Sap

Still, if you end up finding hardened tree sap on your car, you can also try to remove it.

This may be more difficult to get rid of, but it’s not impossible. There are three simple items you can use:

  • WD40
  • Lighter Fluid/Alcohol
  • Bacon Grease

And the best part is, you can find all these at home!

A few more tips:

  • Remember not to leave the removal products on for too long, especially the rubbing alcohol, because it can damage the car’s paint.
  • You can work to prevent tree sap splatters in the first place by not parking under the trees. While this won’t stop the tree sap from falling on your car, it will minimize it.
  • Remember! The spot on your car will be dull after you clean it, so have your polish in hand for when you’re done cleaning.


In short, tree sap removal is an important process.

Since the tree sap on a car hardens over time to mar its beauty and damage the paint job, you should keep that in mind when buying a used car. Cars with no need for tree sap removal will be the best option! Remember to check the Carfax reports when you do.

Of course, if your car has a lot of tree sap on it, it’s your job to get rid of it as soon as possible, using any of the ways recommended in this article.

And with this guide, you can easily remove tree sap from the car without damaging the paint job.

We hope this helps!