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Tree sap is the devil... need guidance!

zaydq

Senior member
Jul 8, 2012
782
0
0
Hey AT Garage!

I've got an issue. Someone stole my parking spot one day and I parked in another under a large maple tree. I left for a week and came back to find tree sap spots all over the hood, trunk and passenger side of the car!

Mind you, its black, and its a horrible eye sore. The sap is hard as ever and i can't seem to find anything that will get it off!

I've tried:

WD40
Goo Gone: Automotive
Turtle Wax Bug & Tar remover

I've followed instructions, i've also attempted to leave it on longer, hand buff with a microfibre cloth, etc and the stuff just won't budge!

What else can I do? Besides paying somebody to get it off for me. I've googled it and people suggest all sorts of funky remedies but I just don't have the time to sit there trying all of it.
 

zaydq

Senior member
Jul 8, 2012
782
0
0
Mineral spirits.
Being it's Maple sap..and sugary..maybe hot water.boiling?
Whats the game plan when using Mineral spirits? Wouldn't it have a corrosive property to the paint/clear coat?

I could try boiling water...
 

schmuckley

Platinum Member
Aug 18, 2011
2,335
1
0
Whats the game plan when using Mineral spirits? Wouldn't it have a corrosive property to the paint/clear coat?

I could try boiling water...
possibly..I'd test on something else 1st..
I've seen detailers use it for road tar..
 

zaydq

Senior member
Jul 8, 2012
782
0
0
I'll have to pick up some tomorrow.

I've also tried the nail polish remover trick and rubbing alcohol to no avail.

I'm running out of options pretty quick :/
 

zaydq

Senior member
Jul 8, 2012
782
0
0
Clay bar?
Im currently at Walmart to buy one but they don't have any :( looks like that's my final option. Hopefully it works or else I'm pooched. will it work guaranteed? Because its rather time consuming.
 

Zivic

Diamond Member
Nov 25, 2002
3,505
38
91
heat fuel treatment. just make sure you wash the area and reapply wash
 

zaydq

Senior member
Jul 8, 2012
782
0
0
heat fuel treatment. just make sure you wash the area and reapply wash
I may give this a go. I turned to my wallet... but not for cash, for my credit card. I've been scraping away every little spec for the past hour or so. I've got tons more to go, but i figured i'd slowly scrape away at it. I've been using very fine amounts WD-40 to lubricate as I scratch away to avoid damage to the clear coat.

Unfortunately, my luck sucks. This car is only 2 weeks old and i've noticed that my passenger door has been struck twice now by someone else. It could be my neighbour(s) or it could just be from random parking lots.

One of them is on the handle and actually gouged out 2 pieces of paint and left a scuff... but other one is a vertical scuff, obviously from someones door.

Man i hate my OCD.
 

jlee

Lifer
Sep 12, 2001
48,510
219
106
Im currently at Walmart to buy one but they don't have any :( looks like that's my final option. Hopefully it works or else I'm pooched. will it work guaranteed? Because its rather time consuming.
IIRC it took sap off my car, but I didn't have tons of it.

This was on sale for 8 bucks a few days ago. I got one even though I already have one that's unopened..
http://www.amazon.com/Mothers-07240-...r%27s+clay+bar
 

zaydq

Senior member
Jul 8, 2012
782
0
0
IIRC it took sap off my car, but I didn't have tons of it.

This was on sale for 8 bucks a few days ago. I got one even though I already have one that's unopened..
http://www.amazon.com/Mothers-07240-...r%27s+clay+bar
Thanks for the link. I'll check another store tomorrow and compare pricing.

The spots of sap are not very big at all, its tons of little tiny spots littered all over the car. They are very thin and flat too, making it difficult to get a hold on it to remove.

I'll eventually get it all off i'm sure. The weather here has been crap the last few days so i'm waiting on a decent day to be able to bang off the rest + wash + wax the car.

Whats upsetting me more now is the major scuffs from someone slamming their door into mine. I swear it must be my neighbor because no one ever parks next to me in public. Unfortunately, i can't prove it. Man i hate my misfortune... almost negates trying to keep a car look good when anything and everything in its power will ruin it.

Lesson learned... will never buy a black vehicle again.
 

nerp

Diamond Member
Dec 31, 2005
9,844
93
91
Pure isopropyl alcohol. You have to use a bit and let it penetrate the sap. One wipe with a damp cloth won't cut it.
 

zaydq

Senior member
Jul 8, 2012
782
0
0
Pure isopropyl alcohol. You have to use a bit and let it penetrate the sap. One wipe with a damp cloth won't cut it.
I saw a video showing how effective it was. I used paper towel and soaked it with isopropyl alcohol and let it sit for approximately 10 minutes. When i attempted to rub the sap off it didn't do much.
 

Meghan54

Lifer
Oct 18, 2009
10,395
3,395
136
I've found using a credit card or other similar non-scratching plastic scraper will allow you to remove the upper layers of the sap, making it much easier to remove the bottom layer with IPA or the Turtle Wax sap remover or the like.

And Zivic's suggestion for using Heet or any other gas drier out there is sound as gas drying liquids/stuff is almost completeley IPA, or isopropryl alcohol, anyway.
 

zaydq

Senior member
Jul 8, 2012
782
0
0
turtle bug and tar remover. have to scrub a little
That crap did nothing. Scrubbed the same spot for 10 minutes. I've got about 100-200 spots to remove so I don't have the time to scrub each one for 15+ minutes and tar and bug remover.

I've found using a credit card or other similar non-scratching plastic scraper will allow you to remove the upper layers of the sap, making it much easier to remove the bottom layer with IPA or the Turtle Wax sap remover or the like.
I've been using a credit card to remove them with minute amounts of wd40 to avoid scratching. Its working well.. I bought Mother's ClayBar kit and will go over the car to remove the tiny resin that's left over after scraping with the card and then wash and wax. Even bought some touch up paint to fix those door scratches...


I have some isopropyl alcohol and I tried some but it didn't do enough. Could be with the cold climate it needs longer to loosen the sap off.

Works best on a hot day when the car has sat in the sun.
I live in Canada and haven't seen the sun in a week. Won't see heat for another 4-5 months.
 

7window

Golden Member
Nov 12, 2009
1,533
1
0
That crap did nothing. Scrubbed the same spot for 10 minutes. I've got about 100-200 spots to remove so I don't have the time to scrub each one for 15+ minutes and tar and bug remover.



I've been using a credit card to remove them with minute amounts of wd40 to avoid scratching. Its working well.. I bought Mother's ClayBar kit and will go over the car to remove the tiny resin that's left over after scraping with the card and then wash and wax. Even bought some touch up paint to fix those door scratches...


I have some isopropyl alcohol and I tried some but it didn't do enough. Could be with the cold climate it needs longer to loosen the sap off.



I live in Canada and haven't seen the sun in a week. Won't see heat for another 4-5 months.
did you let the bug and tar sit ?
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
26,008
1,511
126
Another option might be hitting it with a hair dryer or heat gun to see if that helps loosen its bond with the paint. You have to be careful not to leave it in one place for too long....but with Fall/Winter temps, that stuff can sometimes get even harder.

I had to park my car under a conifer tree (not sure if it was a spruce or a pine)....but it got all over my car. I ended up just letting it go and after a few months, most had washed/worn off. The last pieces that were the most stubborn actually dried out, got brittle and then just broke off. I believe the sap had actually crystalized by then.
 

7window

Golden Member
Nov 12, 2009
1,533
1
0
Goo gone might work too but let us know what you did. I know sap is one of the tough crap to remove

I have also used orange cleaner. I don't remember where i bought it but it removed the sap with little scrubbing

I have seen the orange cleaner at dollar store don't know if its the same.
 
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BudAshes

Lifer
Jul 20, 2003
13,200
2,185
136
121
Hand Sanitizer. Rub it in to the sap, let it sit for a while then wipe it off.
 

zaydq

Senior member
Jul 8, 2012
782
0
0
Just thought I'd update to let you know that using Mother's Clay Bar kit did not yield favorable results. It worked on some spots but that was with 5 minutes of scrubbing.

Now, Heet's and gasoline I'm willing to try, but I'm worried about the corrosive propertues on the paint.
 

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