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Tips For Removing Sticky Tree Sap
Last updated: 18 February 2020
Most people look forward to Christmas trees because of the beauty they bring to the home. However, these trees contain sap on their exterior, which may ruin important stuff around the house. Besides pine trees, different varieties of maple trees also contain sap.
Tree sap can be very annoying, especially if it sticks on your favorite clothes, car, or deck. That is why you should find effective ways to remove it and salvage your precious items. This article provides you with several ways to remove tree sap from almost everything. Read on to learn more.
Removing tree sap from decking
When hauling your Christmas tree to your house, the sticky juice may drip on the deck, leaving stains that are very difficult to remove. The sap creates stubborn messes on the deck that should be cleaned as soon as possible to avoid ruining the deck’s paint or stain.
To remove the tree sap from your deck, you will need a deck stripper, scrub brush, and water. Then, follow the steps below to clean the deck.
- Read all the label precautions of the deck stripper to know how it is used. Then, apply it to the affected areas on the deck. You can pour the stripper directly on the sap or apply using a brush. When using a brush, ensure to follow the grain of the wood.
- Let the stripper sit for 10-15 minutes to saturate the sap. If the sap is thick, allow it to soak for a longer time.
- Use the scrub brush to scrub the sap, but make sure you work with the wood grain. If some of the sap soaked into the wood grooves, ensure you eradicate it.
- Repeat the process as needed to make sure all the sap is gone.
- Once you remove all the sap from the wood, rinse your deck using a hosepipe and leave it to dry.
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Removing tree sap from a car
Whether you like it or not, the sap will stick on your car when carrying your beautiful fresh pine tree to your home. Removing sap from your vehicle is not easy. You must be cautious not to scrub off the polish, which may be costly to replace.
If the sap lingers for too long, it can erode your car’s polish and discolor the underlying paint. Several DIY methods of getting rid of sap include hand sanitizer, olive/cooking oil, heat, or acetone-based nail polish remover.
- When using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, start by soaking a cotton ball in the sanitizer.
- Place the cotton on the sap for about two minutes.
- Rub gently but slowly along the area with the sap to avoid harming the surface of the car.
- Repeat as needed until the sap loosens up and breaks off from the car’s surface. Then, wipe your vehicle using a clean damp cloth.
If you prefer using heat, you can use a blow-dryer. Heat returns the sap to its natural viscous state for easy removal. Blow-dry the problem area using your blow-dryer until the sap becomes drippy and liquid. Then, wipe the sap using a towel and ensure the surface is as clean as new. For optimal results, put a dab of sanitizer on the towel to remove the sap completely.
Removing tree sap from clothing
Tree sap clings to everything it comes across, including clothes. It can be very annoying to find your favorite dress or shirt stained with sap. Luckily, you do not have to throw away your clothes because there are ways to get rid of the sap.
When removing tree sap from your clothes, you will need a cleaner, such as rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, nail polish remover, peanut butter, cooking oil, WD-40, and Goof off, among others. You will also need a soft cloth and a laundry detergent.
- Gently scrape off the tree sap with a spoon or dull knife. Scraping off the sap reduces its amount to make it easier to remove with a cleaning detergent.
- Choose the perfect cleaner from the several options mentioned above. When using cleaners such as nail polish or hand sanitizer, ensure you test it first on a cloth’s hidden area to determine whether it causes any damage. If you choose hand sanitizer, ensure you select an alcohol-based one for best results.
- After choosing your preferred cleaner, apply a small amount on a soft cloth and blot at the tree sap.
- If the tree sap is thick or the affected area is large, pour the cleaner directly on the problem area and work gently with your fingers.
- Wash the clothing, as usual, using a regular detergent and warm water.
- Before you place the clothing into the dryer, ensure all the sap is removed. Also, check whether all the oil is removed if you used an oil-based remover like peanut butter.
- If there are sap remains, repeat the process above before you put the clothing in the dryer.
Removing tree sap from dog fur
Pets love playing with anything, so it is not surprising to find tree sap on their fur or paws. Sap is dangerous for the animal, especially on the paws, because it may cause small rocks and needles to stick on the pet’s paws. This may be very painful for your animal and cause severe issues if left unchecked.
When the sap sticks on the pet’s fur, the following simple steps will help you get rid of it without harming your animal.
- If the sap is already hardened, soften it using a hairdryer. Set the dryer to the lowest heat to avoid hurting your animal. You can test the dryer on your hand first to determine whether the warmth is safe.
- Loosen the sap from the pet’s fur using mineral oil, olive oil, or peanut butter. Gently massage the remover on the affected area and let it sit for several minutes. Make sure you use products that will not harm the animal if ingested.
- Use a wide-toothed comb or fingers to remove the sap from the animal’s fur carefully. Wipe off the oily remover and residue using a paper towel or washcloth.
- In case stubborn patches form near the fur tips, trim them carefully using scissors. Do not cut too close to your animal’s skin.
- Cleanse the animal with a pet-friendly shampoo and warm water. Rinse as much as needed until you get rid of all the oily product.
Removing tree sap from skin
Tree sap may stick to your hands or skin when hauling pine trees or collecting maple syrup from your maple trees. Removing the sticky substance from your hands using soap and water may take forever. Luckily, we have several tips to help you remove sap from your skin completely. You can use several products like hand sanitizer and cooking oil.
- The hand sanitizer you use should be alcohol-based for best results. Ensure the sanitizer contains at least 60% ethanol, n-propanol, or isopropyl alcohol.
- Rub the hand sanitizer on the affected area to remove the sap. Squirt a little amount of the sanitizer and ensure you rub it around vigorously on your skin or hands.
- Wash your hands using soap and water until all the sap is removed.
- If your hands still feel sticky, repeat the process. Avoid putting the sanitizer on open cuts and wounds. Also, if you have sensitive or flaky skin, use an oil-based product instead of hand sanitizer as it works perfectly as well.
Removing tree sap from Carpet
Sap can also stick on your carpets, whether from Christmas tree drippings or stickiness brought into the house by shoe tracks. It is quite challenging to remove sap from carpeting. The best product to use is an alcohol-based hand sanitizer as it works excellently.
You will need rubbing alcohol or alcohol-based hand sanitizer and a soft cloth or paper towels.
- Alcohol is the best and quickest way to remove sap as it dries it up quickly. However, you should test with a small hidden area first to determine whether it will discolor the mat or not.
- Moisten a paper towel or soft cloth with hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol.
- Blot the affected area with a moistened paper towel or cloth.
- Switch the cloth or paper towel frequently when rubbing on the affected area to avoid reapplying the sap.
- In case the problem area is deep, apply the alcohol further down and massage it gently with your fingers.
- Blot up all loosened sap with a clean cloth or paper towel before the remover dries up to avoid starting over.
- Repeat the process until all the sap is removed
- In case the problem area is large and deep, allow the carpet to dry between applications. When dry, you can feel the hard or sticky parts, then repeat the process until you remove all the sap.
These simple DIY sap removal tips are essential for all kinds of people. Do not let tree sap ruin your precious items, yet you can remove it without a big hassle. Also, there is no need to hire a handyman to do the task for you because the removal process is simple and straightforward.
Author: Ben McInerney – Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.
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