You know the drill – you park in the shade on a hot summer day to keep the car as cool as possible. An hour later you return to see blotches of tree sap spotting your pristine paint job. As mad as you are, you know the curses you let fly won’t fix the problem. You will need to take action – and the sooner the better.
You know from experience that the sticky stuff is hard to remove, as in a real pain! If you let it sit too long, it is even more difficult to remove. With that said, let’s look at a few options you can try.
First and foremost, keep in mind that the less pressure you apply as you clean is better. Also, harsh chemicals are not usually a good choice. While the team at Collision Specialists always welcomes your business, we want to help you to help yourself in this case.
The first line of defense is also the simplest. A quick trip through the carwash may do the job, but don’t get your hopes up. Once you get home, a number of household items may prove to be useful. Keep in mind that no matter what sap remover you use, it is best to thoroughly rinse the area you worked on. This will prevent (or at least minimize) the dulling effect on your finish. Always use a soft cloth or cotton balls to apply the remover. If you have a lady at home who uses nail polish remover, it may provide a good first attempt. Just apply a few drops on a cotton ball and gently wipe the affected area. As it dissolves and removes the sap, it may leave a slight residue. Make a paste of baking soda and water to remove the residue and rinse liberally with water. Another item many of us have in our tool shed is mineral spirits. Again, apply it to a soft cloth and gently rub the area. When the sap is removed, rinse liberally with clean water. Other common household items to use are: hand sanitizer; lighter fluid; rubbing alcohol; WD-40; or Goof Off. Apply these directly to the sap and let it set for a while. As the sap is dissolved, just wipe it off with a clean, soft rag. Once again, rinse completely. There are commercial products available also, which can be purchased at any automotive supply store.
Remember, if the sap removal process dulls your finish buff the area to restore the luster. A complete wash and wax may be preferred also. After all, you want your baby to shine, right? Don't want to do it yourself? If you live near Tacoma, Washington we have an auto detailing service and can help you with this. If your car's auto paint has been damaged we have a full service auto paint and repair shop that can help you.