Did you recently park under a tree to keep your car out of the hot summer sun, only to come back to a sticky substance on your vehicle’s paint? Tree sap is one of the worst and most damaging contaminants for your car’s paint. Once the sap heats up under the sun it becomes impossible to wash off. Cleaning it quickly is the key to removing it, if the sap sits on the vehicle long enough it will eat through the clear coating and damage or discolor the paint.
Wash your entire vehicle with soapy water, the hotter the water temperature the better and use a wash mitt or microfiber cloth - give it a really good scrub. Once you’ve washed the entire vehicle with soap, rinse it well.
There are professional cleaning products that can help with the sap removal - such as Goo Gone and Turtle Wax Bug and Tar Remover. For these products you’ll want to use a Microfiber cloth - and spray the Turtle Wax, leave it on for a minute, wipe with a microfiber cloth until the sap has been removed and then buff clean.
Use this method if the sap has been on the vehicle for a long time. You’ll want to cut the clay bar into three pieces and squeeze the clay in your hand until it becomes easily pliable, spray it with water, and slide the clay back and forth over the area without applying too much pressure. When the clay becomes dirty, fold it in half until you have a clean surface and repeat the process as much as necessary. Wipe with a microfiber cloth.
Once your vehicle is clean, consider waxing it to protect your paint in the future.
There are a few other options available including using WD-40, rubbing alcohol and if the sap is on your windshield the best tip is to use a razor blade to scrape it off and Invisible Glass to clean it.
Follow these tips to keep your car shiny and sap free!