Remove Tree Sap from Your Car

Remove Tree Sap from Your Car - AutoGlanz AG Car Care

Joe Pritchard |

Especially during the summer our cars are prone to be exposed to tree sap. 

Tree sap can damage a car's paint job and limit visibility through windows if not removed promptly.

To help prevent damage and make sap removal easier, follow this step-by-step guide for cleaning sap off your car.

Key Takeaways

  • Regularly inspect your car for tree sap stains and remove them promptly to prevent damage.
  • Avoid parking under a tree
  • Thoroughly wash your car with car shampoo before removing harder sap stains.
  • Stubborn sap stains, require a tar and glue remover. but can remove stubborn and sticky tree sap
  • Reinforce the clear coat by giving it wax / paint protection. 
  • Damaged paint work might require polishing.

The Impact of Tree Sap on Your Car

Tree sap is a sticky substance that can have a detrimental effect on your car's appearance and performance. When sap comes into contact with your car's paint, it can cause discolouration and even eat through the clear coat, leading to costly repairs. Additionally, sap on your windshield and windows can obstruct your view and make driving dangerous. That's why it's important to promptly remove tree sap from your car to prevent further damage.

Tree sap can be particularly problematic during warmer months, as the heat causes the sap to stick to your car's paint more firmly. Regular inspection is essential to detect sap spots early and take action before they become more difficult to remove. By addressing tree sap promptly, you can maintain the pristine condition of your car and avoid costly repairs in the long run.

Additionally, as the sap hardens, it becomes more difficult to remove and might damage the paint, requiring more aggressive methods that may cause scratches or further damage to the paint.

Preparation: Washing Your Car Thoroughly

Before removing sap stains, it is important to wash your car thoroughly.

This not only removes dirt and grime but also makes sap stains more visible. Some of the sap stains will be removed in this washing phase, and then no other measures will be necessary. Don't scrub excessively to get rid of the sap as you might damage your car paint.

By starting with a clean car, you can better assess the extent of the sap damage and apply the appropriate cleaning methods.

Removing Tree Sap from Car Paint

If you still have tree sap / pine sap on your car paint after washing it - then you need a dedicated detergent for it. 

We recommend Auto Glanz Spar-Tar - a dedicated, tar, glue and tree sap remover that removes resin / tree sap from your car without elbow grease and without damaging the paint.

Spar-Tar product

How To Guide

Apply the remover directly on the sap or to a clean cloth and gently rub the sap until it is completely gone. Auto Glanz Spar-Tar will effectively break down the sap from the affected area, if you let it sit for a short while:

Spray on tree sap

This is the result after cleaning a tree sap that has been sitting for years on the paint: 

Tree sap after Spar-Tar

It the tree sap has burned through the clear coat (as in our case) - you will need to polish the paint.

Polishing after tree sap damage

This is the result after polishing (Under normal lighting conditions - it is almost impossible to see):

Minor remains after polishing

After removing the tree sap, it's important to remove any residue left behind.

Rinse the area with water to remove any residue and dry the paint with a drying towel.

Removing Tree Sap from Windshield and Windows

When it comes to removing tree sap from your car, don't forget to pay attention to your windshield and windows. These areas can also be affected by the sticky substance, making it difficult to remove.

The process for glass is the same as for paint to get the sap off- but try to use a high alcohol glass cleaner for the fresh sap stains. 

Got a Damage From Tree Sap? - Try Polishing Your Car

In some cases you might not be able to remove all of the tree sap from your car's paintwork, if there is hardened tree sap, which is much harder to remove. 

In these cases you will need a machine polisher to polish the last parts of tree sap away - along with a polishing compound such as Auto Glanz AIO

This will in most cases remove all tree sap and residue without scratching the car - unless damage has been done to the clear coat itself.

Protecting Your Paint: Waxing Your Car

Once the sap is removed from your car, it's important to take steps to protect your paint and keep your vehicle looking its best. One effective method is to apply a coat of wax or other paint protection. Waxing your car not only adds a layer of protection but also enhances its shine.

Before you begin waxing, make sure the car is clean and dry. Choose a high-quality car wax that suits your preferences and needs. Apply the wax using a clean, soft cloth or foam applicator pad. Work in small sections.

After applying the wax, allow it to dry according to the product description. Once the wax has dried, use a clean microfiber cloth to buff off the excess wax. This will leave your car with a glossy finish and help protect it from environmental elements, including tree sap.

Regular waxing is important to maintain the protective layer on your car's paint. Depending on the wax you use, you may need to reapply it every few months. By consistently waxing your car, you can keep it looking great and ensure that tree sap is easier to remove in the future.

By following these easy steps and investing a little time and effort, you can effectively remove tree sap from your car, ensuring its long-lasting beauty and protection. Say goodbye to sap stains and enjoy a clean, pristine vehicle.


How does tree sap affect my car?

Tree sap is a sticky substance that can disfigure a car's paint and damage the paintwork. If left unremoved, tree sap can eat through the paint, especially as the days warm up. Regular inspection and immediate removal are recommended to prevent damage.

How do I prepare my car for sap removal?

Before removing sap stains, it is important to wash your car thoroughly to remove dirt and grime. 

How do I remove tree sap from my car's paint?

For fresh sap, water and soap should be sufficient for removal. If the stain is stubborn, apply Spar-Tar.

How do I protect my car's paint from future sap damage?

Apply a coat of wax or paint protection after removing the sap to protect your car's paint. Wax helps remove light swirl marks and provides a protective clear coat. Apply the wax by hand or with a machine buffer, working in small sections. Buff off the excess wax with a microfiber towel for a shiny and protected finish.

What products should I use to remove tree sap from my car?

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