How to Remove Tree Sap From Car Window


Tree saps are sticky, brownish forms found on trees. This sap can easily attract dirt and grime, making it hard to clean without the right technique. Also, tree saps usually stick onto windows of cars making the window difficult to view outside from inside the car or vice versa. But do not worry because you will learn how to remove tree sap from a car window in this article. So let us get started.

How to Remove Tree Sap From Car Window

Step-wise Guide on How to Remove Tree Sap From Car Window

As we all know, tree sap is a sticky substance that can pose a big challenge to any car owner.   It attacks your privacy when it’s on the windows of your car in public places. No matter how much you try to eliminate this issue, it won’t go away for some time or, even worse – forever! But don’t worry!

Here are several tactics you might want to work with.

Technique #1:

Use an ice cube and rubbing alcohol to remove sap stains.

First, put an ice cube on each stain and let it freeze overnight. The ice will break up the thickest, stickiest sap with ease.

Next, add two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol into 2 quarts of warm water. Then wash off the stained area using a sponge or towel.

Use Cold Water and Dish Soap Mix one quart of water with 1/4 cup of dish soap, then put the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray the sap stain, let it sit for 15 minutes, then wipe the area with a sponge or towel to remove the sap completely. This will not damage your flooring in any way!

Technique #2:

Rubbing Alcohol and Brush Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the stained area with a clean sponge, cloth, or paper towel. Follow up by using the brush to scrub off the sap! Olive Oil and Toothbrush If the spruce-tip sap is still moist, you can use olive oil to remove it. To do this, apply a small amount of the oil with a clean cloth or paper towel to the area where the sap is located.

Apply Rubbing Alchohol

Technique #3:

WD-40 This one is commonly used for removing tree sap from car windows. Dab some WD-40 onto a soft cloth and wipe off gently. Repeat this process until all stains have been cleansed away. WD-40 works well for removing sticky residue and soiling from many surfaces around the house.

Technique #4:

Vinegar and Soap Add one-fourth cup of vinegar to an equal amount of water in a spray bottle. Spray it onto the affected area, then wipe it off with a clean cloth using a circular motion.  Lastly, rinse the area with water. Vinegar and Baking Soda Mix together equal parts baking soda and vinegar and make a paste. Apply the paste to the affected area, let it sit for 20 minutes, then rinse it off with water.

Is Tree Sap Harmful to Car?

Tree sap is very sticky and harmful to cars. It always spoils the beauty of the car’s exterior. In addition, tree sap damages the clear coat of paint on your car, topcoat, or even undercoat, thus reducing its life span.

Sap from tree contains certain compound on it which attract dust easily hence reduces shine of your car. The sticky substance makes it hard to clean, leading to permanent surface damage. When it rains, the dirt gets into your paint job through cracks and scratches and makes them look worse than before; this will ultimately reduce the resale value of your vehicle when you want to sell it off soon, if not now. If you own a luxury car with metallic paint, it is twice the trouble for you as it gets very hard to clean the sap from metallic paint.

Tree sap will always attract more dirt, thus scratching your car. So, if you have a garage or covered parking space where no dust can settle on your car, tree sap is not that harmful as it will get washed off quickly whenever you wash your car.

Tree Saps Are Really Harmful For Car

Precautions While Performing How to Remove Tree Sap From Car Window:

  • Make sure that the windows are not wet or dirty.
  • DO NOT use steel wool, car wax, polish remover, gasoline, or turpentine to remove tree sap from the car window.
  • DO NOT scratch your windshield while removing tree sap with a scraper, as it may hurt visibility and weaken the windshield glass plastic coating in time.
  • Clean the stained area immediately when you notice the problem; otherwise, it will leave permanent marks on your glass surface, which cannot be removed easily by normal cleaning methods later on (especially if there are layers of dried-up saps).
  • Remove fresh saps immediately before they dry out completely, as any dried one is almost impossible to remove without damaging your car’s exterior finish or the window itself.
  • If you can’t remove some sticky sap from the car window, apply a thinner coat of latex (rubber) or silicone and wait 15 minutes to dry out. Use a wet cloth to clean the dried layer gently before applying another layer if necessary.
  • If you can still not remove the stubborn saps, try removing them with ice cubes wrapped in kitchen tissue paper as they soften hardened tree saps slightly and make it easier to scrap them off without damaging your vehicle’s paintwork or windows too much.

How Can Tree Sap Formation Be Reduced?

Wash Your Car Regularly:  

You should regularly wash your car at least once every two weeks, better still, once in two days, or, even better, use a waterless wash to remove road grime.

Use Rain-X:

To prevent tree sap on car windows from sticking firmly to the glass, you can apply Rain-x on the surface of the windscreen before it rains and then rinses off after a few minutes when the rain stops.  This product will form a silky barrier on the surface of the glass that will reduce the tree saps’ ability to stick to it. However, this product may be tough to find in some countries outside the United States and Canada.

Apply Rain-x To Car Windows

Try Using a Rain Repellent Agent:   

Another way of reducing the likelihood of tree sap on car windows is to apply a special rain repellent agent that can be easily purchased at any auto parts store near you.

Avoid Using Cheap Windshield Wiper Blades: 

One main cause of window saps sticking to windscreens is worn-out windshield wiper blades. Replace them with high-quality ones for a better job, and also, it will reduce the accumulation of tree saps on car windows.

Avoid Park Under Trees During Summer Months:  

It is good to avoid parking under trees during the summer months. You will significantly reduce the chances of tree saps forming on your car windows.

Keep Your Car Windows Clean: 

Use glass cleaner regularly and wash off the surface of the window at least once every three days to prevent tree sap from sticking to it.

Use Glass Cleaner Regularly

Try Squirting Windshield Washer Fluid: 

You should try squirting windshield washer fluid on any film or residue left by tree saps on your car windows. This method can work very well sometimes if combined with simple scrubbing with a soft cloth.

Which Component is Best for Tree Sap Removal?

The car wash soap you choose is crucial when working to remove tree sap from auto glass.   The best option for a tree resin stain is to use an ammonia-based product, such as those made by Meguiar’s and Turtle Wax.   Ammonia will cut grooves into the resin, allowing easy removal with a squeegee or soft sponge.

If your car wash includes ammonia, avoid using it on parts of your vehicle other than the windshield.  Ammonia can damage paint if left in contact with it for more than 10-15 minutes.  This chemical also damages rubber and vinyl surfaces, so do not let it come into contact with anything that does not repel water.

When choosing an ammonia-based product for resin removal, look for one that includes an abrasive component.   This will speed up the removal process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Rubbing Alcohol Damage Car Paint?

No, rubbing alcohol is not a car paint stripper. It can only remove some types of dried and cured paints from surfaces such as vinyl, plastics, rubber, and metal.

Can I Use Dish Soap to Wash My Car Windows?

It is recommended that you do not use dish soap to wash your car windows. Dish soap contains chemicals and additives that are not good for the surface of your car.

Do Not Use Dish Soap

Does Windex Remove Tree Sap?

It is difficult to say whether Windex removes tree sap because the answer depends on how much it sticks to your windshield. If you have a lot of sap, it may not be enough to clean the whole surface.

However, if you are looking for a glass cleaner that removes tree sap and another sticky residue from windows, Windex is a good option as it can remove all kinds of stubborn stains.


Whether you are taking a beautiful drive along the coast or traveling on a busy highway, some day’s weather conditions seem to be against you.  Tree sap can splash up and stick to your windshield, obscuring your vision.  It is also difficult to remove sticky tree saps from car windows for some novice owners. I hope this article has provided you with simple steps to show you how to remove tree sap from the car window. Thank you and have a nice day!

You can check it out – How to Fix a Bent Car Door Frame

Louis Wein

Louis Wein

Louis has always been fascinated by cars. He loves the way they look, the sound of the engine, and how they make him feel when he's driving. He is always keen to learn more about different mechanics of cars and how the engine contributes to other aspects of the car. As an automotive technician with over 10 years of experience, he knew how they worked and loved taking them apart to see how they went back together. He was especially interested in the mechanics of combustion engines and loved finding ways to make them more efficient. He loves to work on cars and help people keep their vehicles running smoothly. As a senior editor, he enjoys contributing to Diy quickly because it allows him to share his knowledge and expertise with others.

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