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I've some stuff on my truck that appears to have come from parking under a tree. I think it is tree sap but it is not soft and sticky like pine tar; it is caked on hard and solid; more like a rosin. If I scrape it (gently) it is real powdery like the dust from a block of rosin you use on a violin bow.

How can I get this stuff off? I have tried Bug & Tar remover, turpentine, mineral spirits and even gasoline. Nothing has been able to remove it. I'm afraid I'm going to have to sand it down and paint it (obviously not my first choice).

Any thoughts?
 

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This always happens to me. Palm tree sap and sap from other trees always get all over my hood. I wash it and just scrub real hard when it comes to the effected areas. If it doesn't all come out then I use quik detailer and rub it out with a microfiber towel.
Good luck!
 

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Have you tried a clay bar and waxing it? I have the same issue with mine. Since I no longer have a car, I don't park in my garage (wife took over with her car). Anyway, I have a tree outside I refer to as the "pissing tree" because it squirts what I think is water but is actually sap. When it gets windy, the sap ends up on the whole left side of my truck and looks like very tiny rain drops when it dries. It comes off with some effort but I hate it--PITA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have tried Instant Detailer and lots of rubbing. I have also tried Goo Gone. Nada.
 

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That's one of those things you just have to use elbow grease. May I suggest Isopropyl alcohol. Having a Super white truck, ALL Tree sap, bug spot's show very well, at times I have to pull out the alcohol and...the Alcohol and go to work.
 

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autoglym makes a tar remover that's designed for that purpose. I know walmart carries the line now and I believe checkers may carry it too! good brand with good products that have been around for a while. If not that, then give Stoner's Tarminator a try as well. With all the scrubbing and heavy use of IPA you risk marring your paint in the efforts to remove the sap.
 

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^This is what I'm afraid of. I just got back from vacation for about a week. As soon as I got back I washed the truck since it's been sitting outside and sure enough, looks like someone sprayed the truck with some hard water....very tiny drops but it's actually from the tree I mentioned above.

After the wash, I tried using the detailer and clay bar to take it out, then I used some Mother's reflection. Made a difference but it is still noticeable when I come close to it and put my OCD goggles on. So, I tired using Windex on a small spot and it came off with ease. I think I may wash it again in some dawn dishwashing detergent. I need something that can breakdown the sap and keep the clearcoat and paint.

Maybe I should just take that tree off...strap it on the truck and yank it!! LOL..too bad its the city's tree.
 

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I am having the very same problem as well. Truck is usually parked under a cottonwood tree. And I have these small dark "droppings" all over. I am afraid to rub as it will hurt the paint.

Delrmx, if you tried widex and it came off easy... why not use it?
 

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I have had good luck with dried stuff from trees (mostly redwood stuff) by spreading a wet towel over the area and letting it sit for a few hours (all day if necessary). Just make sure the towel stays wet. It will usually soften up the deposits and then you can wipe it off.
 

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I've some stuff on my truck that appears to have come from parking under a tree. I think it is tree sap but it is not soft and sticky like pine tar; it is caked on hard and solid; more like a rosin. If I scrape it (gently) it is real powdery like the dust from a block of rosin you use on a violin bow.

How can I get this stuff off? I have tried Bug & Tar remover, turpentine, mineral spirits and even gasoline. Nothing has been able to remove it. I'm afraid I'm going to have to sand it down and paint it (obviously not my first choice).

Any thoughts?
You know a lot of wax comes from trees. Actually carnuaba wax is a tree by product, Three sap is very much a base wax. It will bond with wax on contact.
So treat it like you would a wax, Use dishwashing liquid to cut it off.
Your next step is to use a protectant on the car that the tree sap cannot bond to. An acrylic paint conditioner is an excellent surface protectant.
Tree sap cannot bond to it like it can a unprotected or waxed surface so it comes off real easy.
 

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You know a lot of wax comes from trees. Actually carnuaba wax is a tree by product, Three sap is very much a base wax. It will bond with wax on contact.
So treat it like you would a wax, Use dishwashing liquid to cut it off.
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Dishwashing liquid will not take tree sap off, nor will tree sap bond with car wax on contact. Tree sap needs to be removed with a solvent if it is to be done correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Tree sap needs to be removed with a solvent if it is to be done correctly.
Thanks, Brandon. What kind of solvent would you suggest?
 

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I've had good luck with Stoners Tarminator. That, and a little plastic razor blade does the trick on all but the worst sap.
 

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I'ver heard good things about tarminator and would definitely try that first, but I had some sap that wouldn't come off (Clay, tar remover, kerosene etc) and ended up using acetone (Nail polish remover) and immediately washed it and polished/rewaxed it and it looked fine for serveral years until we sold the car. Not sure what it does to the clear coat, but it was the only way to get the sap off.

I also use this sponge thing on my weekly wash for the hood etc.
Safe Scrub Bug & Tar Pad can be used on glass, chrome, vinyl, fiberglass, paint and clearcoats—100% safe when used with soapy water.

Good luck
 
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