How to get tree sap off car paint and windshield safely at home

Updated Apr 28, 2021 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips

No need for special tools.

Tree saps dropping on your car is pretty much inevitable if you park your car outside. Once it makes contact with your car, it is difficult to remove especially if it stayed for a longer time. Worse, it can damage your car paint if you try to remove the glued tree saps.

The same idea goes to when a tree sap affixes on your car’s windshield. The longer it stays there, the higher the chances that it will result in unwanted stretches. With that being said, tree saps should be avoided at any time of the day.

Tree sap on a tree

Tree saps can cause damage to your car when left unattended

This is why we have listed down few steps you can do to remove tree saps on your car’s paint and windshield. We have also included some tips on how you can minimize tree saps, as well as some household alternatives that you can use to remove it.

How to remove tree sap from car paint

Tools you need

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Microfiber towel
  • Water

How to get tree sap off car, easy way remove tree sap.

Step #1: Wash the car

The first thing you might want to do is to wash the car. This way, all the dust and dirt accumulated on your car will be removed so you can see the affixed tree saps better. A humble soap and warm water are sufficient enough to wash your car.

A person washing a car using a sponge

Wash your car first before removing tree saps

Once you are done washing your car, be sure to dry it off using a microfiber towel. Removing tree saps on your car while it is wet is an inefficient way of working as your isopropyl alcohol will not have proper contact with the tree saps.

Step #2: Use an isopropyl alcohol

There are different substances that you can use to remove tree saps on your car. However, isopropyl alcohol is good enough to remove those unwanted stains on your car paint. Plus, you probably have one in your house so you don’t have to drive out and grab other cleaning materials.

Pour a small amount of isopropyl alcohol on the car paint with tree sap and let it sit for around 20 seconds. Let the substance soak into the tree sap so it will come off your car paint. After 20 seconds, you can start rubbing off the isopropyl alcohol with your microfiber towel.

Be sure to put in a few pressure when rubbing the isopropyl alcohol. Tree saps can stick firmly on a car paint especially when it is baked so a little push is required. Just remember to not rub excessively so you can avoid scratching your car paint.

Step #3: Rinse the car

The last step you might want to do after removing all tree saps is to rinse your car. Rinsing your car will remove all of the small pieces that might have been abstracted in the process. After rinsing your car, dry it off using a microfiber towel for better results.

Removing tree sap from car windshield

Tools you need

  • Glass Cleaner
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Microfiber towel
  • Water

Step #1: Wash the windshield

You should start by cleaning your windshield first using water and soap. With this, you can remove all tree saps more efficiently and faster. Dry off the windshield using a microfiber towel. Be sure to not use a cloth when drying as it can damage your windshield and can lay dirty residues.

Step #2: Rub tree saps off

Unlike removing tree saps off of a car’s paint, you can go rub it off using a microfiber towel and isopropyl towel without letting the substance sit for a few seconds. Tree saps don’t get baked as much on the windshield since it doesn’t get as hot as a car body panel.

A man wiping a Suzuki Swift

Apply the right amount of pressure to achieve the best results

You should use a new microfiber towel when rubbing tree saps off your car’s windshield. The reason for this is to avoid oily residue from the previous application of the used microfiber towel from contacting your windshield. As such, use a new microfiber towel to avoid more cleaning jobs.

Step #3: Use a glass cleaner

After removing all tree saps on your windshield, rinse it with water. Once your car is all dried up, you can use a glass cleaner. This substance will thoroughly clean your car’s windshield for better road visibility. It will also prevent debris from adhering to your windshield.

Additional tips for tree sap removal

To minimize doing the process of removing tree saps, avoid these residues in the first place. Just like what they say, “prevention is better than the cure.” As such, park in an area where there are no trees around it. This will ultimately prevent tree saps from adhering to your car.

Better yet, park your car inside a garage. Not only will this tip prevent tree saps, but also unwanted scratches from dust and dirt caused by nature. If you don’t have a garage and you will not use your car for a long time, you can also use a car cover to avoid accumulating unwanted debris.

A covered car

Cover your car to avoid tree saps

The last tip is to wax your car after removing tree saps. This will prevent tree saps from sticking onto your car firmly. Be sure to remove tree saps as soon as you see one. Waxing your car will also provide a shine for an enhanced look.

Household alternatives to get tree sap off cars

It is quite unusual if you don’t have isopropyl alcohol in your car. But if that is the case, there are, fortunately, numerous alternatives you can use to get tree saps off your car. Most of the alternatives revolve around any substance with oil in it.

You can use vegetable oil to remove tree saps. Let the vegetable oil sit for few seconds to scrape the tree sap off. Even mayonnaise works as an alternative to remove tree saps on your car. However, these are not recommended to be used on the windshield. We recommend that you use oil-based substances on your car body only.

A mayonnaise in a small bowl

As simple as mayonnaise can help you remove tree saps

Whatever substance you will use to remove tree saps, be sure to rub these off with care. Aggressively removing tree saps will only add more work to your car. If you can avoid tree saps from affixing your car, do so to avoid further damages or scratches.

How to get tree sap off car paint and windshield safely at home: FAQs

Q: What is a tree sap?

Tree sap is a fluid from plants that transport nutrients.

Q: How to avoid tree saps?

You can park inside a garage or put a cover on your car.

Q: Should I remove tree saps as soon as possible?

Yes, the longer the tree sap is affixed on your car, the more difficult it is to remove it.

Q: How much is a car glass cleaner in the Philippines?

The price for a car glass cleaner in the Philippines ranges from Php 100 to Php 500.

Q: Are tree saps difficult to remove on my car?

Once tree saps are baked on your car, these will be difficult to remove. As such, remove it whenever you see one.

Here at, we value your interest in the automotive industry. Visit our website to find out more.

Rex Sanchez

Rex Sanchez


Rex Sanchez grew up in Saudi Arabia where he saw and got into the automotive scene. He started his career for an aviation company in the said region, writing about turbines and rotors which are later distributed for educational purposes. And now, he joined as a staff writer. Currently, he is the youngest on the team and is more than ready to grow in the field.


View more