Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated May 25, 2010)
If you live in area that has a lot of trees, then chances are you are familiar with the frustration of finding your freshly cleaned car covered in sap spots. If you are anything like me, the first few times that you came across these you let them sit there thinking that they would not be noticeable to others. If so, then you know how after a few days those spots seem to turn black and make your car look dirty, no matter how well you washed it.
For some reason, tree sap does not seem to want to come off with regular soap and water, but there is a way that anyone can clean it off without having to spend a fortune to do so. All you need to do is follow the steps outlined below, and soon you are going to have a perfectly sap free car once again.
Start by grabbing the following items:
There are two main cleaning materials that I would suggest using (mineral spirits or WD-40), but both are going to work equally well. While each material is going to work, some people may find that one works better for them than the other. In the end it is going to come down to your personal preference as to what you decide to use.
To begin, you need to thoroughly clean the area where the sap is located. Take a rag and your hot soapy water and clean the area. After you have cleaned the area, allow it to dry.
If you are using WD-40, all that you need to do is spray the WD-40 on to the tree sap, and allow it to sit for five minutes. After the five minutes have passed you can simply wipe away the area till it is clear. You may need to reapply wax to your car, as the WD-40 may remove your vehicle's wax. (But it won't hurt the finish.)
If you are using mineral spirits, then all that you need to do is dip one of your clean rags into the spirits and wipe the area that has the tree sap. Be gentle as you do not want to damage the paint job and you only want to remove the sap. After you have applied the mineral spirits, take another clean rag, and in a gentle circular motion wipe it away. Keep repeating this process until you have completely removed the tree's sap from you vehicle. After you have removed the tree sap using this method, you are going to need to clean off the mineral spirits. To do this all that you need to do is wash your car as you normally would.
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