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Sap on vehicles.

LinefinderLinefinder ModeratorPosts: 7,026 Senior Member
I've always lived where tree sap on vehicles was a common thing, and mostly not a major headache. But Colorado has a lot of blue spruce trees, and THAT sap is a whole 'nother animal. Even scraping it off glass with a razor blade usually still leaves a residue that won't come off.

I've tried bug & tar remover, Goof-Off, Goo Gone, WD-40, Dawn & hot water, gasoline (not recommended) and even Liquid Wrench. While some worked, sort of, kinda, it required a lot of time and elbow grease. 

But I finally found the solution.

Plain old rubbing alcohol. Put some on your cloth of choice, let it sit on the sap for 15-20 seconds, and wipe off. No residue, no film.

Any Iso alcohol will work, but I prefer the 91% stuff you can get at the drug store (Walgreens, CVS, etc.).

Mike


"Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
N454casull

Replies

  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    It gets all over my hunting clothes.

    When I was still hunting.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    High proof alcohol does do a great job for some stuff... it works great for marker and ink too. I try to avoid alcohol abuse, but I have used Bacardi 151 to get ink off the dining room table before. I have since come to my senses and have a bottle of rubbing alcohol to take care of those chores.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,572 Senior Member
    Good to know! Thanks
  • N454casullN454casull Member Posts: 561 Senior Member
    That’s interesting I wonder if that would work on to get the fryer oil residue off the windshield of my wife’s car. She works at a very large french fry facility and the steam that comes off the fryer is vented outside and the oil settles out onto everything. 

    Also hard water anyone got a got a good way to remove hard water stains from a car? 
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,026 Senior Member
    High proof alcohol does do a great job for some stuff... it works great for marker and ink too. I try to avoid alcohol abuse, but I have used Bacardi 151 to get ink off the dining room table before. I have since come to my senses and have a bottle of rubbing alcohol to take care of those chores.
    I was speaking of isopropyl alcohol, the kind used as medicinal antiseptic and commonly found in drugstores. Works great on sap.

    Now, using a good drinking rum (whiskey, scotch, whatever) to clean off ink is certainly alcohol abuse, but I'll offer some friendly advice lest it become a problem for you.

    When I'm not in the toolroom, I do quite a bit of pad printing at work. I'm actually the "SME"  (subject matter expert) on this operation for a $2B a year company.

    If you need to remove ink......denatured alcohol. It's the exact same alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, only it has toxins introduced into it so it can be manufactured and sold without the high tax rate levied against alcohol meant for human consumption. You can buy it in the paint department of most hardware stores, and it's dirt cheap. Last time I checked, ~$10 for a gallon. (Compare that to a gallon of Johnny Walker....which is at best 50% ABC).

    Denatured alcohol will remove a lot of things, including your fingerprints if you linger too long.  I wouldn't recommend it for sap, however. While I haven't tried it, I'm pretty sure it would, at the very least, blemish your cars clearcoat.

    Mike


    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    That’s interesting I wonder if that would work on to get the fryer oil residue off the windshield of my wife’s car. She works at a very large french fry facility and the steam that comes off the fryer is vented outside and the oil settles out onto everything. 

    Also hard water anyone got a got a good way to remove hard water stains from a car? 
    Grease? Formula 409 has worked pretty good for me. Hard water? Citric acid works and is pretty gentle. It is dirt cheap on Amazon.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,026 Senior Member
    That’s interesting I wonder if that would work on to get the fryer oil residue off the windshield of my wife’s car. She works at a very large french fry facility and the steam that comes off the fryer is vented outside and the oil settles out onto everything. 

    Also hard water anyone got a got a good way to remove hard water stains from a car? 
    Haven't tried it against those specific things, but my gut says it should work well. If you use it on glass, get the 90+% stuff. The 70% and less leaves an oily residue on glass that requires a follow up with glass cleaner. The higher octane stuff doesn't.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • N454casullN454casull Member Posts: 561 Senior Member
    Is citric acid safe to use on the paint
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,026 Senior Member
    Oh.....I also tried Zepp purple industrial strength degreaser on the spruce sap. All it did was thinned the sap and smeared it around. We use this stuff on the mills, lathes, and surface grinders at work. Never ran across any grease type substance that it wouldn't clean PDQ. But spruce sap sent it home with its tail between its legs.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    Is citric acid safe to use on the paint
    I am not making promises, but have found it to be pretty mild on copper and plastic. Obviously, the strength of the solution is a factor.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,493 Senior Member
    Don't let Purple Cleaner sit on aluminum. It will pit it.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,026 Senior Member
    Good to know. Thanks.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 5,760 Senior Member
    91% rubbing alcohol is amazing stuff and I use it to clean pine sap off our cars all the time.  Great for scopes and camera lenses and it’s the absolute best for glass stove tops and granite or other stone counter tops.   Not only does it make them shinny but disinfects the kitchen counter tops too.  Awesome degreaser and a great way to clean old wax off your car before applying a new coat.  We buy it by the quart at the drugstore and put it in generic spray bottles we buy on amazon.
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,070 Senior Member
    It's also good for de-icing windshields in the winter.
    I keep a quart  spray bottle of 91% on the porch for us to use in the winter.

    SOOO much easier than scraping it off and quicker than waiting on the car to warm up enough for the defroster to work
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,026 Senior Member
    edited July 2019 #16
    Yep, I've used it on ice before. Don't know why it took so long for me to think of using it on sap.

    OTOH, I may not need to use it on ice anymore. The puny little 2.0L engine in the Rav gets hot almost upon key insertion.  :D

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,621 Senior Member
    edited July 2019 #17
    Well crap, our dads used gas to get sap out of our hair after we climbed trees as kids, good to know. Of course alcohol in the cuts on your skin from tree climbing would be a treat
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 5,486 Senior Member
    My $0.02...don’t park under trees. 
    When our governing officials dismiss due process as mere semantics, when they exercise powers they don’t have and ignore duties they actually bear, and when we let them get away with it, we have ceased to be our own rulers.

    Adam J. McCleod


  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,026 Senior Member
    CaliFFL said:
    My $0.02...don’t park under trees. 
    Nice advice, but..... Colorado Springs is practically the large hail capital of the US. I have 3 vehicles and a 1 car garage. In spite of the sap, I'm really glad I have a couple trees large enough to park under. I'd much rather clean sap than have a vehicle totaled out by the insurance company every couple years.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 5,486 Senior Member
    CaliFFL said:
    My $0.02...don’t park under trees. 
    Nice advice, but..... Colorado Springs is practically the large hail capital of the US. I have 3 vehicles and a 1 car garage. In spite of the sap, I'm really glad I have a couple trees large enough to park under. I'd much rather clean sap than have a vehicle totaled out by the insurance company every couple years.

    Mike
    Point taken. I’ll park and walk to avoid the trees. When there’s hail in the forecast I have to move the wife’s crap to get in the shop 😒
    When our governing officials dismiss due process as mere semantics, when they exercise powers they don’t have and ignore duties they actually bear, and when we let them get away with it, we have ceased to be our own rulers.

    Adam J. McCleod


  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,026 Senior Member
    Our house is really bigger than the two of us need, but there's an upside......plenty of closets.

    When we moved in, I told my wife "You can have these 3 closets and this whole room for your stuff, but the garage is mine".  :)

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 23,640 Senior Member
    edited July 2019 #22
    Yea, and insurance companies LOVE to "total" vehicles. I know of at least one instance of an insurance company paying out over TWICE the price of the repair bill just to "total" the car. No wonder insurance rates are sky high with this kind of nonsense going on...
    ETA: They tried it with me in 2011 - they didn't succeed.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,026 Senior Member
    We've had a particularly rough time with hail the last 3 hail seasons. My step daughters car was beat to oblivion last summer, and I had to replace my roof this year. Insurance rates, especially homeowners, have gone nutz. My house note, even though on a fixed rate, has gone up over $200 per month in the past 3 years due to (for the most part) insurance rates. There has been some market appreciation (affecting taxes), but the large majority has been insurance.

    Lucky I've got a few trees to park under. I beat a large hailstorm this year by about 3 minutes.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 6,610 Senior Member
    In the body shop, we used rubbing alcohol for sap.  On glass, alcohol first, then 0000 stainless wool, then a QUALITY glass cleaner. If the drops are big, we'd shave them down enough a blade first.  On paint, the alcohol will remove wax and can "soften" the clear coat... so rub easy, or figure on buffing after sap removal.  Keeping a good wax job on the paint will ease the process a lot.  
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
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