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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > Best way to get tree sap off



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      05-28-2012, 02:03 PM   #1
jbas93
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Best way to get tree sap off

What is the best/safest way to get tree sap off a car? Getting mixed results from searching online.
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      05-28-2012, 02:07 PM   #2
cvc 22349a
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Bug and tar remover. If that doesn't work, lightly apply denatured alcohol.
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      05-28-2012, 02:24 PM   #3
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A specific type of bug & tar remover or just any kind will do?
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      05-28-2012, 02:26 PM   #4
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I've found isopropol (rubbing) alcohol works like a dream. This is also the active ingredient in hand sanitizer. "Apply" it by dabbing, let it work for a second, and wipe off when it comes easily. Don't spread your sap by trying to work too fast.

Of course it also strips wax and glaze, so touch up the sappy spots with wax.
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      05-28-2012, 02:34 PM   #5
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If you get to it quickly enough it should come off with just a soapy wash. If it has been in the sun baking you can forget it though
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      05-28-2012, 05:10 PM   #6
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Short of a hammer and chisel, here's my suggestion. Get yourself a can of Deep Woods Off, or even better, Muskol mosquito repellent. That shit will take anything off, trust me. I figure it doesn't actually strip your skin off (well, instantly anyway), so how bad can it be on your paint?

I've never actually tried it on my car (duh), but I'd be interested in your results.

I guarantee it will remove tree sap. Next time you're camping or out in the boonies and get some sap on your hands, try it. It is nasty, nasty stuff. Hands down the best toxic cleaner known to man. And on the up side, your car will be free of mosquito bites until your next wash or repaint, which ever comes first!!

Seriously though, anything capable of removing sap will most likely strip wax, sealant, etc. as well, so plan on touching that up with a fresh detail.
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      05-29-2012, 04:36 AM   #7
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Tree resin (sap)

Appears like a dark brown/ rust red colour raised surface mark, some of the most common resinous tree sap types are: White Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Walnut (also secretes an oily residue) Maple, Oak, Popular, and Blue Spruce, none of which are water soluble, the acidic content of the sap will etch the paint surface; causing a concave surface.

Try any of the following:

• Limonene (citrus-based) cleaner (P21S Total Auto Wash) will both emulsify and neutralize the acid or use an alkaline rinse of baking soda and water as soon as is practical is highly recommended.

• 1:1 solution Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and distilled water. The alcohol content acts as a drying agent, which will extract the acid, then thoroughly flush with water to rinse away any grit or sand, etc or use detailers clay to encapsulate it, re-spray the area let it react for 2-3 minutes and wipe dry.

• If it is sun hardened use a plastic razor blade to remove the top surface of the resin and then soak in IPA.

• Glass cleaner (do not use one that contains ammonia; as it acts as an acid accelerant

• Gel alcohol hand cleaner (PurellŪ) Place a small amount on to a first aid gauze pad and apply to effected area this will help it stay in place during the necessary react time. The alcohol content acts as a drying agent, which will extract the acid, then thoroughly flush with water to rinse away any grit or sand, etc or use detailers clay to encapsulate it, re-spray the area let it react for 2-3 minutes and wipe dry.


Replace paint surface protection
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