DetailingWiki Newsletter
    Get free and automatic updates on new articles
    We respect your privacy. No data is used for anything other than sending the newsletter!

    Advertisement

How to remove tree sap

Written by:

The term tree sap refers to several different type of contaminants that, generally, originate from the same source: a plant and/or tree. The most common use of the term “tree sap” is used to describe the resin that can seep through the bark and fall onto surface underneath the tree. Tree sap is incorrectly also used to refer to the fluids excreted by aphids.

Contents

Why remove tree sap

Tree sap is a fairly common source of contaminants, although it is mostly used to refer to resin from trees, it can also be used to refer to leaves, small pieces of plants, tree bark, dust and dirt flushed from the leaves by the rain and other particles that come from a tree and/or plant in any way or form. These organic particles are unwanted and affect the cosmetic look of the vehicle. Resin in particular has a tendency of being sticky, making it easier for dirt to cling on the surface. Cleaning resin with dust/dirt stuck onto it is difficult and increases the chance of moving sharp edged particles over the sensitive painted surface, thus creating swirls or other imperfections. Removing tree sap as quick as possible is considered part of maintainance and helps to prevent the situation getting worse.

How to remove tree sap

There are many different ways of removing tree sap, this largely depends on the type of contaminant the word refers to. Simple organic particles such as small pieces of plants, leaves, insects, dust and small pieces of broken of bark are easy to remove and usually don’t require direct attention. They can often safely be removed during the weekly wash. In some cases, the contaminant can even be blown away by the wind in a matter of days.

Tar and glue remover

The most common way of safely removing tree sap is the tar and glue remover. This product is largely based on Orange Oil, which has a similar property to terpentine, without the harsh affect it has on the surface of paint. This product would only work if the tree sap is resin.

Terpentine

Terpentine is slightly stronger then Tar and Glue Remover, and its use is a matter of debate. The chemical strength of terpentine can have a negative effect on paintwork, so it should be used with caution. The first signs will not be visible from the first use, but can show it effect in the long term.

Clay and claylube

In cases where the amount of tree sap is very small, a clay and claylube can be sufficient in removing the contamination from the surface. Be careful though, if the tree sap has a large volume, the clay can actually stick to the resin turning into a larger mess then it was before. Using clay with a solvent often results in the clay falling apart and leaving smears.

Plastic razor

If the resin has settled and hardened, the detailer could try a plastic razor to break off the resin particle from the surface.

Different solvents

There are more then one solvents that are capable of removing tree resin, but the negative impact on the paintwork is difficult to judge. In many cases you’ll see that the most negative effects only show after a long time.

Where does tree sap comes from

There are 2 most common sceneraio’s that can be the cause of tree sap on a vehicle. Although parking underneath a tree uncreases the risk, it can happen that a car is covered in tree sap without any tree being close to the car.

Carried by rain

When rain comes into contact with resin on the surface of the bark of the tree, the rain can carry small particles of resin. When these drops of rainwater fall on the surface of a car, it can leave behind the heavier, sticky resin it carries. When the rain dries up, all residue is left behind, including the resin.

Carried by insects or other animals

When a tree or plant is (locally) covered in resin, several types of insects and animals can be drawn to it. When these insect come into contact with the resin, they often carry parts of it with them. When the animal or insect lands on a surface, its resin covered feet leave small spots of resin on the surface.

Only in very unique cases we see actual resin drops falling directly from the branches of a tree. This only happens on very warm days when the amount of resin has grown to such a volume that it runs down the branches to a low spot.

Correct and incorrect use of the word

Although the visual difference between resin and aphids excretion is very subtle, the word “tree sap” should not be used in this case. Aphids, that can be found in many different plants and tree, excreed a substance during spring. When the aphids suck fluids from the tree, the excess sugar and liquid sucked from the sap of the tree is secreted by the insects. These tiny drops form on the outside of their bodies and can be carried by the wind. The result is a very fine mist of tiny droplets of sugar, mixed with tree sap and sugar. Although the source of this liquid is still tree sap, the liquid excreted by the aphids has chemically changed slightly. In the same way as water and urine are different, although the later is made with help of the first one.
Aphids secretion can generally be washed off by a slightly stronger cleaning liquid. An APC or degreaser is usually sufficient in dissolving the liquid and removing it safely.

Different related articles

  • Smartwax
    Manufacturers
    Smartwax is an American brand of detailing products located in California. The brand was established around 2003 and has a fairly wide range of products that is being offered via several different resellers....
  • What is steam cleaning
    Detailing Miscellaneous
    Steam cleaning is the act of using evaporated and heated water to clean a surface. Steam has to benefit that it interacts with oils and grease without the need for an emusifier. This means it can clean dirt and grease without soap. Which leaves less residue. Steam cleaning can be used on the outside of a car as well as on the interior....
  • What is the three bucket method
    Detailing Miscellaneous
    The 3-bucket method is just like the 2-bucket method, a generally accepted safe way to wash a vehicle. The difference is that you use 3 buckets instead of 2. The third bucket can be used for more then 1 different reason....
  • TEVO Creations
    Manufacturers
    TEVO Creations is a raw material supplier/distributor, private label company and also manufacturer/developer of nano-technology based products for the consumer, construction and automotive market. It is one of a few companies like this that originates from Malaysia....
  • Sam’s Detailing
    Manufacturers
    Sam's Detailing is an English manufacturer of detailing products, established in 2013 and most known for their all-black design and informal approach. One of the most known products is the Sam's Detailing Ceramic Boost....
  • CNS Tech Inc.
    Manufacturers
    CNS Tech Inc is a Korean company that manufacturers, developes and researches different types of coating products. CNS Tech INC creates a few different ranges, with the main difference being the professional or personal user. Coating Farm is the personal range. Other ranges are G1, Mega Ceramic, Megashield and Aqua Coat....

Links to this article

There are no external links to this article. Yet.
Sidebar



Stay up to date with our free newsletter
Always be the first to know about new updates, articles and other informative content.
Don't miss out, opt in!
We respect your privacy. No data is used for anything other than sending the newsletter!