How to Remove Tree Pitch (Sap) from Leather


Connie asked: I got tree pitch on my leather seats in my pickup. How do I get it off?

Tree pitch, or sap, is easily removed from most surfaces with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. This common solution may be effective, but it’s also harsh and may cause damage to leather in the form of a visual blemish or by weakening its structural integrity. Fortunately, there’s a quick and inexpensive method you can use to remove tree sap from leather seats. Follow these steps, and they’ll be as good as new in no time!

You Will Need:

  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Margarine (an alternative to peanut butter)
  • Warm, soapy water
  • Soft cloths

Steps to Remove the Sap:

  1. Make sure the seat is relatively clean before you begin.
  2. Apply creamy (not chunky) peanut butter or margarine directly onto the tree sap.
  3. Work it in with your fingers, scraping gently with your fingernail to help the sap come up. If you don’t have nails, a dull spoon will work as well.
  4. Once the sap is gone, wipe away the peanut butter or margarine with a soft cloth.
  5. Use a second clean soft cloth to apply just enough warm, soapy water to remove the oily residue.
  6. Dry the seat with a clean cloth and follow it up with an appropriate leather conditioner.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Don’t worry about the greasy application of the peanut butter or margarine. It will not damage your seat. In fact, it may even act as a conditioner.
  • Do not use chunky peanut butter. The nuts may dimple or damage the seat in the rubbing process.
  • If desired, you may use gloves or a thin cloth for working the sap off, but your fingertips give you the best feel for the job. Do not use a scrubbing or abrasive cloth, as it may damage the leather.


  1. Maureen says:

    I had tar on my leather boots, so I applied peanut butter and let it sit for several hours. I washed the peanut butter off and and the tar is gone, but now I have a huge stain on my boots from the peanut butter oil! Anybody have any advice on getting the peanut oil off the boot leather??

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