How to Remove Tree Sap from Carpet


Hailly asked: How can I remove tree sap from my living room carpeting?

Whether it’s the drippings from a Christmas tree, or stickiness that was tracked in from the outdoors, sap is a difficult substance to remove from carpeting. Prompt treatment will help with a successful removal. Here are the steps to remove the sap without losing your patience.

Alcohol Method

You Will Need:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hand sanitizer (with alcohol)
  • Soft cloths or
  • Paper towels

Steps to Remove the Sap:

  1. Alcohol dries the sap and allows it to be removed. It is the most popular and quickest removal method. Test a small, hidden area first to ensure the alcohol does not discolor the carpeting.
  2. Moisten a soft cloth with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. Ensure the hand sanitizer is not the alcohol-free type or it will not work.
  3. Blot at the sap with the moistened cloth.
  4. Switch to a new section of cloth frequently to avoid reapplying the sap to the carpet fibers.
  5. If the sap is deep in the fibers, it will necessary to work the alcohol further down by massaging it gently with your fingers.
  6. Blot up the loosened sap quickly with a clean cloth before the alcohol dries.
  7. Repeat until the sap is removed.
  8. If the area is large or deep, it will be helpful to allow it to dry between applications. Once dry, feel for hard and/or sticky areas that need to be treated again.

Cleaning with Chemicals

You Will Need:

  • Dry Cleaning Solvent
  • Laundry detergent (bleach free)
  • Ammonia
  • All purpose stain remover
  • Soft cloths
  • Water

Steps to Remove the Sap:

  1. Select one of the cleaning products above
  2. Blot it on the stain using a clean, soft cloth.
  3. Blot with a separate cloth until the sap is removed.
  4. Once removed, clean the area with soap and water to remove any cleaning residue..

Additional Tips and Advice

  • There are also some household items that will loosen the sticky bond of sap. Try some of the following for a more “green” cleaning approach: mayonnaise, peanut butter, cooking oil and nail polish remover.


  1. Seth says:

    A comment about the additional tips and advice section:

    I don’t think nail polish remover is a good idea, nor is it a “green” cleaner. Most nail polish remover is acetone. It is a carcinogen. Also, it might damage carpeting.

  2. Jessie says:

    I dropped my Christmas tree while trying to take it outside – apparently my little 5-foot self wasn’t strong enough to carry my 9-foot tree; who would have thought? 😉 I should have waited for my husband to get home from work. Anyway, hand sanitizer with alcohol worked perfectly. I rubbed it in with my fingers and cleaned it up with a white washrag, and it worked perfectly! Thank you! Saved me a lot of money and stress! :) Happy Holidays!

  3. Amanda says:

    This was amazing; I used hand sanitizer and the sap came straight up. Thank you so much for the tip! Happy new year! :)

  4. Tammy says:

    Purell worked for me and it was a pretty big area that the tree water dumped onto. I used a small bucket with carpet cleaner to use as a rinse and to my surprise…it is all GONE! :)

  5. Stuart says:

    I used lighter fluid and it worked a treat. Great stuff; loads of uses around the house and it evaporates, so no residue.

Leave a Comment