Sam asked: How do I remove tree sap from clothing? It is pine sap and little spots of it got on the back of my white t-shirt when I leaned up against the tree. Thanks!
Tree sap seems to cling to everything including skin and especially clothing. The removal techniques are similar to those of removing adhesives. The most success comes when you either lubricate the sap to remove it or dry it out so it will release from the clothing fibers.
You Will Need:
- Cleaner (choose one)
- Rubbing alcohol
- Hand sanitizer
- Peanut butter
- Cooking oil
- Goof Off
- Nail polish remover
- Soft cloth
- Laundry detergent
Steps to Remove the Sap:
- First, gently scrape off the sap using a dull knife or spoon. This works well for old, dry sap, and also for fresh sap so you have less to remove with cleaning solutions.
- Select a cleaner from the list above. Any of the above cleaners can work. Many site readers have said that the rubbing alcohol worked well, and several others have said peanut butter did the trick. However, always test cleaners like rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover on a small hidden spot first (such as inside a hem) to ensure that there is no damage from the cleaning product, such as removal of the fabric dye. If using hand sanitizer, be sure it is alcohol-based.
- Once you have made your selection, apply a small amount of the cleaner by moistening a soft cloth and blotting at the sap.
- If the sap is thick or the area is large, pour the cleaner directly onto the sappy area and work it in with your fingers.
- Launder the clothing as usual with regular laundry detergent and warm water.
- Prior to placing the piece in the dryer, check to ensure all of the sap was removed. (If using one of the oil-based products like peanut butter, also look to be sure all of the oil is removed. Usually there is not an oil stain. If there is, just rub some laundry detergent into the area and re-wash the item.)
- If any sap remains, repeat the above procedures.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- It’s important to ensure all of the sap is removed before placing the piece in the dryer. If there is sap remaining, the heat from the dryer can melt it and spread it to other clothing items.
- Sunscreen can also be used in a pinch. Spray it on and rub it in. Launder as usual.