How To Get Sap Out Of Clothes
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How To Get Sap Out Of Clothes

Tree Sap
Tree sap can leave a stubborn mark on your clothes which needs to be treated correctly.

How to get sap out of clothes can be a bit tricky if it’s the first time you have this type of stain on your clothes. It’s somewhat like having gum and tea stains at the same time.

Don’t panic because there’s always a proper method to break it down so that your love for nature can be saved.

With the wrong ones, this cleaning process can last forever, and your clothes will stay in the washing machine for countless hours.

Now, let’s unpack several ways which you can try immediately with some everyday household items.

What Is Tree Sap?

For those who wonder, tree sap acts like the blood of a tree. It’s a sugary liquid that runs throughout the tree via phloem and xylem and carries minerals and nutrients from the root to branches. (1)

From my experience, tree sap stains can make their way to your items when you hug a tree, wander in the forest, or go hiking in wild areas.

As soon as tree sap is present, it will attract dirt on the way and become extraordinarily nasty and annoying, which makes you want to get rid of it right away.

How To Eliminate Tree Sap From Your Garments

Are you in trouble with sap on your clothes? You’re not the one who has to cope with this headache stain, especially for someone who loves hiking and nature.

The sap is helpful to the tree but not quite friendly to people. Although it’s challenging to combat the sap stain, it’s possible.

Let’s spend time exploring my following list to find the best way to deal with stains on your favorite clothes.

Freeze Sap Stains

This method can be considered a pretreat step for sap stains which helps remove sap clumps from your clothes before applying any cleaning solution. The same goes for eliminating chewing gum on your garments. It’s not suitable for delicate fabrics like silk, chiffon, lace, and more.

What You’ll Need

  • A freezer or a bag of ice cubes
  • A spoon


Step 1: Place your garment into the freezer or put a bag of ice cubes onto the affected area for 10-20 minutes.

Step 2: When the sap is frozen, you can use your hands to separate it from your clothes.

Step 3: The leftover can be removed with an edge of a spoon.

Freeze Sap Stains
Put your items in the freezer to easily scrape off the sap.

Enzyme-Based Stain Remover

Enzyme-based stain removers or heavy-duty detergents have a cleaning power that can lift up the most stubborn stains. It’s said that sap stains are challenging to clean, but if you follow my step-by-step instructions below, you can successfully remove them from your clothes.

Heavy-duty detergent can replace enzyme-based stain remover if you can’t find one. My secret? Let’s use it to get rid of stained buildups and their smell on the underarm area of your clothes. It contains a fair amount of enzyme, which is enough to break down the tough stain.

What You’ll Need

  • Enzyme-based stain remover or heavy-duty detergent
  • An old toothbrush
  • Hot water


Step 1: Appy a good amount of enzyme-based stain remover or heavy-duty detergent to a tree sap stain.

Step 2: Rub it into the fabric using an old toothbrush and allow the cleaning solution to sit for 15 minutes.

Step 3: Rinse with hot water. Repeat Step 1,2, if the stain is pretty persistent.

Step 4: Wash your garment with the hottest water cycle according to the care label.

Step 5: Check the affected spot carefully before using the dryer. More importantly, high heat can make the sap penetrate deeply into the fabric and create a hard-to-remove stain.

Rubbing Alcohol Or Hand Sanitizer

Rubbing alcohol is considered one of the powerful solvents which can remove sap stains easily without having any harmful chemical reaction.

Alcohol Based Products
Using alcohol-based products as a starting point to clean tree sap.

However, isopropyl alcohol can damage your fabric, so you should do a small test on an inconspicuous area of your clothes before using it for the affected spot.

You can opt for another alcohol-based solvent if you run out of rubbing alcohol or don’t have it handy, such as hand sanitizer.

What You’ll Need

  • A dull knife
  • Rubbing alcohol or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Cotton balls


Step 1: Because of its sticky property, it’s highly recommended that you put your clothes in the freezer or put ice on the sap residue until it’s frozen and becomes hard.

Step 2: Use a dull knife to scrape off the sap. It’s recommended that you hold the knife parallel to the sap and scrape it over the surface of the stain—no need to use much power because the frozen sap tends to break easily.

Step 3: Wet the cotton ball with rubbing alcohol or alcohol-based hand sanitizer

Step 4: Gently rub the alcohol on the stain to loosen it slowly. Keep doing it until the stain disappears. Apply more alcohol if needed.

Pour the solvent directly onto large stains and work it into the fabric using your fingers.

Step 5: Lauder as normal using the hottest water temperature your clothes can handle as per the care label instruction.

Let’s get tree sap out of your clothes with a hand sanitizer.

Watch this video: Easy way to get tree sap out of your clothing

Stain Removers and Bleach

Bleach Products
Only use bleach products when you have read the instructions carefully.

A decent stain remover is able to break up most of your stains effectively, including tree sap stains. Bleach is also used as the last step to tackle stubborn marks, whiten the whites, and brighten the colored items.

What You’ll Need

  • A stain remover or liquid laundry detergent
  • An old toothbrush
  • Cotton balls
  • Oxygen bleach or chlorine bleach
  • Isopropyl alcohol (Optional)


Step 1: Apply a thin layer of stain remover on the stain with cotton balls. Perhaps, you can use some drops of liquid laundry detergent instead.

Step 2: Allow it to sit for 20 minutes. It’s enough time for the stain remover to take effect. Feel free to work the solution into the fabric with your fingers for extra cleaning effect.

Step 3: Toss the clothes into the washing machine and choose the hottest water temperature your garment can be washed based on the care label. Note that delicate and dark-colored fabrics should be washed with cold water.

Step 4: Consider using bleach if the stain is hard to remove. Opt for oxygen bleach for colored items and chlorine bleach for white ones. To play it safe, read the instructions carefully before bleaching your garments.

Step 5: Repeat if necessary.

Step 6: Try isopropyl alcohol as another way to tackle the sap. It might take time to remove it from your items altogether.f

Here are some useful tips you should remember when working with bleach!

Watch this video: How to clean with bleach

Non-Bleach Powdered Detergent

Let’s first try powdered detergent without any bleach to deal with sap stains. Do you know that many people also like to tackle greasy spots on different clothing materials with a paste of powdered detergent and water? Its application seems to be endless in household cleaning.

For sap stains, you can rest assured that these sticky, brown spots will go away as long as you add non-sudsy ammonia to the stain before laundering. It’s a versatile cleaning household ingredient you can trust.

What You’ll Need

  • Non-bleach powdered detergent
  • Water
  • A spoon
  • Non-sudsy ammonia


Step 1: Create a paste of equal parts of non-bleach powdered detergent and water.

Step 2: Spread the paste all over the affected area with a spoon.

Step 3: Allow it to soak for half an hour.

Step 4: Add non-sudsy ammonia on the need-to-treat spot. (Optional)

Step 5: Launder as usual with the warmest water your items can handle.

Non Bleach Powder Detergent
Non-bleach powder detergent can be great for removing sap from your clothes.

Peanut Butter, Cooking Oil, Baby Oil, And Acetone Nail Polish Remover

If you’re not at home and can’t access rubbing alcohol or hand sạntizer, there are various options for you to try. Peanut butter, cooking oil (olive oil, coconut oil), baby oil, and acetone nail polish remover should fit the bill.

You can also consider mayonnaise, dishwashing liquid, or laundry liquid detergent as an ideal cleaning option.

Before you pick any of the above cleaning products, keep in mind that peanut butter and oil-based solutions like cooking oil and baby oil can leave a greasy mark on the surface of your items.

As for organic solvents like acetone nail polish removers, besides wiping out nail polish from your fingers, they can eliminate sticky and glue residue from your garments. (2) It’s not recommended for delicate fabrics, mostly synthetics, because it can damage them easily.

What You’ll Need

  • Peanut butter, or cooking oil or baby oil, or nail polish remover
  • Clean towels
  • Laundry detergent


Step 1: Apply the solvent of your choice directly to the stain if it’s small. For a larger one, soak clean towels in the solvent and dab it to the impacted area.

Step 2: As soon as the solvent touches the stain, it immediately breaks down the stain and lifts it.

Step 3: Continue to rub the sap with the solvent until it disappears.

Step 4: Apply a few drops of detergent on the stain and let it stay for extra 20 minutes.

Step 5: Launder as usual.

Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is not only yummy, but it can also remove sap from your items.

Goo Gone And WD-40

If you are not a fan of home remedies, grab a bottle of commercial products like Goo Gone and WD-40 on the supermarket shelves.

Goo Gone
Goo Gone is a citrus-based product that is suitable for tackling sap.

Thanks to their versatility, they are two out of many efficient cleaning brands you might need in your house, and they definitely can remove sap stains from your clothes.

WD-40 is known to be extremely useful for housewives or chefs because it can cut through rust stains on fabric easily. It might be safe to use on fabrics, but test them in a hidden area first.

For your information, Goo Gone is not suitable for rubber, silks, satins, leather, and suede.

To protect your hands, make sure to wear rubber gloves when using both of them.

What You’ll Need

  • Goo Gone or WD-40
  • A damp cloth
  • Alcohol


Step 1: Work a good amount of Goo Gone or WD-40 into the sap area.

Step 2: You can rub it gently for several minutes so that the cleaning solution has time to take effect.

Step 3: Use a damp cloth to remove all the Goo Gone and WD-40 on the stain’s surface.

Step 4: Apply alcohol on the affected spot to lift the remaining sap on your items.

WD-40 hacks you might want to know right now!

Watch this video: Wd40 trick everyone should know

What To Do With Sap On My Clothes After Washing And Drying?

Let’s try sunscreen or vinegar to eliminate set-in and dried sap stains and see how they work. Keep in mind that next time you should examine your clothes carefully to find out the affected spot before tossing them into the dryer.

Method 1: Sunscreen

Sunscreen is an inseparable thing for outdoor activities so it might be readily available in your backpack. Find out how to use it for your sap stains.

What You’ll Need

  • Sunscreen of your choice


Step 1: Dab it on the affected spot.

Step 2: Rub gently to push it deeper into the fabric.

Step 3: Launder as usual.

Method 2: Ice Cubes And White Vinegar

Here is how you use white vinegar and ice cubes to tackle sticky sap stains on your clothes:

What You’ll Need

  • An ice cube
  • A dull knife
  • White vinegar


Step 1: Put an ice cube on the stain to make it become totally frozen. It might take a while. Then, use a spoon to remove the sap.

Step 2: Soak it in white vinegar and gently rub the stain until it disappears.

Step 3: Rinse your garments with water thoroughly. Then, wash as usual.


Below are some popular questions and techniques to get through the trouble with sap stains. Take time to read and equip yourself with more cleaning knowledge.

What Will Neutralize Pine Sap?

It would be best if you opted for alcohol-based products, including rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, and nail polish remover. Also, pine sap can be eliminated with cooking oils, such as coconut oils and olive oils.

Can I Get Sap Out Of Black Clothes?

Yes, you can. Let’s wipe the stained area with a clean, white cloth after applying a good amount of rubbing alcohol. This way, the sap will be broken down and soon will get off your clothes.

How To Remove Banana Sap From Your Items?

Dab white vinegar to the affected spot to loosen the sap, then sprinkle baking soda onto the stain and rub it gently.

Soak your garment into a bucket of water with some drops of laundry detergent overnight. Rinse and wash the next day.

Which Method To Eliminate Cedar Sap On Clothes Effectively?

You can refer to the most effective cleaning solvent for tree sap: rubbing alcohol and any alcohol-based products like hand sanitizer. Just apply a fair amount of rubbing alcohol which is enough to saturate the stain.

After that, toss your items alone into the wash with regular detergent and wash with warm water mode.

Getting Sap Out Of Clothes Can Be Simple

I guess after reading my article, you find removing sap from your garments more straightforward and more convenient, not a stressful and daunting task.

Although you might need to repeat some steps a few times, it’s guaranteed that you will get the expected result and bring back clean clothes like before.

What I like best about the above methods is that they all use familiar ingredients and easy-to-find commercial products so that you can get to work right away, whether you’re at home or the camping sites.

What’s your favorite method? Let’s tell each other so that you and I can discuss this topic more. I look forward to hearing from you!

How To Get Sap Out Of Clothes


[1] 2021. Sap – Wikipedia. [online]

[2] Clifton, J., 2021. Can Acetone Remove Glue? | The Chemistry Blog. [online] ReAgent Chemicals.

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Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones

Home Cleaning Specialist

Expertise: In-depth Knowledge of Cleaning Agents and Their Uses, Advanced Home Sanitization, Techniques Expertise in Cleaning and Maintaining, Various Floor Types, Innovations in Home Cleaning Tools

School: American College of Home Economics

Kevin Jones is a seasoned home cleaning specialist with over a decade of experience in the industry. A stickler for cleanliness and organization, Kevin brings a systematic and innovative approach to home maintenance. His expertise ranges from traditional methods to modern cleaning technology, ensuring homes are not just clean but healthy environments too.

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