How to get tree sap out of clothing

Looking for a way to remove tree sap from clothing? Here are a few tips.

Tree sap can be a nuisance when it gets on your clothing. Whether it is light rain, heavy rain, or snow, the sap will stay on the fabric and eventually bubble and peel. The sap also causes the fabric to fray, which makes repairs difficult. Not to mention, it is just downright unattractive to have tree sap covering your clothes.

Here are a few methods for removing tree sap from clothing:

get tree sap out of clothing

Tree sap can easily find its way onto your clothing, whether you’re enjoying a picnic in the park or working in the garden. Removing sap stains promptly is essential to prevent them from setting and becoming even harder to eliminate. Fortunately, there are several effective methods you can try at home.

Rubbing Alcohol: A Universal Tree Sap Stain Remover

Rubbing alcohol is a versatile and readily available solution that can effectively remove tree sap stains from clothing. Before applying it directly to the stain, it’s advisable to test it on a less visible area of the fabric to ensure it doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage. Once you’ve confirmed its safety, follow these steps:

  • Moisten a clean cloth or cotton ball with rubbing alcohol.
  • Gently dab the stained area, applying slight pressure to help loosen the sap.
  • Continue blotting until the sap begins to lift off the fabric.
  • Repeat the process as necessary until the stain is completely gone.
  • Wash the garment as usual to remove any residual alcohol smell.

Using a Dull Knife or Spoon to Scrape Off Sap

Before you treat the sap stain with any cleaning solution, it’s essential to remove as much of the sap as possible. Using a dull knife or spoon, carefully scrape off the excess sap without pushing it further into the fabric. Be gentle to avoid damaging the garment. Once you’ve removed the bulk of the sap, proceed with the stain removal method of your choice.

Freezing the Sap for Easy Removal

If you’re dealing with a lump of sap on your clothing, freezing it can be a useful technique to harden it and make it easier to remove. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Place the garment in a plastic bag or sealable container.
  • Put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
  • Once the sap hardens, take the clothing out and gently scrape off the sap using a dull knife or spoon.
  • If there’s still residue left, apply one of the other stain removal methods described in this article.

Soaking in a Stain Remover

For stubborn sap stains, soaking the affected area in a stain remover can be highly effective. You can use popular stain removers like Tide or create a mixture of dish soap and warm water. Follow these steps to remove the sap stain:

  • Fill a sink or basin with warm water.
  • Add the stain remover solution according to the product’s instructions.
  • Place the sap-stained garment into the solution and ensure it’s fully submerged.
  • Let it soak for at least 20 minutes, allowing the stain remover to penetrate the fabric.
  • Gently work the stained area with your fingers or a soft toothbrush to loosen the sap.
  • After soaking, remove the clothing from the solution and rinse it thoroughly with clean water.
  • Leave it to air dry for at least 20 minutes before laundering as usual.

Clear Ammonia for Dried Sap Stains

If the tree sap stain has already dried, removing it becomes more challenging. However, clear ammonia can be an effective solution to break down and eliminate dried sap stains. Here’s how to use it:

  • Dilute clear ammonia with an equal amount of water.
  • Apply the mixture directly to the dried sap stain.
  • Gently rub the solution into the fabric using a clean cloth or sponge.
  • Allow the mixture to sit on the stain for a few minutes.
  • Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water.
  • Launder the garment as usual.

Acting Fast to Prevent Set Stains

When dealing with tree sap stains, time is of the essence. Acting quickly can prevent the sap from setting into the fabric, making it easier to remove. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • As soon as you notice the sap stain, try to remove as much of it as possible using a dull knife or spoon.
  • Avoid rubbing or smearing the sap further into the fabric.
  • Refrain from using hot water or applying heat to the stain, as it can set the sap and make it more challenging to eliminate.
  • Choose a suitable stain remover or cleaning solution and follow the instructions to treat the sap stain promptly.


Tree sap stains on clothing can be a nuisance, but with the right techniques, they can be successfully removed. Remember to act quickly, scrape off excess sap, and choose an appropriate stain removal method based on the fabric and stain severity. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively eliminate tree sap stains and restore your garments to their pristine condition.


Q1: Can I use rubbing alcohol on all types of fabric? A1: While rubbing alcohol is generally safe for many fabrics, it’s always a good idea to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration.

Q2: Is it possible to remove dried tree sap stains completely? A2: Yes, with the right techniques and products like clear ammonia, it is possible to remove even dried sap stains. However, it may require more effort and multiple attempts to completely eliminate them.

Q3: Can I use nail polish remover to remove tree sap stains? A3: Nail polish remover contains acetone, which can be effective in removing sap stains. However, acetone can also damage certain fabrics, so it’s important to test it on a small area first and use it with caution.

Q4: Can I machine wash sap-stained clothing? A4: It’s generally recommended to treat the sap stain before machine washing the garment. However, always check the fabric care label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the best outcome.

Q5: What should I do if the sap stain persists after trying multiple methods? A5: If the stain persists, it’s advisable to seek professional dry cleaning services or consult a specialist who can provide further guidance on removing the stubborn sap stain.

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Camilo Kawas is a seasoned entrepreneur and expert in the field of commercial cleaning, with a specific focus on clothes, carpet cleaning and floor care. With a profound understanding of the importance of selecting the right products for effective stain removal from clothes, Camilo has established himself as a trusted authority in the industry.