How to Get Tree Sap Out of Clothing
You don’t have to be a tree hugger to get tree sap stains, but you can still love trees without worrying about staining your clothes.
You can go back to frolicking among the trees after taking these steps on getting sap out of clothing and some detergent action from Tide.
Before You Begin
The most important thing to remember when dealing with sticky pine sap is to make sure you’ve gotten rid of it before throwing your sap-stained clothing into the dryer—otherwise, the dryer’s heat will set the stain, making it much more difficult to remove.
For efficient tree sap stain removal, you will need to:
- act fast
- have a dull knife or a spoon at hand
- use a high-quality laundry detergent.
Below, we’ll tell you how to get tree sap out of clothing in a few easy-to-remember steps.
Getting Tree Sap Out of Clothing
Whether you rescued the neighborhood cat from a tree, went on a refreshing forest hike, or just leaned against a pine tree while gazing at the clear blue sky, the result is the same: You’ve got sticky tree sap all over your clothes. It’s one of the most problematic outdoor stains precisely because of its gluey nature. As soon as tree sap makes its way onto your jacket, pants, or shoes, it turns them into a true dirt magnet, forming a thick layer that is really hard to get rid of, binding more and more grime to your garments. The only way to stop this is by dealing with the sap stain sooner, rather than later.
Regardless if it’s a white shirt or your blue jeans you want to get the tree sap out of, you can follow the same tried-and-true steps: You start by removing excess tree sap from your garments, you pre-treat the stain with some liquid laundry detergent, add the detergent and the clothes to your washing machine, press start, and at the end of the cycle, unload your garments.
Now, let’s unpack the complete stain removal process and see how you can get pine pitch out of clothing in five simple steps:
Remove Excess Tree Sap from Fabric.
Grab your spoon or dull knife and gently scrape off the excess sap. Once that’s done, you can test for colorfastness by applying alcohol or hand sanitizer to an inside seam. After one to three minutes, dab with a towel. If no color comes off, the item is colorfast. If the item is colorfast, add rubbing alcohol or clear, alcohol-based hand sanitizer to the spot, then blot with a paper towel.
How to Remove Tree Sap from Carpet and Upholstery?
The best way to get tree sap stains out of your carpet or upholstery is to first remove any excess from the stained area. To do that, fill a plastic bag with ice, and place it over the stain. Once the sap is hardened, gently scrape off as much of it as you can with a dull knife or a spoon.
Now comes the solution: Mix two teaspoons of Tide Ultra Stain Release Liquid with one cup of hot water and work the solution into the fabric with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Let it sit for five minutes.
Next, grab a paper towel and soak up the solution, then wipe the area clean with a damp cloth, then blot the whole thing dry with another paper towel.
Finally, let your carpet or upholstery dry overnight, then bust out your vacuum cleaner and collect any stray fibers.
Can Rubbing Alcohol Remove Tree Sap?
Yes! Rubbing alcohol is a universal tree sap stain remover, which can spirit away the sticky substance without a trace. Be careful, though, as isopropyl alcohol can wreak serious havoc on your fabrics: It’s recommended to test it on a less visible area of your piece of clothing first, before applying it to the stain.
Additional Tips on Removing Tree Sap
You’re in the mood for experimenting? Here are two alternative tree sap stain removal methods to try at home:
Some people swear by using sunscreen on their tree-sap-covered articles. Simply spray a small amount of sunscreen on the stained area and gently rub the fabric together, then launder as usual.
Other DIY pros prefer the combination solution of an ice cube plus vinegar: First, hold an ice cube against the sap stain until it’s completely frozen, then scrape it off with a spoon. Next, dip a cloth in vinegar, and gently rub the stain until it’s no longer visible, then give it a rinse under running water, and run the item through a washing machine cycle.
Be warned, though, a high-quality laundry detergent will always be more efficient at cleaning your clothes than using vinegar or baking soda. Read our article on how vinegar and baking soda compare to laundry detergents for more info on this topic.
Effective Stain Removal for a Variety of Stains
There is no need to fear enjoying life outdoors. Sure, things can get messy with tree sap stains or other outdoor stains from dirt or grass, but the good news is, Tide can help you remove the toughest stains from your favorite garments, so you don’t need to worry. So, get some fresh air to clear your head, and let Tide clean your clothes.