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How Do I Get Hardened Tree Sap Off?

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How Do I Get Hardened Tree Sap Off?

Old 03-24-18, 09:34 PM
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Crankycrank
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How Do I Get Hardened Tree Sap Off?

Like the title says. Can't find anything that dissolves old tree sap off of painted and anodized aluminum surfaces. I've tried:
WD-40
Odorless Mineral Spirits
Kerosene
Water Based Strong solution Orange Citrus Cleaner
Dish soap & Water
Muc Off type pink cleaner & Water

None of these do anything to remove it.
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Old 03-24-18, 09:42 PM
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I'd try turpentine. It's made from pine tree sap. My first thought before I opened the thread and I see you haven't tried it. It probably will need real time to do its thing. I'd start on the aluminum parts first to get the timing down. Too long on the paint might not be good.

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Old 03-24-18, 09:47 PM
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If it is small spots of sap and not large globs then you could try an automotive bug and tar remover or clay bar.
http://www.meguiars.com/en/automotiv...ereg-clay-kit/
I had spots of tree sap on a new car which had sat in a lot for several months before I purchased it. The clay bar took care of it.

Don't take my advice. Go ask in an Audi, Corvette or some other auto forum. Those guys are obsessive about removing contaminants for automotive parts.


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Old 03-24-18, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I'd try turpentine. It's made from pine tree sap.
+1

The physical chemistry rule is "like dissolves like".

If turps doesn't work, try Goo Gone (the real stuff - mostly d-limonene).
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Old 03-24-18, 11:42 PM
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Maybe you can freeze it then pick it off?? I would think a CO2 inflator would do that.
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Old 03-25-18, 06:32 AM
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Denatured alcohol works.
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Old 03-25-18, 06:49 AM
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I've never had that on a bike but my wife parked her car under a tree and the same thing happened . No "paint safe" solvent I tried (water, soap and water, OMS and kerosene) did anything. Eventually I was able to physically chip it off with my fingernail and the edge of a credit card while keeping the area wet. I worked carefully and it came off leaving no damage afterward.
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Old 03-25-18, 07:37 AM
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soak the area with hot tap water mixed with dawn soap. Then wrap a hot dawn soaked cloth/sponge around the effected area until the hot soapy tap water within the material used has dropped to ambient temperature.

Quickly wipe while rinsing the challenged area with clean rag using a toothbrush to disturb the stubborn areas free from the surface it's adhered itself to.
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Old 03-25-18, 08:56 AM
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OK, thanks for the tips everyone. I should say that this is special hard sap from the tree from hell over my apt. that has been sitting on a bike and my motorcycle wheel getting baked in the sun for several months so requires some extraordinary strength solution. Here's what I've tried so far.

I have the Mothers brand equivalent of the Meguiars clay and detail spray kit and found this works but it was a LOT of work.
Denatured Alcohol didn't get it to budge.
Poured some boiling water over the sap and let some dishsoap in a rag soak in. This worked fairly well but required a few applications.
Freezing, I have some freeze spray combined with trying to scrape off with my fingernail and it worked a little but I have a lot to remove and may take several $15 spray cans.
Don't have any turpentine in my arsenal yet so I'll buy some in the next couple of days and report back.
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Old 03-25-18, 09:06 AM
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Pine sap on cars is common around here. Turpentine does take it off very easily but as mentioned it can harm some finishes. I never had turpentine or the pine sap hurt the finish on my cars. I do usually wipe it completely off with a damp rag afterward if I'm not about to wash my car. I have used Pine-Sol with almost equal success, but that was years ago and I don't know if the Pine-Sol of then is the same as today.

Sometimes I also take the stance of just letting it harden and scrape it off with a fingernail or something plastic. Don't be too wild with your scraping though, that can still mar a finish.
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Old 03-25-18, 09:09 AM
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It sounds like it's might have hardened / polymerized, like varnish, after sitting in the sun. Mineral spirits would take it off when fresh (and works on tar, too). Turpentine would work the same as mineral spirits, so I wouldn't buy any turpentine -- it's mostly for specialized oil paint purposes now. Mineral spirits on a paper towel are great for cleaning up black chain goo, too, so the rest of the can won't be wasted.

Try the mineral spirits first. Testing on the underside of the frame is a good idea, but I don't expect it to affect the bike paint. It's been fine on my bike's paint.

Since the hot water worked a little: apply layers of paper towels, soaked in water. Some dish soap would be good, too. Then wrap with saran wrap, or other food wrap, to keep it from evaporating. Let it sit all day. It won't dissolve the sap, but might get it quite soft.

I've used a similar technique with paint stripper, which dries out quickly. Saran wrap keeps it wet and active for hours.

As a last choice option, paint remover would likely work on the sap. It may or may not affect the original paint. I'd be very careful, testing it on a hidden underside location, very briefly, then a longer test. Look for dulling of the paint, not just paint bubbling off.

Last edited by rm -rf; 03-25-18 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 03-25-18, 10:37 AM
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Others have said turps is hit or miss. I will emphasize the success I've had with Goo Gone. It's a natural product in oranges and lemons (d-limonene). It's pretty much a miracle solvent for anything organic. I've had luck using it to remove resins, adhesive label gunk, and so forth.

That said, some folks have had luck with hand sanitizer (about 70% ethyl alcohol), automotive bug and tar remover, or isopropyl alcohol.
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Old 03-25-18, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
Denatured alcohol works.
What he said. Denatured alcohol works fast, and best if the sap is fresh. Even dried sap comes off in a few seconds, but I always follow with a soap bath. Don't get too aggressive, the alcohol can damage paint and decals. Oh, don't park your bike under pines.
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Old 03-26-18, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by dweenk View Post
Oh, don't park your bike under pines.
Ha, totally agree. The bicycle is my neighbors who I warned not to leave her bike there so I'm going to let her do the work on it while I do my motorcycle wheel which is kept covered except for a small section of the front wheel that sticks out. Tried the Denatured alcohol already and it's not doing anything to this stuff. I'm thinking it would be good to use the sap from this tree on any future paint chips on my steel bike since it seems it will never come off.
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