How to Remove Tree Sap in Salt Lake City
Tree sap can look unsightly when it drips onto surfaces, and it can also be hard to get off of clothing, skin, cars, wood decks, and furniture. You shouldn’t bother trying to remove tree sap from the tree itself, but there are certain techniques you can use to remove it from places where it’s dripped down. You can also reduce the chances that a tree will drip sap by taking care of the tree and performing regular pruning and maintenance. At Rent-A-Monkey Tree Services, we offer professional, affordable tree trimming and tree pruning services throughout the Salt Lake City metro area. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of regular tree services, call us today.
What Causes Tree Sap?
Tree sap comes from the tree’s xylem cells. It is primarily composed of water, minerals, sugar, nutrients, and hormones. Sapwood contains tree sap, and creates carbon dioxide. When the carbon dioxide pressure builds up, the tree sap is forced out through cracks or openings in the tree. Tree sap isn’t harmful to the tree, or to humans or pets; however, when it drips off the tree it can cause staining, and damage to clothing and belongings. While you can’t make your tree sap-free, you can reduce its sap production, and learn how to remove sap when it does drip on things.
Why Tree Sap Is Unwanted
Tree sap is sticky, hard to remove, and can stain. Getting it on your hands and skin is uncomfortable and attracts dirt and germs. When you get tree sap on clothing, it can cause stains that are hard to get out. Tree sap on cars, wooden decks, patio furniture, and other belongings can damage the finish or veneer. Some methods for removing tree sap are abrasive, and might actually cause more problems than the sap. If tree sap dries on a hard surface, it can be very, very difficult to dissolve.
Tips for Preventing Tree Sap
While you can’t completely prevent a tree from creating sap, you can decrease the sap that leaks or drips out of your tree. Pruning off smaller branches that are dripping sap makes it less likely that sap will drip on you or your property. Wait until spring or fall to do your tree pruning in Salt Lake City, as pruning trees in summer or winter can stress the tree. Applying a pruning sealant can also cut down on the amount of sap that drips from your trees. Pruning sealant is usually used to seal wounds on trees, and sap typically seeps out through wounds and cracks. Sealing up the sap’s exit points can cut down on the sap dripping onto you and your belongings.
Removing Tree Sap From Skin and Hair
Alcohol is great at breaking down sap so it can be washed off of skin more easily. You can use rubbing alcohol, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, or nail polish remover. Put some on a cotton ball or cloth and gently rub the skin. For sap in hair, be careful about applying damaging or drying agents like alcohol. Instead, use something oily like peanut butter, mayonnaise, or olive oil. The natural oils break down the sap, making it easier to comb or wash out of hair. Apply the oil to your hair and then use a hair dryer to dry and soften the hair, and then wash the sap out!
Removing Tree Sap From Clothing
You can also use alcohol or hand sanitizer to remove tree sap from clothing, but be careful using this method on delicate fabrics like silk, satin, lace, or linen. You can also use Off Deep Woods Bug Repellent. For either method, apply the liquid to the sap on clothing and then wash the clothing on a warm setting with regular laundry detergent (but don’t add any other clothing to the load). If there is still sap residue or a stain after washing, don’t place the clothing in the dryer. Instead, repeat the cleaning process again.
Removing Tree Sap From Cars
Removing tree sap from cars is trickier, because both wet and dry tree sap can damage the finish of the car, remove paint, and cause staining or discoloration. Never try to scrape sap off of your car using an abrasive tool or agent. Put a small amount of nail polish remover on a cotton ball and move it over the sap in a circular motion. Wash off the residue with baking soda and hot water. You can also try mineral spirits or WD40 – just soak it onto a soft towel and rub at the sap until it is removed. Goo Gone Automotive often works as well or better than these options.
Removing Tree Sap From Wood Decks and Furniture
You can clean tree sap from wood decks and furniture using an undiluted oil soap, like Murphy Oil Soap. Mop it over the affected area and let it soak for about 10-15 minutes, and then scrub the area thoroughly with a stiff-bristled brush. Afterwards, hose down the deck to remove all traces of sap before it dries again. White vinegar may also remove sap residue from wood, but be sure to rinse it off thoroughly and don’t let the vinegar dry on the wood.
Contact Us Today for Tree Services in Salt Lake City
If you’re interested in learning more helpful tips and tricks for tree care, or if you need professional tree services in Salt Lake City, call us today at Rent-A-Monkey Tree Services. Our tree specialists have years of experience in caring for, maintaining, pruning, and trimming trees of all varieties, sizes, and ages. We also offer emergency tree removal services, stump grinding, power line clearance, and firewood cutting. We’re a locally operating, Veteran-owned business and we care about our community, so we always strive to offer the highest quality tree services at an affordable price. To learn more or to request a quote, just call us today or contact us online.