How to Remove Tree Sap Off of a Car Window

Written by angela lafollette | 13/05/2017
How to Remove Tree Sap Off of a Car Window
Remove tree sap from car windows with common household items before resorting to commercial cleaners. (cut and bleeding image by Allyson Ricketts from

Parking your car under or near a tree may result in tree sap sticking to your car windows. Tree sap will leave behind a sticky residue that can make it difficult to see out your car windows. If you notice tree sap on your car, you need to remove it as quickly as possible. If you allow the tree sap to harden, you may need to apply different cleaning methods to remove it completely.

Clean the area around the tree sap with a damp washcloth to remove dirt and debris. This will make it easier to target the tree sap directly.

Soak a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol. Rub the cotton ball onto the tree sap. Change out the cotton ball as it becomes covered in tree sap, and soak new cotton balls in the rubbing alcohol.

Rinse the window with warm water. If you still notice tree sap, you will need to use a commercial bug and tar remover.

Apply bug and tar remover to a washcloth. Follow the directions for application on the back of the product, and rub the remover over the tree sap.

Keep applying the bug and tar remover until you remove the sap completely from the window.

Spray a window cleaner onto the windshield to remove any lingering sap. You can make your own window cleaner by combining 1 cup of white vinegar with 1 cup of water.

Dry the window with paper towels.


Avoid spraying the window cleaner on the paint of your car.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid spraying the window cleaner on the paint of your car.

Things you need

  • Damp washcloth
  • Cotton ball
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Commercial bug and tar remover
  • Washcloth
  • Window cleaner
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • Paper towels

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