How to Remove Leaf Stains on an Automobile's Clear Coat

When autumn leaves fall from the trees onto your vehicle, they can leave behind a stain of their presence. Chemicals on the leaves, including sap, can leave a mark on the car once they come in contact with the surface and moisture, such as morning dew. It is possible to remove leaf marks from a car's clear coat without the need for costly professional assistance.

Gently lift the leaves off of the car as soon as you notice them. Avoid rubbing the leaves across the car or allowing the wind to blow away the leaves. This could leave behind tiny abrasions on the vehicle's clear coat.

Wash the car with car shampoo and a soft cloth. This will help remove most of the outlines caused by the leaves.

Dry the car immediately with a soft cloth.

Remove any stubborn stains left behind by the leaves, including any sap marks, by applying commercial sap removal product, which can be purchased at several automotive supply stores. After applying the cleaner, allow it to sit for several minutes and then wipe it with a soft towel. Rinse the remover away and repeat until all sap marks are washed away.

Wash the car a second time. This will remove any further dirt, grime and the cleaners used to remove the stubborn stains.

Apply a layer of wax to the car. This will help restore the clear coat shine and remove any hazy build-up that may have occurred during the leaf imprint removal process.


Place a car cover or tarp over a car that must be parked for long periods of time outdoors or near a tree. This will help prevent any leaf marks from forming.

Things You'll Need

  • Car shampoo
  • Soft cloths
  • Commercial sap remover
  • Car wax
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About the Author

Residing in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Jaimie Zinski has been writing since 2009. Specializing in pop culture, film and television, her work appears on Star Reviews and various other websites. Zinski is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.