How to Remove Tree Sap From Vinyl

Updated February 21, 2017

Areas that are heavily populated with trees can be a wonderful place to live and camp. Unfortunately, trees like maples, birches and pines won't just stop producing sap because your car seats, camper, vinyl deck, siding or awnings happen to be in the way. Luckily, with a few cleaning products and the proper application method, you can remove tree sap from whatever vinyl material is speckled with the substance.

Wash your vinyl product with a mild detergent and water. Select a soap that is appropriate for whatever vinyl product you own. While you can wash a vinyl deck awning with a detergent like a mild dishwashing liquid, you should use something much more mild to wash a vinyl car seat. Wait for the vinyl to dry before proceeding.

Apply a wax and grease remover to a clean cloth. For vinyl fabrics, use a grease remover or a product like rubbing alcohol to break up the sap. For car or boat seats, using a bug and tar remover to first soften the sap so that you can wipe it away with the cloth.

Scrub the affected area gently so that you don't spread the sap around or scratch any area of the vinyl.

Wash away the cleaning product with a clean, damp cloth or chamois.

Wait for the area to dry, then check whether all of the sap is gone. If some sap remains, clean the affected area again to remove the additional sap. You may need to clean two or even three times, depending on how thick the sap deposit is on your vinyl product.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild detergent
  • Clean rags or chamois
  • Wax and grease remover
  • Bug and tar remover
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About the Author

Jessica Jewell is a writer, photographer and communications consultant who began writing professionally in 2005. Her chapbook, "Slap Leather," is forthcoming from dancing girl press. Her recent work has appeared in "Nimrod," "Harpur Palate," "Copper Nickel," "Rhino," "wicked alice," "Poetry Midwest" and "Barn Owl Review." Jewell was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She earned her Master of Fine Arts from Kent State University.