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Does Tree Sap Damage Car Paint? (Read This First!)

Tree sap is a liquid that contains minerals and nutrients for the tree. It transports energy and nutrients required for the tree to every part of the tree such as branches and leaves. In this article, we will discuss the damage it causes to car paint.

Does tree sap damage car paint? 

Although tree sap is used in many operations, it is a sticky element that can stick to your car paint pretty often. Once stuck, it becomes very difficult to clean off. It gets hard along with time and when scrubbed it can form scratches on the car and peels off the paint. 

Tree sap is a sticky material found in tree branches and leaves that are used to transport energy and nutrition ingredients throughout the tree.

One of the major problems with plant sap is its sticky texture, which can make it very difficult to pick up if it sticks to a cloth or surface. This fluid is usually dropped on a car parked under a tree and damages the car paint.

Since it is incredibly sticky and cannot be easily lifted, you will not be able to wash it off with water if it falls on the car. Attempting to remove it will show that spreading it over your car will ruin the color of the car and leave a sticky residue. 

Pine sap is one of the hardest tree saps to pull off. The harm of pine sap on the car paint is discussed below:

Pine sap:

Pine sap is a very thick liquid and often keeps dropping. So, if you see pine sap on the surface of your car, you should not ignore it. It will not cause any discoloration or damage immediately.

But after a certain period, pine sap will stick to your car very strongly. Keeping pine sap over the car paint will eventually damage the clear coat which protects the car paint from damage.

It will penetrate the clear coat since the pine sap contains a nutritious element that enables acid to cause burn your car paint and leave a sticky residue. Finally, it will cause your paint to become discolored and leave a permanent stain.

What does tree sap do to car paint? Does tree sap burn car paint? 

Tree sap contains energy and nutrient element which are transported to the different parts of the tree and provide the tree with food for it. Since it contains different nutrient elements, it also contains acidic materials that will harm the car paint.

It usually burns the clear coat of the car paint which prevents car paint damaging from sunlight and UV ray. If the tree sap heats up, it will penetrate and burn the clear coat and start to damage the base paint. 

Yes, tree sap causes burn to the car paint. It contains different types of acids which can lead to burning the paint of your car. Although your car contains a topcoat that is used to protect it from any outer damage.

But the layer is so thin, tree sap can easily penetrate it and reach the base paint causing serious damage to it. This is why tree sap must not be ignored when falling over your car paint. 

How long does it take for tree sap to damage car paint?

Once you notice tree sap on the painted surface of your car, you must not ignore it. The longer you leave it, the more damage it will cause. It takes 24 to 48 hours to damage the car paint. It is highly acidic and has sugar in it.

So, it can cause damage to the car paint in two different ways. The acids can damage the outer protective coat and sugars cause excessively sticky conditions to the car paint.

As a result, when you try to clean the car paint and try to remove the sap from it, it might peel off the paint or might leave a long-lasting stain and residue. Besides, dried sap will cause noticeable scratches on the car if you try to scrub the scratch.

You cannot wash or rinse the sap using water. You will need something that will loosen the sticky bond of the tree sap.

How do I protect my car from tree sap? Will a car wash & car cover protect from sap?

The first thing you need to do to protect your car from damaging by tree sap is, avoid parking your car under a tree.

Moreover, in case you have no space left and have to park your car under a tree, make sure to cover the car using a car cover so that sap cannot damage the car paint. Another thing you can do is, apply a seal to the car.

Nowadays, ceramic coating has become very popular and this prevents sap from damaging the paint of your car.

Car wash and car cover are ideal to avoid sap from damaging the car paint. A car cover will protect the car not only from tree sap but also from other contaminated elements. Cleaning the tree sap immediately after your notice it on the car will do the job.

Besides, you must wash the car thoroughly and rub it off using a basic car wash. Rub it off gently over the sap and it will eventually come off easily without leaving any sticky residue or stain.

How to remove tree sap from a car without damaging the paint?

There are plenty of ways to clean your car and remove the tree sap from it without damaging the paint. You can put an extra layer of coatings on your car such as ceramic coatings or seal the paint finish to avoid contamination.

You can even apply wax on the car to avoid sap from damaging your paint. Wax will create a thick and slippery layer of protection which will be helpful to remove the sap from your car.

Some other ways how you can remove tree sap from the car paint without damaging it is mentioned below: 

Basic car wash:

One of the simplest ways of cleaning your car paint without damaging it can be using a basic car wash. You just need to wash the car thoroughly and make it wet. Apply basic car wash over the car and rub it off gently over the tree sap.

The tree sap will eventually come off easily without leaving any residue or stain.

Seal the car:

You can seal the car by using different types of sealing materials on it. You can use wax, ceramic coating, or an extra layer of thin topcoat which will prevent the tree sap to sit on the car paint and leave any permanent stain on your car. 

Nail polish remover:

Nail polish remover is the most hassle-free way to remove tree sap from the car paint without damaging it. Simply apply it over the tree sap and wipe it off using a cloth.

You will not need to wash the whole car for this, that is why it is considered hassle-free.

How to fix tree sap damage on car paint?

Since tree sap contains higher acidic elements, it might cause damage to your car paint. Leaving tree sap on your car paint will generally cause the sap to dry up and penetrate the topcoat layer of the car.

After that, it will cause damage to the base coat of the car paint. As a result, your car will have a permanent stain on it. There are some simple ways in which you can fix sap damage on the car paint. The ideas are described below:

Wash the car thoroughly:

When you notice that sap is already on your car paint, you must not ignore taking immediate steps. For this, you need to wash the car with water. Gently rinse the car using water and prepare for the next step.

Apply basic car wash:

Once the car is fully wet, it’s time to apply foaming car wash and rub it off all over the car paint. Gently rub over the painted car surface and make sure you can pull off some of the tree sap over the car. After that rinse it off using water again. 

Apply WD-40 on the residue:

After you’re done washing the car, the tree sap still might leave some residue on it. For this, you can spray WD-40 on the residue.

Wait for a couple of minutes to let it sit, and wipe the surface using a cloth. Hopefully, you’ll get rid of the tree sap damage. 

Final Thoughts 

Tree sap contains acidic essences as well as sugar so it will cause serious damage to the car paint by leaving sticky residue and a permanent stain on your car. On the other hand, it will harm your car paint by penetrating the topcoat layer of the car paint and lead to corrosion on the surface.