Originally posted 11/11/2012.
Tree sap or resin is a sticky substance that oozes from trees, particularly coniferous (or evergreen) trees. Once it gets on your clothing it can be very difficult to remove, as water seems to have no effect on it’s removal. There are chemical based bottles of goop on the market that can help you remove it, but they can be expensive, and the safety is questionable. Can rubbing alcohol, something cheap that you already have at home do the job?
- Better for you – rubbing alcohol is safe on your skin in small quantities – just don’t drink it or inhale too deeply (but you knew that, right?)
- Saves money – rubbing alcohol is super cheap!
- Saves time – there’s a pretty big chance that you already have this in your bathroom cabinet, saving you a special trip to the store
- Easy – rub the sap away, and it’s gone!
- Dries quickly – you can spot treat your clothing and put it right back on without sending it through the wash and dry cycle
- Doesn’t work on all fabrics
- May cause discoloration on some fabrics, so do a spot test first
Honesty time: I can’t take credit for this review. Today as we were getting ready to go out my husband says to me, “I’m doing a Green Idea Review!” It turns out that he had gotten some pine tree sap on the seat of his favorite jeans, which did not come out in the wash. He decided to try a different to remove it. What a perfect thing to test out during the winter (tree cutting and wood chopping season)! I was so proud!
He poured a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol on the sappy spots, and rubbed it in with his fingers. The sap immediately started to dissolve and disappear. Immediately! There was a bigger spot that needed a second dose of alcohol, but when wet again, the remainder of the sport came right out. Then he draped the pants over a fan, and the spot was dry within a couple minutes.
So there you have it. Quick, and simple, easy sap removal. I’m sure this tip will come in handy during the holidays as many of us will find ourselves inviting whole trees full of sticky sap into our homes!
Have you ever tried this nifty trick? Do you have any other strategies for getting sticky pine tar out of your clothing?
P.S. – please remember to do a test spot in an inconspicuous place to ensure that you aren’t about to discolor or otherwise ruin your fabric!