Sticky tree sap poses a particular problem on carpeting or furniture. Because of its sticky, tannin-based nature, it may seem like a challenge to remove. But, do not fret—we are here to shed light on removing tree sap stains that have made their way into your home.
Removing sap, pitch, or tree resin is not difficult and does not require special cleaners, but it may need a few steps and some soaking before it's completely gone. Read on for our guide to removing tree sap stains.
|Stain Type||Tannin-based and gum-based|
|Detergent Type||Heavy-duty laundry detergent|
|Wash Temperature||Hot or warm|
Before You Begin
If you have a stain on silk or vintage upholstery, consult a professional furniture cleaner, especially if you need more stain removal tips. Also, do not use these cleaning steps on suede clothing, shoes, or upholstery. Suede has different cleaning procedures.
Equipment / Tools
- Butter knife or spoon (Optional)
- Soft-bristled brush
- Plastic bag
- Liquid dishwashing detergent
- Paper towels
How to Remove Tree Sap From Carpet or Upholstery
Lift the Sap
First, check and inspect the stained area. If you see beads of sap or tar, put some ice in a plastic bag and place it over the stain. Let the ice harden the sap for about 15 minutes, then remove the ice and try to pull up as much of the hardened sap as possible by hand or scraping with a butter knife or spoon.
The redeeming part about sap stains is its ability to coagulate in the cold. If enough of the sap is removable after this step, you are good to go. If not, read on for further cleaning instructions.
Mix a solution of two teaspoons of liquid dishwashing detergent with one cup of hot water. Use a soft-bristled brush to work the solution into the carpet or upholstery where the stain lies.
Blot and Rinse
Use a paper towel to blot away the soapy solution as the stain is loosened. Next, wipe the area with a towel dipped in plain, cool water to remove the soapy residue, and then blot dry with a paper towel.
Vacuum the Carpet or Upholstery
Allow the stained area to air dry completely (usually overnight; don't apply heat), then vacuum the carpet or upholstery to lift the fibers.
Additional Tips for Removing Tree Sap
- If the stain persists, you should repeat the above steps until the stain disappears. DIYers report some success with other home remedies.
- Do not saturate upholstery with soap cleaner. Too much soap solution can cause mold and mildew problems in the cushions.