How to get rid of tree sap on hands

Tips For Removing Tree Sap

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General Tree Care

By: Nikki Tilley, Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden

Image by yanikap

With its sticky, goo-like texture, tree sap quickly adheres to just about anything it comes into contact, from skin and hair to clothing, cars, and more. Trying to get rid of tree sap can be difficult and annoying.

However, learning how to remove tree sap can be as easy as opening your household cabinets. Many commonly used household products can be used as pine tree sap remover. For instance, one of the most common household items for removing sap is rubbing alcohol. Alcohol acts as a solvent, breaking up sap and dissolving it.

Pine Tree Sap Remover for Skin and Hair

A great way to remove sap from your skin is by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or nail polish remover. Simply rub onto the affected area(s) and follow up with soap and water. Using Crisco or grease-cutting dish soap is also effective.

Nothing is worse than getting sap in your hair. This can easily be taken out with peanut butter. The oils found in peanut butter help break down the sap, making it easy to comb out. Simply cover areas with sap and use a hair dryer (warm setting) to soften. Comb out and wash hair as usual. Mayonnaise has the same effect. Allow the mayonnaise to sit for several minutes before rinsing and then comb hair.

Remove Tree Sap from Clothing

Tree sap can easily be removed from clothing with rubbing alcohol. Simply rub onto the affected area(s) to remove tree sap from clothing. Then place the item(s) in the washing machine (with detergent) and wash as usual in warm water. Do not add other items to the wash. Hand sanitizer also works.

Believe it or not, you can easily remove tree sap from clothing by using a well-known bug repellent too. Spray on Deep Woods Off bug repellent and then wash out. This household item is also great for removing tree sap from windows.

Removing Tree Sap from Cars

There are several other household items that can be used for removing tree sap from cars. Nail polish remover can be used as pine tree sap remover. Care should be given, however, as this can also remove paint. Allow the nail polish remover to soak into a cotton ball. Rub onto the affected area using a circular motion. Rinse off with a baking soda and hot water solution (1 cup baking soda to 3 cups water). Wash the car as usual.

Mineral spirits is an oil-based solvent oftentimes used as paint thinner and commonly found in many homes. This household item is also effectively used for removing tree sap from cars. Soak into a towel and wipe onto the affected area. Repeat as needed until the tree sap is gone and wash as usual.

Another great pine tree sap remover is WD-40. Its mild solvent properties easily break down sap. The lubricant is safe on most types of paint. Spray it on and rinse it off with vinegar and water solution. Wash as usual.

How to Remove Pine Sap from Wood Decks

Want to know how to remove pine sap from wood decks and other wooden surfaces? As an alternative to those harsh, heavy-duty stain removers, use non-diluted Murphy’s Oil Soap. Simply apply with a mop or pour directly onto the affected surface. Allow it to sit for about fifteen minutes. Then scrub with a brush and rinse. The oil-based solution softens the sap residue, making it easier to remove. One note– this works best on finished or sealed decks.

Tree sap is difficult to remove from any surface, especially once it’s hardened. However, learning how to remove tree sap using common household items can make this task easier.

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How To Get Tree Sap Off Hands and Skin

"How to get tree sap off hands" comes like a course in the Pacific Northwest. Since we moved here, my family has had our fair share of the sticky stuff, and I have become an expert at removing it.

A simple barefoot walk out into our yard yields feet full of tree sap, sticky fingers, and, yes, the dreaded tree sap in our hair. It can be a huge pain, and it was for me as a mom of two at first. I come from the city. Run-ins with tree sap were relatively rare, even in a tree-laden town like the one where I lived. Now, it is everywhere!

Just the other night, my four-year-old woke up in the middle of the night and called out to me: "Mama!" When I went in to check on her, she asked me, sleepily, if I would remove the tree sap from in between her toes. It was bothering her in her sleep.

Now, you might not have tree sap issues to this extent, but you came here for a reason. I am willing to bet it is to find out how to get tree sap off skin and hair. Well, after two years in tree sap insanity, I am here to help.  

Table of Contents:

  • What Is Tree Sap? 
  • 5 Best Products to Get Sap Off Skin and Hair 
  • When All Else Fails, Combine! 
  • What Not to Use For Removing Tree Sap

What Is Tree Sap?

Perhaps you are most familiar with the pine sap of the Christmas tree variety? Have you ever carried in a Christmas tree, excited to get decorating, only to find your hands covered in pine sap?

I have.

Pine sap is tough. We love Christmas trees. We love maple trees in the park. God knows we love maple syrup on our pancakes. But for all of that love, we also must deal with sticky tree sap, the super sticky substance that oozes from at least 22 tree varieties in the United States. We supply hundreds of gallons of maple syrup to the market between the US and Canada. Tree sap eventually becomes maple syrup after tapping the tree and boiling the sticky sap, among other steps.



Hands, feet, and hair?


So, how do you get rid of it?  

5 Best Products to Get Sap Off Skin and Hair

Coconut Oil for removing tree sap

Coconut oil is one of my go-to solutions for pretty much everything. Coconut oil has multiple benefits.

Dry skin? Coconut oil.

Chapped lips? Coconut oil.

Dry hair? Coconut oil.

And, yes, tree sap? Coconut oil.

To remove tree sap, apply a bit of coconut oil directly to the place where the sap is, rub it all in, and let it sit. It should bind to the coconut oil and rub off easily. 

Vegetable Oil for removing tree sap

No coconut oil on hand? You can remove tree sap with the same process with whatever vegetable cooking oil you have on hand.

It may not smell as nice, but hey, beggars can't be choosers. When removing the tree sap from your hair, use a dying bottle to spread the oil directly to the glued strands. 

Degreasing Products Used in Your Home can remove tree sap

This stuff is a lifesaver, mainly because we all have degreasing products in our homes, at least grease-cutting dish soap.

I never knew the real power of those products until I moved to a sprawling property with lots of projects to manage. Now I always keep some around if one of us gets covered in grease from a machine.

It acts in the same way with a tree sap as well - cutting right through it while not damaging your skin or hair. 

Rubbing alcohol for removing tree sap

Yes, you read that right. Rubbing alcohol or drinks with a large percentage of alcohol like vodka will also help cut through the sticky sap on your skin and/or hair and allow you to rub or wash it off:

  1. Soak a cotton pad in rubbing alcohol
  2. Press the cotton pad against the tree sap and hold it there for two minutes
  3. Rub the cotton pad in a circular motion to remove tree sap
  4. Once the sticky sap is no longer stuck on the skin or hair, wash away the rubbing alcohol, and the tree sap remains using baking soda diluted in warm water.

Mayonnaise for removing tree sap

    Look, I am not a fan of mayonnaise. I have never been. I will put it in my tuna, and that is it. Otherwise, it just feels too greasy and oily for my taste.

    But that is precisely what we want to remove sap - greasy, oily, slick material to bind with the sap and let it slide off. Mayonnaise may be one of the best products to get sap off the skin and especially out of hair due to its ease of use.

    You can just glob it up with your fingers and lather it on. I know, yuck. But also, yay! 

    When All Else Fails, Combine!

    Try a combination of the products above when dealing with particularly nasty tree sap that just will not come off your skin (or out from between your toes).

    I love oils for removing tree sap, particularly from hair, because if it binds correctly, it will allow the sap to slide right out.

    You can try a natural oil-based hair oil you have on hand and then wash it off with a degreasing soap.

    You can apply the degreasing soap and rub it off with baking soda or alcohol.

    You can always try the WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo clarifying shampoo to cleanse your hair from tree sap! But, make sure you use the Coconut/Avocado Conditioner after the shampoo to restore back the hair's moisture. 

    The bottom line is not to give up. And trust the process. The sap will eventually come out.

    That is one of my favorite things about our largest organ, our skin: it does not want to hold on to anything foreign either on it or in it.

    Everything, with time and patience, comes out.  

    What Not to Use For Removing Tree Sap

    In the end, you want to use what you have on hand, combine what you can, have patience. And, please keep it simple.

    I have read articles professing the wonders of everything from pine oil to peanut butter. But how many of us have pine oil on hand, and who wants peanut butter in their hair? Not me! Stick to anything alcohol-based or oil-based to get tree sap off hands and hair, and you should be in good shape.

    Do not get crazy removing tree sap off with a knife or running out to the store for new products. By the time you get there and back, the sap will likely already be on its way out.

    Explore the WOW website for more natural hair care products. 

    How to wash resin from hands: methods, tools, life hacks



    1. How to wash hands from tar?
    2. Epoxy resin
    3. Pine resin
    4. How to wash pine resin from hair and clothes?

    Everyone can get tar on their hands, so it's important to know how to get rid of it as soon as possible. Such a situation is unlikely to be pleasant for someone, but you should not fall into despair, because you can deal with this problem with a little effort and spending a few minutes with benefit. Various folk methods can be used to eliminate resin and return the skin to an attractive appearance. It is enough to choose an acceptable option and start acting.

    How to wash hands from tar?

    Resin on the hands may appear due to various reasons (woodworking, roof repairs, etc.), but this is not so important. After all, the main task is the rapid and complete removal of the resin, which can be performed using various substances. Which ones? First of all, oily substances, organic solvents and other aggressive chemicals can be used.


    Epoxy compound is a high strength adhesive that is used on metal, plastic and other surfaces. Typically, the mixture is a liquid substance that is miscible with a solvent. To begin with, heating is carried out, and then the glue cools down, as a result of which it is extremely difficult to remove it.

    You can remove epoxy resin from your hands in the following way:

    • Spread baby cream on problem areas and let it act on the substance for 30-40 minutes. Rinse under warm water using a brush and laundry soap.
    • Apply oil (tanning oil, baby oil or olive oil) to the skin and let it work, waiting for 40 minutes. Wash off with a hard washcloth under the tap.
    • Create a soda slurry (20 grams of soda and 10 ml of water), apply it on your hands and wait 30-40 minutes. Wash off with water and laundry soap.
    • You can also try removing the resin with an aggressive solvent such as benzine, acetone or mineral spirits. This method is harmful to the health and skin of the hands, so it should be used only as a last resort. At the end of the procedure, the hands must be treated with a special cream.

    Important! Tips to consider when removing resin:

    • Adhesive must not be removed with benzine or acetone from sensitive skin areas.
    • Do not use flammable substances near open flames.
    • Use aggressive solvents outdoors or in a well-ventilated area, keeping other household members away.
    • Hot resin can cause wounds. They need to be washed with water, treated with cream and left open. If there is pain, a fever, or blisters begin to form, you should immediately consult a doctor.

    Pine resin

    After a picnic or a walk in a coniferous forest, you may notice that wood resin has appeared on the hands or other skin areas. It can be not only on the skin, but also on clothes or hair. You can eliminate it in one of the following ways:

    • Take a kitchen sponge, moisten it with water and sprinkle with citric acid. Scrub stains until they disappear.
    • Treat the stained area with vegetable oil, rubbing it into the skin. Wash off in warm running water using laundry soap.

    How to wash pine resin from hair and clothes?

    If not only the skin is soiled, but also clothes or hair, then you need to act in one of the following ways:

    • Mayonnaise or peanut butter. It is enough to apply the substance to the hair and wrap the stained area with a plastic bag for 30-40 minutes. After the time has elapsed, remove the cellophane, wash off the remnants of the substance under the tap using soap.
    • Resin is best removed from clothing by thermal treatment. To do this, put things in the freezer so that the resin freezes and carefully remove it with a sharp knife.
    • Harsh solvents can also be used, but they can damage the fabric, so proceed with extreme caution. Usually gasoline and acetone are used to remove resin from dense materials, but first you need to test the effect of the product on an inconspicuous area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe clothing.


    In trend

    How and with what to wash the resin from hands and other areas of the skin, as well as wipe it from the hair

    It is very easy to get dirty with resin on a walk in the forest, at a photo shoot or during repair work. It is much more difficult then to get rid of this substance on the skin of the hands, clothes, hair. There are ways to help quickly wash the resin.


    • 1 How to clean resin from hands

      • 1.1 How to clean epoxy from hands and other skin areas

        • 1.1.1 Resin Cleansing Cream for Children

        • 1.1.2 Coca-Cola as solvent

        • 1.1.3 Soda

        • 1.1.4 Cleaning the skin with rubber glue

        • 1.1.5 Mixture of turpentine, starch and ammonia

        • 1.1.6 Acetone

        • 1.1.7 Video: Acetone Epoxy Thinner

      • 1.2 How to clean the resin from pine and other conifers from the skin of the hands

        • 1.2.1 Sunflower oil

        • 1.2.2 How to clean resin stains from pine cones with alcohol

        • 1.2.3 Citric acid for tar traces

    • 2 Prohibited Methods

      • 2. 1 Hot process

      • 2.2 Cold cleaning

      • 2.3 Epoxy solvents and acid

    • 3 How to clean resin from hair

      • 3.1 Peanut butter and mayonnaise

    • 4 How to clean resin from baby's hair and skin: useful tips

    Resin Remover from Hands

    When traveling to the pine forest, mushrooming or covering the roof, we can stain our hands and hair with wood or epoxy resin. They harden within a day. Epoxy may vitrify earlier (within 7-14 hours), depending on its composition. Drops of artificial and natural resins are removed in different ways, but the described methods should be used until the resin completely hardens on the skin.

    Tree tar is easier to clean than artificial

    How to get epoxy off your hands and other skin

    Epoxy is a kind of strong adhesive. It firmly adheres to various materials: wood, roofing felt, plastic. Epoxy resin is used for repairs in liquid form, after a while it hardens. It is necessary to immediately clean the skin of resin drops, since with prolonged contact it causes irritation and swelling of the skin, serves as a source of allergies, redness and tearing of the eyes, irritation of the respiratory tract.

    Epoxy resin is a carcinogen that, when it comes into contact with the skin, begins to poison the body. It should be removed immediately! If it is still soft, do not soak the solvents on the skin, but rub the dirt with them.

    Resin Cleansing Baby Cream

    The most gentle way is with a baby cream. It will not only remove impurities, but also soften the skin, reduce the level of irritation. In addition, it rarely causes allergies, suitable for both adults and children. It can be used for delicate and sensitive skin.

    1. Apply the product to the resin and the skin around the stain.
    2. Scrub immediately, then apply more cream and rub again until the stains are completely cleared. You can use a hard brush for this.
    3. Wash off residues with soap.

    Baby cream safely removes epoxy resin

    Coca-Cola as a solvent

    Dissolves Coca-Cola resin well.

    It is known that Coca-Cola is able to clean many things: sink and bath from limescale, pipes from rust, pots from burnt food. Its effectiveness is explained by the content of carbon dioxide and phosphoric acid.

    In fact, not only Cola can be used. Both Fanta and Sprite are often used as epoxy solvents.

    1. For 1 liter of soda we take 1 tbsp. l. soda. We stir.

      Carbonated water can be used to clean the resin, e.g. Coca-Cola

    2. We dip our hands into the solution.
    3. Hold for 10 minutes.
    4. Wash hands with soap and apply cream.

      After a soda bath, hands are washed and lubricated with cream


    Soda reacts chemically with resin, softening it. There will be no harm from prolonged contact with soda. On the contrary, the substance relieves irritation and inflammation of the skin. The main thing is to prevent the gruel from drying out on your hands. It can be used on delicate areas of the skin, this method will not harm children. We need:

    • water - 1 tbsp. l.;
    • soda - 3 tsp


    1. We make gruel from water and soda.

      Soda is diluted with water to the consistency of gruel

    2. Apply to the stained area of ​​the skin and clean the resin from the edges to the center.
    3. Wash off with warm soapy water.

      After cleaning the resin with soda, wash your hands well with soap and water

    We clean the skin with rubber glue

    Any rubber glue must contain a solvent. It acts on drops of resin that have fallen on the skin. Do not use on children's skin: an allergic reaction may occur. It is important not to keep the glue longer than 10 seconds, otherwise, in addition to the resin, you will also have to remove it.

    1. Apply a little rubber glue to the stained area of ​​the skin.
    2. Hold for 10 seconds.
    3. Roll the resin with your fingers.
    4. Wash hands thoroughly with soap.

    The rubber adhesive contains a solvent that cleans epoxy well from the skin.

    A mixture of turpentine, starch and ammonia. Unlike technical, this product does not leave burns on the skin and does not cause allergies, dermatitis.
    Gum turpentine, being a highly purified substance, softens the resin to the required consistency. To get rid of epoxy, we need:

    • ammonia - 3 drops;
    • starch - 1 tbsp. l.;
    • turpentine - 4 drops.


    1. Mix the ingredients.
    2. Apply to the contaminated area of ​​the skin.
    3. Scrub with a hand brush.
    4. Wash my hands.

    Turpentine with the addition of ammonia and starch is also used to clean tar from hands

    Use the technical solution only for cleaning clothes, shoes and other household items. Since its use negatively affects the human respiratory organs and can leave chemical burns on the skin, you should work with the product with gloves and a mask.


    Removes tar from leather with acetone and products containing it, such as nail polish remover. It is not recommended to use acetone for colored clothes, as the color will be washed out by the solvent. In no case should this method be used for children's and delicate skin.

    Acetone should be used in a well-ventilated area and away from children, since inhalation of this substance can cause respiratory problems.

    How to use:

    1. Apply acetone or nail polish remover to a cotton pad.
    2. Apply to resin for 3-5 seconds.
    3. We clean the pollution.
    4. After applying acetone, lubricate the skin with a moisturizer.

    Acetone cleans epoxy well

    Video: Acetone is an epoxy thinner

    How to clean pine and other coniferous tree resin from your hands

    You can also use acetone or gasoline to remove wood tar from your hands. But you need to remember that in this case it is necessary to carry out the cleaning procedure in a well-ventilated area. In addition to solvents, folk methods are also used.

    Sunflower oil

    The method is absolutely safe for children and adults. Can be applied to any skin type. Sunflower oil changes the consistency of the resin to a more liquid one, softens the substance. This makes the resin easier to remove from the skin.

    1. Apply a generous amount of sunflower oil to a cotton swab.
    2. Rub into the skin for 30-40 minutes until the resin is removed.
    3. Wash off with hot soapy water.

    Good for removing tar traces sunflower oil

    How to remove resin stains from pine cones with alcohol

    Alcohol is used for a wide variety of stains, including tar drops on the skin. Prolonged contact of alcohol with the skin is harmless. It does not threaten chemical burns and wounds, on the contrary, it disinfects hands. Alcohol softens the resin to a sticky, stringy consistency, allowing resin droplets to be removed. The product can be used for adult and children's skin. Since alcohol dries slightly, evaporating from the surface, after applying it, you can smear the skin area with baby cream.

    1. Soak a cotton pad in alcohol.
    2. Apply to resin for 20 minutes.
    3. Wipe the stain with cotton wool or gauze.

    Alcohol easily removes tar from skin

    Citric acid for tar traces

    Citric acid is used in everyday life as a mild chemical technical cleaner. It effectively dissolves resin due to its chemical composition. Citric acid is not recommended for delicate areas of the body and children's skin: it can lead to irritation.

    1. Take a soft sponge or cotton pad. We wet with water.
    2. Sprinkle the sponge with acid and rub the resin from the edges to the center of the stain.
    3. Wash off with warm soapy water.

    Citric acid can remove tar stains

    Do's and Don'ts

    Some cleaners are good at removing tar, but are bad for the skin. Their use is not recommended.

    Hot method

    It is effective for cleaning clothes, shoes, household items, but not for the skin of the hands or other parts of the body. The resin is ironed through the parchment with a hot iron. At high temperatures, the substance softens and can be removed with a sponge or cloth.

    This method should never be used to remove tar from leather. The result can be very deplorable: from a slight burn to getting into traumatology.

    Cold cleaning

    Also only for household items. A thing stained with resin is frozen. Resin crystallizes when exposed to low temperatures. After which it is smashed with a hammer. You can, of course, try and carefully wipe the dirty place on your hand with a piece of ice for several minutes so that the resin hardens. But the desired crystallized structure of the substance cannot be achieved in this way. But to get a slight frostbite of the skin is as easy as shelling pears.

    Cold cleaning of resin can cause frostbite on extremities.

    Epoxy solvents and acid. They are used to thin and dissolve resins.

    But none of these solvents can be used to cleanse the skin of the hands, face and other parts of the body from resin.

    Washer SP-6 is also the strongest solvent. It is designed to remove varnishes and paints from old ferrous metal, it also cleans epoxy. True, SP-6 is used in car services and at construction sites. After applying the wash, the paintwork swells, breaking down to a loose mass, which is then removed with a brush.

    It is strictly forbidden to use SP-6 remover to clean hands from resin. In case of contact with the skin, wash hands or other parts of the body with water immediately. If this is not done, then a chemical burn is guaranteed. When using SP-6, a chemical burn of the respiratory tract is also possible. After removing the wash, you need to consult a doctor.

    Do not use acid to clean tar off body parts. After all, sulfuric and tetrafluoroboric acids in contact with the skin form an instant chemical burn. At the same time, coagulation necrosis is formed almost instantly - tissue necrosis. A white crust with clearly defined borders instantly forms on the skin. The stronger the concentration of acids, the deeper the wound under the crust.

    Skin contact with acid can cause serious consequences

    How to clean tar from hair

    Not only hands, feet or face can get dirty in tar. It is much more difficult for housewives when the resin droplets are frozen in chic long hair. We will not rush and take up scissors. Let's try to fix the situation.

    Peanut butter and mayonnaise

    And again we turn to folk methods. Peanut butter or mayonnaise will help us. They soften the resin, strengthen the hair structure. For children, soap can be replaced with a special shampoo, which, if it gets into the eyes, will not pinch much. The method is great for both long and short hair.

    1. Apply mayonnaise or oil along the entire length of the stained strand.
    2. We wrap the head with plastic wrap.
    3. Hold for 30 minutes.
    4. Wash off with warm running water and baby soap.

      Wash hair after treatment with warm water and soap

    How to clean tar from baby's hair and skin: useful tips

    1. As we have already said, you should never clean tar from baby's skin with solvents, including acetone and gasoline. In addition to the fact that respiratory diseases can occur, there is a chance of getting chemical burns and allergies.
    2. Do not use citric acid either. Although it is the mildest of the existing acids, it can also damage the skin and cause irritation.
    3. Natural products are used for children: soda, sunflower, olive or peanut oil.
    4. It is important to ensure that cleaning products do not get into the eyes, nose, ears and mouth. If a child swallows oil or a couple of grains of soda, there will be no harm. But, for example, a cream may well cause an upset of the gastrointestinal tract or poisoning.
    5. If molten hot resin comes into contact with the skin, a burn or open wound will form underneath. It is washed with water. There is no need to cover it with adhesive tape or wrap it with a bandage. It is important to keep the wound open and seek medical attention immediately.
    6. If the temperature rises after cleaning the resin and the skin develops blisters, you should also immediately go to the doctor.

    We looked at various chemical and folk methods for cleaning resin from hands, hair and children's skin. They will help get rid of this sticky substance without harming your health and the health of your little ones.

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