If you have been camping and hiking for quite some time now, then chances are you have already encountered one specific problem. A problem that can ruin a beautiful set of clothes, might I add. I’m talking about tree sap stains and how annoying it is to remove them completely from your clothes. I’ve had a couple of instances wherein a fine set of outdoor clothes were ruined by tree sap stain and my inability to properly remove it. That’s why I thought about making a guide for you guys. A guide on how to get tree sap out of clothes.

I do wish I knew about this before. Could’ve kept some of my right clothes longer. Anyways, let me help you avoid stain problems with these helpful tips I picked up along the way.

What You Need

The most common mistake for us to make when it comes to removing tree sap stain is using the standard detergents. Sad to say that this won’t be enough. To get you started, I’ll list down the essential items you need if you ever found yourself in the unfortunate position of getting tree sap on your favorite clothes.

Items that you will need

  • Cooking oil
  • Goof off
  • Soft cloth
  • Spoon
  • Peanut butter

Step by Step Guide – How to Remove Tree Sap from Clothes

You should expect to get a little dirty whenever you are going on an outdoor activity such as camping and hiking. However, getting tree sap stains on your clothing is a whole other ball game as it can permanently ruin your clothes if not treated and cleaned properly. Getting tree saps stuck to clothing happens far too often than you think. To help you completely remove this pesky stain from your clothes, I’ve compiled an easy to follow guideline on how to remove tree sap stains. No need to worry about tree saps ever again.

Step 1: Soften up The Stain

The first thing you need to do is soften up the stain a bit. You can do this by using a spoon to scrape off the top hardened layer of the tree sap stain. This can be done in both old stains and new ones as well. This will help the cleaning solution later on.

Step 2: Picking a Cleaning Material

Now, your next step is picking a cleaning material from the list above. You can use alcohol, hand sanitizer (make sure it is alcohol based), nail polish remover, or peanut butter. You can pick any of those, but I recommend you first try it out on a small portion of the stain. Make sure that it will not damage the clothing material.

Results and effectiveness vary as some find rubbing alcohol to be the best option while others point to peanut butter as the best one. So, you might be asking how peanut butter can help clean tree sap stains (or stains like tomato paste, buttercream, coffee stains, …)? It’s pretty simple, really. Peanut butter contains enough oil to prevent your hands from gliding over the fabric. It has a perfect consistency that gives you enough drag to scrub off stains on surfaces like leather and fabric. Also, make sure you pick the smooth and creamy peanut butter instead of crunchy ones. The nuts on crunchy peanut butter can scratch surfaces.

Step 3: Apply Cleaning Material on a Soft Cloth

Once you have chosen the cleaning material you will use, apply it on a soft cloth. Take the soft fabric with the cleaning material and gently tapping it over the stained area. If the tree sap stain is considerably thick or large, you can apply the cleaning material directly to it. Spread and rub the cleaning material over the area thoroughly.

Step 4: Put Clothes in the Washing Machine

Once you have applied the cleaner thoroughly, simply put the clothes in the washing machine. Put in the proper amount of laundry detergent and use warm water. This is important as warm water can help further soften the stain’s grip on the clothes.

Step 5: Re-check

Before putting the clothing into the dryer, it is important that you check if both the stain and cleaning material are removed. This is doubly important if you used peanut butter as your main cleaning material. Make sure both the oil and stain is removed. If there are still traces of tree sap stain, just rub it with some laundry detergent and wash it again.

Step 6: 2 Tries Maybe…

If there are still tree sap stains on the clothing simply repeat the process from step 1. Tough tree sap stains will usually take 2 tries to remove.

Here’s a little video tutorial from The Late Boy Scout to show you how to go about the cleaning process: 

Alternatives on How to Get Tree Sap Out of Clothes

There is also another way to remove tree sap from your clothing which is just as effective. I’ll list the items you will need in this method below:

Step by Step Guide: Alternative Method on How to Remove Tree Sap from Clothes

There is more than one way to skin a cat, and that applies to removing tree saps from clothing as well. Here is another step by step guide on an alternative way to remove tree saps stains from your clothes. You can use either one as both are easy and effective in treating tree sap stains from clothing.

Step 1: Take & Store Cloth in a Freezer

For this alternative cleaning method, the first thing you need to do is take the cloth and store it in a freezer for about two hours. In the instance where the clothes are too large to be stored in your freezer, you can put wax paper on top of the stained area and place a plastic bag of ice cube over it. The reason for this sub-zero treatment is to make the stain hard and brittle, making it easier to remove.

Step 2: Scrunch the Stained Fabric

Once you’re done with the freezing process, scrunch the stained fabric to crack the tree sap stain. Afterwards, use a plastic knife to scrape off the broken tree sap. Once you are done with that you can use packaging tape to remove the remaining sap on the fabric by dabbing it over the area.

Step 3: Remove Actual Fabric Stain on your Clothes

Finishing step 2 should only leave the actual fabric stain on your clothes. To remove this, apply a couple drops of citrus-based stain remover. Get the ones that are used to remove sticker residue. Apply it over the stain and let it soak for a couple of minutes. Once the stain remover has been absorbed by the fabric, use a damp cloth to wipe it away.

Step 4: Pour Rubbing Alcohol

Take your white cloth and pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto it. Rub the cloth over the tree sap stain until the sap disappears. Now, add some mild dishwasher soap in the fabric and wipe the are off using a damp cloth.

Step 5: Mix Laundry Deterent & Apply to The Remaining Tree Sap Stain

Get your laundry detergent and mix it with water, just enough to create a consistency similar to paste. Apply the paste mixture over the remaining tree sap stain and leave it for about half an hour. Wipe the paste away using a slightly damp sponge and allow the clothing to air dry.

Does Deep Woods Repellent Help Us Avoid Tree Sap?

The answer is “Yes”. That is the “Wow” part when I start using it 1 day and figure it out. The repellent creates a kind of surface protection layer for your clothes, so it does get the bug away and somehow keeps your clothes clean enough 😀 Great trick!

Did you know what type of bug-repellent product helps remove tree sap stains? Let me tell you the one I use (or you may find some other products on the market that suits you, which is fine for the tree sap function): the product Deep Woods Bug Repellent is actually a great way to remove tree sap stains as well. Just spray it on the stain and wash it thoroughly. This product is also an excellent choice for removing tree sap stains on glass and windows.

Read more: 7 Ways To Make Autumn Decor The Superstar Of Your Home.

*/ Bonus Tip: How To Remove Burrs From Clothing

To be honest, making a whole article only about how to get burrs out of clothing seems a little non-sense and such a waste of resources but letting it be a gift for my readers is not. So in this article when we are talking about how to get tree sap out of clothes, I will also share with you the tiny tip that I know on removing burrs from clothing. Here are the 2 steps: 

  • Step 1: Get yourself a comb.
  • Step 2: Use your come to scratch the clothes until all the burrs is ripped off. 


Hopefully, this little article helped you in removing those pesky tree sap stains from your clothes. You can remove tree sap stains with your necessary household items, you just need to know which one and how to go about the cleaning process.

If you have any tips to share with us then go ahead and use the comments section below. Share some of your homemade stain removal tips if you got them and don’t forget to share this with your friends as well. Let’s make outdoor activities completely safe and fun for everyone.

What's your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure
Kevin Smith
Ahoy there! The name’s Kevin Smith, the proprietor of this little travel and outdoors blog. Since I was a kid, the outdoors has always been a passion, as my parents were avid campers themselves. They taught me everything I know about camping, hiking, etc. I would like to do my part by imparting my know-how to like-minded individuals who enjoy the same hobby. I started this website in the hopes of helping other people when it comes to answering questions, giving tips and recommendations focusing on the camping niche. Along with some close friends of mine, we are here to help you make the most out of your outdoor experience. Enjoy your stay and enjoy the wild side!

You may also like

More in:Other

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.