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The Detail Department
Detailing tips, tricks to keep your bimmer in showroom condition.

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  #1  
Old 07-20-2003, 09:31 AM
langbr01 langbr01 is offline
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Unhappy How to remove tree sap, without scratching paint?

This is the situation. I waxed my car 2 days ago. I went to dinner last night and when I cam out I realized that there were a million very very very tiny clear specs of sap on the whole car. I first noticed them on the windshield at night because the specles reflected light from headlights. I ran my hand over the newly waxed hood to feel little dots of sap on the car. SO how do I get rid of them without scratching the paint and removing the wax? Any help would be great. Thanks

Last edited by langbr01; 07-20-2003 at 11:29 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-20-2003, 10:08 AM
tgravo2 tgravo2 is offline
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If it's just wax, it should wipe off like any other wax would. You could wash with Dawn, then clay
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  #3  
Old 07-20-2003, 11:40 AM
RandyRy RandyRy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgravo2
If it's just wax, it should wipe off like any other wax would. You could wash with Dawn, then clay
I believe he was referring to tree sap, not wax bothering him. Using dish cleaners to wash a car would not be the smartest thing. An agent that is designed to remove food grime is a degreaser. Pertaining to tree sap, a strong "car wash" cleaner soap, will remove the sap. Rewaxing is basically inevitable. There are 2 kinds of car wash soap...(1) a Cleaner
(2) a mild detergent w' a wax product added in."Wash 'n Shine"
Wax must be reapplied after cleaner (1) or clay.
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  #4  
Old 07-20-2003, 12:55 PM
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RKT BMR RKT BMR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyRy
I believe he was referring to tree sap, not wax bothering him. Using dish cleaners to wash a car would not be the smartest thing. An agent that is designed to remove food grime is a degreaser. Pertaining to tree sap, a strong "car wash" cleaner soap, will remove the sap. Rewaxing is basically inevitable. There are 2 kinds of car wash soap...(1) a Cleaner
(2) a mild detergent w' a wax product added in."Wash 'n Shine"
Wax must be reapplied after cleaner (1) or clay.
If it's what I think it is, it is not "sap" per se, but rather weeping from a Maple or other similar tree. This stuff is somewhat water soluable, and will come off easily with just a normal wash.

Try washing it first with a good carwash product, to avoid stripping the wax. After the usual (gentle) mechanical agitation with sponge/mit/towel/whatever-you-use but before you rinse, run your fingers gently over the surface while well lubricated with soap to see if the tiny blobs have been removed. If not, do another round of gentle washing.

If that takes it off, rinse and dry as usual. You'll be fine, and most of your wax will still be on the car (washing always takes some off). If not, however, DO NOT rinse and dry the car. Move it to a covered spot (garage is best), and proceed to using clay to get the stuff off. You will then have to rewash with detergent (Dawn is popular), dry, and rewax.

If this still doesn't solve the problem, you'll have to move on to some sort of solvent. Start with a product called Bug and Tar (don't remember the manufacturer; available in virtually all auto parts stores). If that doesn't get it off, try isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. If even that doesn't do the trick, you're down to just about the last resort of machine polishing. In all of these cases, once the problem's solved, you will have to strip the remaining wax with detergent, then rewax.

All that said, I'd put money down that it will come off easily when you wash the car.
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  #5  
Old 07-20-2003, 01:45 PM
langbr01 langbr01 is offline
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You guys are great, thanks very much for all of your advice, its greatly appreciated.
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  #6  
Old 07-21-2003, 10:05 AM
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RKT BMR RKT BMR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougDogs
Last weekend I had to remove about 50 - 100 little tiny brown sap bumps from an evergreen tree my wife parked under. After starting with bug and tar remover, (for 5-6 of the spots) I changed to isopropyl alcohol. Alcohol worked much easier.
Yup -- if the culprit is a conifer of some sort, then it'll be sap.

Other trees, like maples, are just weeping from stomata respiration, and usually just washes off.
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  #7  
Old 07-21-2003, 10:06 AM
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RKT BMR RKT BMR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 330i
Hey, I wash with Dawn all the time. It doesn't take off my wax. Am I doing something wrong?
Dave, you have to wax your car in the first place.

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