How to Remove Sap From a Windshield

Looking for a nice, shady parking spot to hide away from the hot July sun? Be careful! Parking under a pine tree might leave your windshield covered in sticky pine sap.

All trees produce sap, but pine trees are known for producing an excess amount of it. That sticky sap – a mix of fluid and sugars – quickly hardens on surfaces, forming a resin-like bond to your windshield. Unfortunately, automotive washer fluid typically won’t remove tree sap, and your car’s wipers may just smear the sap, making matters worse.

If you have gummy globs of the stuff glued to your windshield, don’t worry! Tree sap on a windshield can be removed using a few common household products that you probably already have on hand.

Below are three things to try:

1. Remove Tree Sap on a Windshield With Ice

For large clumps that have not fully hardened, try using ice. The sap will cool faster than the windshield glass, and as it solidifies, it becomes easier to pry off.

  1. Place a few large ice cubes in water for a few moments to slightly soften the cubes.
  2. Place one of the cubes over an affected area, and hold for a few minutes. (You may want to wear a pair of work gloves.)
  3. Use a plastic ice scraper or plastic putty knife to scrape or peel off the solidified sap. Avoid using razor blades or other metal tools, which could damage your windshield.

Follow up with Glass Doctor glass cleaner. Spray and wipe dray with a microfiber cloth.

2. Remove Tree Sap on a Windshield With Rubbing Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol is an effective removal agent for sticky substances like tree sap:

  1. Using gloves (rubbing alcohol can be absorbed through the skin and damage internal organs), apply the rubbing alcohol to a microfiber or other soft cloth. Avoid using towels or sponges, which may be too harsh for windshield coatings.
  2. Place the alcohol-moistened cloth over the affected area, and leave in place for a few moments to soften the sap.
  3. Gently rub the cloth in a circular motion until the sap is removed. You may need to re-moisten cloth several times and adjust pressure, as needed.
  4. Follow up with auto glass cleaner and microfiber cloth.

3. Remove Tree Sap From Glass Surfaces With White Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is another common household product that can be used to safely remove tree sap from your windshield:

  1. Fill a spray bottle with distilled white vinegar.
  2. Spray generously on the affected area and let sit for three to five minutes.
  3. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe/rub in a circular motion, applying more vinegar as needed.
  4. Wash with hot, soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
  5. Dry with a microfiber cloth and follow up with auto glass cleaner, if needed.

Don’t Forget to Inspect Your Windshield for Damage

Clean, clear windows are essential for safe driving. Now is a great time to check your front and rear windshields and passenger windows for cracks, chips or sealing issues. Tiny chips or cracks can quickly morph into large, unsightly, and dangerous problems.

Choose Glass Doctor for All Your Glass Care Needs

Let Glass Doctor® fix your panes. From sticky situations to the replacement of your windshield, we’re here for you every step of the way. Call (833) 974-0209 or request an appointment online to get started.

What do you know about conifers? Learn more about pine trees from the landscaping experts at The Grounds Guys. Like Glass Doctor, The Grounds Guys are members of the Neighborly® family of home service brands.