Need tree cutting or tree removal in Manhattan & the Bronx?

NYC street parking is hard enough without adding sticky tree sap to the mix! Anyone who’s battled the search for a spot on the Upper West Side, Upper East Side, or in Harlem knows those shady side streets under leafy trees can seem like a blessing… until you notice the drips. Let’s get that sap off with quick and easy methods.

Important: Act Fast!

The longer sap sits on your car, the harder it is to remove. That’s especially true in the summer heat. Fresh sap is much easier to deal with, so tackle it immediately.

Method 1: The Warm Water Soak

  • Step 1: Soak clean microfiber cloths or paper towels in warm (not boiling) water. The kitchen faucet is your friend here!
  • Step 2: Place the soaked cloths over the sap and let them sit for several minutes to soften.
  • Step 3: Gently wipe away the loosened sap. Repeat with fresh, warm cloths as needed. If you don’t have time to run inside, bodega-bought bottled water can do the trick in a pinch.

Method 2: Rubbing Alcohol to the Rescue

  • Step 1: Test an inconspicuous area first to ensure the alcohol won’t damage your paint.
  • Step 2: Apply rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl alcohol) to a microfiber cloth. Pick some up at that same bodega!
  • Step 3: Gently rub the sap in a circular motion until it dissolves.
  • Step 4: Wash the area with soapy water to remove any alcohol residue. A quick spray bottle filled with diluted car wash soap could be handy to keep in your trunk.

Method 3: Household Helpers

Several common household products can remove tree sap:

  • Hand Sanitizer: The alcohol content works to break down the sap. The bonus is it’s probably already in your bag or glove compartment.
  • WD-40: Spray a bit on a cloth, apply to the sap, let it soak briefly, then wipe away. Wash the area with car soap afterward. Be sure to test this one in a discreet spot first, as it can be harsh on some paints.
  • Bug & Tar Remover: Products designed for sticky messes can be effective. Follow the product directions and test in a small spot.

Stubborn Sap Tips

  • Clay Bar: Automotive detailing clay can be very effective. Follow the clay bar product instructions.
  • Don’t Scrape! Scraping with fingernails or a sharp object can easily damage your car’s paint. Resist the temptation!

NYC Parking & Tree Sap: A Reality

  • Shady Spots are Tempting: Finding a coveted parking space in the shade feels like a win, but be mindful of the trees above. Some species are notorious sap-drippers.
  • Smaller Trees, Too: Even those younger trees lining the streets can cause sap problems.
  • Regular Spot Checks: If you have to park under trees, a quick daily sap inspection can save you headaches later.