How to Get Tree Sap Off Furniture or Carpet

Sap is an essential component of trees, serving to transport nutrients throughout the plant.

Removing Sap from Wood Furniture

The sap from pine trees smells heavenly but can be a bear to clean up.The sap from pine trees smells heavenly but can be a bear to clean up.
But sap transported inside on shoes, pets or toys can be a household nightmare if it winds up on your furniture or flooring. Dissolved sugars in the sap make it a sticky mess when liquid and a hard-to-remove chore if it dries. There are two general approaches to removing tree sap from furniture and fabrics such as carpets: softening and dissolving. The first depends on rehydrating the sap using products containing oils, while the second uses solvents such as alcohol.

Step 1

Apply a small amount of the oil-containing cleaner onto the tree sap, making certain the sap is completely covered.

Step 2

Allow cleaner to sit for 15 to 20 minutes. This gives the oil time to soften the sap.

Step 3

Scrub the affected area gently with the brush, taking care not to damage the furniture finish.

Step 4

Repeat the entire process if sap remains after the initial cleaning. Repeat until all the sap is removed.

Removing Sap from Carpets

Step 1

Test a small portion of carpet with rubbing alcohol to ensure it won't discolor the fibers before attempting to clean the sap. Pour a small amount of alcohol on a clean cloth and gently wipe an inconspicuous area of carpeting. If carpet dye does not transfer to the cloth, you can proceed.

Step 2

Place several ice cubes into a plastic sandwich bag. Hold the bag of ice against the tree sap to harden it, then peel off as much of the hardened sap as you can.

Step 3

Wet a cleaning cloth with the alcohol and gently wipe the surface of the affected area of carpet, gliding over the fibers rather than pushing down.

Step 4

Blot the alcohol from the carpet with a clean paper towel until dry.

Step 5

Repeat steps 3 and 4, always using a clean cloth and fresh paper towels, until the surface of the carpet no longer feels hard and sticky to the touch.

Step 6

Clean deeper into the carpet by wetting the cloth with alcohol and gently pressing it into the carpet with the tips of your fingers.

Step 7

Blot the area dry using clean paper towels.

Step 8

Repeat steps 6 and 7 until the carpet feels soft and you can no longer smell tree sap.

Things You Will Need

  • Oil-containing cleaner, such as saddle soap
  • Scrub brush
  • Ice cubes
  • Plastic sandwich bag
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Paper towels

Warning

  • Rubbing alcohol and other solvents may discolor carpet, so always test it on a small out-of-sight area first.

About the Author

Sebastien Rocheleau is completing his Bachelor of Science in biology and English literature at the University of Waterloo. He has helped author operating procedures and technical reports for organizations such as Agriculture Canada and Atomic Energy of Canada.