Have you ever found yourself at the end of the day with sap all over your clothes from working in the yard or garden? It always seems like my Philodendrons and Ficus trees would stain my clothes the worst.
While it feels nearly impossible to remove the sticky residue completely, it can be done!
The process may be a tad more involved than your average stain removal, but removing tree sap from clothing isn’t all that difficult.
By removing the sap, evaluating the damage, and treating the sap with a stain removing agent, you can effectively remove sap from clothes. Let’s take a more in-depth look at how to get your clothes sap-free.
How Do I Remove Tree Sap From My Clothing?
First, you must take some initial steps to ensure that you have entirely removed the hardened sap from your clothing and are not stuck with permanent sap stains.
Why is Tree Sap So Messy on Clothes?
Before we lay out the stain removal process for your sap-stained clothing, we should understand what sap is and what makes it so sticky.
The sap is what allows a tree to receive proper nutrients and continue to grow. Tree sap consists of two main ingredients, xylem and phloem. Each of these two things plays an essential part in how tree sap operates and nourishes a tree.
Xylem works as an ingredient that helps circulate essential nutrients, like water, throughout the tree.
Phloem’s primary function is to move the carbohydrates acquired from photosynthesis, aiding in the tree’s growth.
Together, this sugary make-up causes a sticky residue on your clothes if you come in contact with it.
Factors to Consider When Treating Your Tree Sap Stains
Before deciding how to begin treating your stain, you must first assess the condition of your clothing. Is there still visible tree sap on your clothes? If so, you must remove the sticky residue before you can start treating the stain.
How long has the tree sap been saturating your article of clothing? If you got tree sap on your clothing while on a hike or spending extended time outdoors without access to a washing machine, the stain may become tougher to remove.
As with any other type of stain, timing is key. Your biggest mistake will be allowing the sap to sit on your clothing and saturate the fabric even more than it has already. Make sure that your sap removal process begins as promptly as possible.
What Steps Should I Take?
The first step is to begin by getting rid of the stickiness of the sap on your clothing.
To remove the sap, it is easiest to make it into a solid first. Do this by hardening the sap with ice, which will enable you to peel it off using a flat tool such as a butter knife or metal spatula. If it’s more convenient, you can also stick the clothing article straight into your freezer to harden the tree sap.
Once you have removed all of the solid and sticky pieces of sap from your article of clothing, you can move on to the next step and apply stain remover to treat the sap’s stain. You want to let the stain remover solution saturate your clothing before throwing it into the washer. Let your article of clothing sit for a few minutes before moving on to the following step.
The final step in your sap removal process, which should only happen once you have entirely removed the hardened tree sap from your clothing, is sticking it in the washer.
What If Tree Sap Has Been Sitting On My Clothing For An Extended Period?
If your clothing became stained with tree sap while you were on your daily walk and had been sitting for a while, you can treat the sap with a little more intensive stain removal process.
For these kinds of stains, you should also apply your stain removal solution to the inside of your article of clothing, in addition to the stained side. Let the stain remover saturate, and then rinse your clothing in a sink and reassess your stain.
If the sap has remained, you can repeat this process and see if you have better luck the second time around.
Why Do I Have To Remove The Tree Sap First?
You shouldn’t wash your clothing if there is still tree sap on it. Leaving this sticky residue on your clothing in the washer will make removing the sap very challenging. If washed and dried into clothing, your tree sap stain will become a permanent addition to your clothing.
Aside from this, if you are washing the clothing article with others, the sap could spread and stick to other clothing in the wash.
What If The Stain Doesn’t Come Out?
After you have completed a washing cycle, make sure to check your clothing before placing it in the dryer. If the sap has remained, you can try using a bleach product on your clothing. If the clothing contains color, be sure you are using color-safe bleach.
Getting tree sap stains out of your clothing can be pretty simple if you are proactive in not letting the sap saturate the garment for an extended period. If you do, that’s where you’ll run into trouble.
Make sure you harden the tree sap with some of the tricks listed above and altogether remove it before you treat the stain. After that, you are good to break out that stain remover or bleach solution.
Depending on how long sap has been on your clothing, you can follow extra steps such as treating both sides of the stain and treating the stain multiple times before tossing it into your washing machine.
Checking to ensure you have fully removed your stain before washing is essential.
If you don’t, you’re likely to end up with a permanently damaged garment.
Don’t let the fear of tree sap stains keep you from exploring and enjoying all that the great outdoors have to offer. With these stain-removal methods, your clothes will recover.