We have all done it. Even though we know it is wrong to do. When it is hot out, you look for a parking spot under a tree. Parking under a tree may give you some shade, but it can also cause quite a mess on your windshield and windows.
There are several ways to solve this problem. First, if you can’t get that sap off with a rag and some water, try nail polish remover instead. But nail polish remover and car paint are not a good mix. Nail polish remover is great for all sorts of things (after all, it’s a pretty strong chemical), so if you don’t want to go all the way to the auto shop just to clean up your windshield, try taking some acetone nail polish to it first. Don’t get this on your car’s body, though, as the acetone can take the paint off your finish.
You may have to suck it up and get some Bug and Tar Remover. Name brands like Turtle Wax make a tree sap remover. This did not seem to get it all off for us. Neither did waxing, in fact waxing turned the sap white and made it more noticeable.
Another method to remove the sap is to use mineral sprits. Use a soft, terry towel, or wash cloth dampened with mineral sprits. Tree sap can also be removed by using a water-soluble paint brush cleaner. Once again, I would not use it around my car’s paint. To remove tree sap and other substances, you can use common solvents like lighter fluid, and WD-40. Again these things make me nervous around paint.
The Best Thing We Have Found Is Rubbing Alcohol
This works well and fast but one problem is it dissolves the sap and tends to spread it around when you are wiping it up. So either contain the clean up area to a small space, or clean the area several times with new rags so that you do not spread the sap around, making a bigger mess. The way to use is to let it do it’s work of dissolving (in the case of alcohol) enough to rub off the remaining sap.
You can also use commercial wax and grease-removing products available at auto supply stores but the rubbing alcohol is cheaper. It may require several attempts if the sap is very thick or extremely hard. The surface may appear hazy after the solvent evaporates, but a good RainX application will eliminate the haze and complete the job.
If there is a large amount of sap on the glass, or if the sap has been left on for an extended period of time, it can be a lot of work to remove. For these cases, you can try hitting the affected areas to remove the hardened surface on the sap spots. Then you can use alcohol, mineral spirits or a similar solvent to remove it.The goal is to use the least pressure possible to reduce the risk of scratching the glass.
Another technique is to use a razor blade and scrape off the the sap first then use alcohol and finally RainX. Follow these steps and your windshield should look like new again. It it does not contact American Auto Glass for help.