Not-So-Perfect Pitch

I parked in the wrong spot a couple of days ago, under a branches of a large tree, and found little clear droplets all over my windshield…and it wasn’t rain. These hard droplets are stuck solid to the windshield, and I’m afraid that I might smear sap all over if I try to clean it. Give me your best pitch(sorry) for removal of sap, please.

Do you have any Barkeeper’s Friend around the house? If not, maybe Cream of Tatar?

Make a paste of it with some warm olive oil and gently rub it in. You may need to let it soak in the oil for a bit and then take off a layer - repeat.

Only use that on the windshield though. Even the gentlest abrasive can affect the clear coat on your paint and mess things up. If there’s sap on the paint, you need to use warm olive oil and a soft cloth, and just patiently warm-soak-rub-repeat until it’s gone.

If the sap is still liquid, or at least gooey, this will go quickly. If it has hardened, it will take longer.

Don’t wreck your paint!

There are solvents to remove it. You can find them at Auto parts store.

That’s not actually sap, BTW. It’s aphid poop.

It’ll be on the paint if it’s on the windshield. It might be worth paying someone to do it. It’s hard to get it done right. (I just had to deal with this myself. My husband helpfully smeared up half the windshield before I stopped him. He meant well.)

Of all the things I expected to pop up in this thread, “aphid poop” was about 94,831 on the list.

Honeydew, actually; apparently the aphids bite into the tree, and sap gets forced through their digestive tract and blasted out of their ass with minimal processing.

Googling “aphid honeydew on car” gets a lot of hits, including tips for removal.

Here is a good one.

Use a can of Coca-Cola. The acid in the drink should eat through the sap. Use a razor blade if that doesn’t work.

Have you actually tried this method?

Second for the auto parts store suggestion. I had a bunch of sticky car sap on one of my doors, right on the paint. Found a product at Auto Zone, can’t remember what it was called but it was made by Turtle Wax and was specifically made for sticky stuff like tar and tree sap. I followed the directions, sprayed it on, waited 5-10 minutes, and wiped. Most of it came off with that first application, and a second took care of the rest. Easy-peasy.

Yes, a coke will will clean most built up road gunk off of a windshield better than any surfactant.

Sounds like me if you substitute “French onion soup” for “sap”…

I’m imagining, among all the billions of aphids, two of them next to each other biting the same tree. And one of them says to the other “This is stupid. There has to be a better way. In fact, we could just go home right now - no one would ever know, and the world would be a better place.” :slight_smile:

Been there. Good old isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol removes it like a charm. I chip off what I can with a hard plastic spatula or something and use alcohol on the remainder. Smears a bit but eventually gets it all off. Doesn’t seem to damage the paint, but YMMV so test on an inconspicuous spot first maybe. SI think you said it was mostly on your windshield so you should be good there.

I didn’t see this when I responded. My problem that was solved with rubbing alcohol was actual sap directly from a pine tree, not processed through an insect first. Still, it might work for you if aphid poop is actually your issue.

Aphids are not terribly mobile on their own. They are “farmed” by ants. The ants carry the aphids up into the tree (or onto the buds of your rose bushes) and wait for them to start feeding. Aphids aren’t very efficient digesters, as another poster pointed out, so their liquid poop is loaded with the host plant’s sugars. That makes it wonderful ant food.

The ants suck up the aphid poop, and they regurgitate some of it for their brothers and sisters in the nest. They don’t get it all, so some of it falls down to your car. If you don’t see it right away, black mold will feed on it, turning it a tarry black.

I park a car under a pine tree and get sap droplets all over it. They’re hard and are difficult to wipe off. What works to get them off is a simple run through a car wash. It’s one of those fancy ones that costs $12-20, but it works. Because I can’t easily park anywhere else, I got a season pass and wash the car every week.