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How to Remove Tree Sap From the Exterior Surface of Your Car’s Paint

Limelight Removes Tree Sap from Cars

Hey guys, Brian here with Limelight Detailing in beautiful Boise, Idaho. Today I want to show you a little bit about cleaning windshields, side mirrors, and all kinds of glass on a vehicle. You’ve seen some of our other videos where I demonstrated how to remove water spots. I’ve got a quick demo for some awesome Norwex microfiber towels.

Limelight Packages and Process

In this part of southern Idaho, we have a lot of trees that I believe are called juniper berry trees. Many times, people park beneath these trees and the wind can knock these little berries off onto your car, which crush into your paint. They get all over the surface. Look closely and you can see these brown specks all over. This mixture of sap and berries can be really difficult to get off if you don’t have the right tools, so today I’m going to demonstrate our resolution. We include this method in three of our Limelight Detail Packages:

  1. Exterior Detail Package
  2. Classic Detail Package
  3. Limelight Detail Package.


Today, this customer had to park under this tree here, and the berries created a mess on their car. To begin, we simply rinse off the surface. Any time you detail the outside of a car, your first step is to get it wet.


After you get the topcoat of debris off, the next step is to pressure wash. It is really important to dial down the pressure when you pressure wash. Applying too much pressure when you have things stuck on your paint like this can easily strip your paint and cause chips all over. So, pressure wash with caution and patience. Today I’m using 2000 PSI to work over the car in small sections.

PSI tip

I typically work with about 2000 PSI, sometimes I even dial it down to about 1500 PSI. You really don’t need that much pressure to remove this kind of stuff and the last thing you want to do is turn it up too high.


Next, spray the surface with a clay lubricant or any quick detail spray. This stuff here is the “Optimum No Rinse” and it is great for detailing the outside of your car.


Use a clay bar, like the Mother’s brand speed clay bar I have here, to simply scrub the paint, kind of like if you exfoliate your skin. I love the Mother’s Brand bar because it lasts a long time. Use this clay bar to pull out any embedded berry or sap from the paint. This creates a smooth surface for us to polish.


Once we’ve done that, review your surface and see how much is gone. You might have to go over it several times. The goal is to create a nice, clean, fresh surface to polish.

Limelight is Here to Help

We love to help people so if you have tree sap or anything on the outside of your paint and you’re not sure how to get it off, give us a call. We’d love to help you and your car shine again.

Give us a call at 208-391-3455 or visit us online at

View "5 Tips for Interior Auto Detailing" for More Information!

5 Tips for Interior Auto Detailing

In these 5 tips you will see how to demonstrations and quick tips for:

  • Cleaning Carpets with a Carpet Extractor
  • Removing Stains from the Interior Door Panels
  • Steam Cleaning the Interior Liner
  • Steam Cleaning the Interior of a Vehicle
  • Applying Dressing to the Interior of a Vehicle

We Clean Dirty Cars, Trucks & RV's

Limelight Detailing is a full service mobile auto detailing company that serves the greater Treasure Valley.

We come to your home, office, or place of business to detail your cars, trucks & RV’s.

 We offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee or you pay nothing!

Areas we service:  Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Kuna, Eagle, Star, Middleton, Garden City, Melba,
Marsing, Mountain Home, McCall, Cascade, Donnelly

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