How to Remove Sap from Your Windshield

Forewarning!!! These recommendations are ONLY for removing tar from GLASS!! Some of these methods are safe for glass but could damage paint, so be careful!

Sap Dripping from a Tree

No matter where you are in the country, you’ve likely parked your vehicle under a tree for a little extra shade. Little did you know that tree decided to rain sap all over your windshield.

Though you could easily wipe fresh sap off with a wet rag, you spent a little longer in Target than you expected. Now that sap is glued hard as a rock to the glass.

This would be super cool if there happened to be a prehistoric mosquito trapped in the sap, but that’s probably not the case.

So instead of teaching you how to clone dinosaurs, let’s start with cleaning that sap off your glass. We can also teach you to tell the difference between a sap drip and a windshield chip too.

Sap or Chip?

With larger drops of hardened sap, it’s easy to tell the difference as the sap is raised above the glass while a larger chip will not. If hardened, simply rub your fingers across the mark to feel if it is raised or not.

However, with the smaller almost pin-sized drops, it can be a little difficult to tell the difference. Our advice is to first try to remove the sap through our suggested methods.

If after laborious attempts the mark will not come off, then you likely have a chip. To know for sure, your local auto glass shop will likely happily inspect it for you!

Removing the Sap from the Windshield

Spray Bottle of Goo Gone

Depending on how long the wax has been on your windshield, you will need to try different methods.

Fresh Sap

For fresh wax, we recommend using a wet rag, some Goo Gone, and then a detergent.

  1. Using the wet rag, wipe off the sticky sap.
  2. Now, use the Goo Gone to remove any leftover residue.
  3. After that, use your favorite soap (or glass cleaner) to remove the Goo Gone residue.
  4. Finally, dry off the area.

Hardened Sap

This will take a little more effort on your part. What you need are:

Spray bottle of bug and tar remover

  • Soft microfiber or terrycloth towels
  • Sponge (make sure it has that green abrasive side), paper towel, and/or toothbrush
  • Glass cleaner
  • Wood popsicle stick (Razorblade as a last resort)
  • Bug/tar remover (Goo Gone may work)

What you do:

  1. Clean the surface of your windshield suing glass cleaner and/or soap and water. Dry it off.
  2. Spray Bug & Tar Remover or Goo-Gone where sap is present.
  3. Using a sponge, paper towel, or toothbrush, scrub the hardened sap spots (depending on how hard the sap is, you may have to put more elbow grease into it)
  4. If there are still some sap droplets left, clean the windshield of Goo-Gone or Bug & Tar Remover.
  5. Use a wooden popsicle stick or even your fingernails a spatula to get the hardened sap off.
  6. The key is not so much pressure, but calculated and careful speed.

* The razor blade should be your last resort after vigorous use of anti-sap and tar cleaner and popsicle stick. We do not recommend using a razor blade unless you are experienced. It could lead to injury or scratching of your windshield. *

Still Sap?

At this point, we recommend calling a professional detailer or even replacing your windshield (provided you have glass insurance).

Depending on the amount of sap on the windshield, you may be able to just live with it until your windshield needs replacing (love those chips into cracks).

Let us know if you have any other solutions, techniques, or methods not mentioned here!