A Sappy Mess!
How to Clean Sap Stains on Clothing

October 01, 2012

Hello folks! TweedleBud Lainey here, with a solution to a sticky situation. If you've been following Miss Tweedle, you'll know that she and Mr. Tweedle are quite the outdoors adventure type, well so am I! It's the landscape that we live in! We're so lucky! And, every now and then, I find myself trying to sort out all types of outdoor dirt at the washing machine!

Our sandbox is right out our back door in the perfect spot; warm morning sun and shade from a beautiful tree in the afternoon heat. The only problem is, the tree is leaky. No other way to explain it. It drops down beautiful globes of sap onto the sand. (They really are beautiful, they look like diamonds in the sandbox and sun.) However, every now and then they make their way onto my son's clothes... And then I don't think they're so beautiful.

When the sap finds its way into my house, it usually looks like this: (My son helped me find and model this spot.)

There's sap under there, believe it or not. It's just covered in sand. I tried for a while just to toss it in the wash and pray to the laundry fairy that the sap would be gone at the end of the cycle, but... It didn't work. (Eeek! I know, my poor washing machine.) So, I did the next best thing, I looked online for some suggestions. The first thing I found suggested: hand sanitizer. I didn't research any further. I grabbed the first bottle I could find in my drawers and away I went! And, luckily, it worked!

The steps are as follows:

Simply pour a few drops of the hand sanitizer onto the sappy spot...

... agitate with your fingers ...

... and voila, toss it in the wash! (You can see the sappy spot has broken apart and the little sandy bits are all over. At my house, I give the article of clothing a shake outside before putting it in the wash.)

A few additional suggestions:
- this recipe is best only for cotton/soft fabric material
- if camping/hiking, ultimately you could use this method, let the sanitizer dry, continue to wear the clothing, and then toss in the wash once you get home
- try the sanitizer on a small spot first to ensure that you don't change the colour of your clothing... I thought about this after the fact, luckily I didn't have any issues

TweedleBud Tip: Sap on your skin from outside (or from trying to get it off clothes)? The best method to remove sap from your skin is to use something with an oily base. Butter or peanut butter does the trick! If you use natural peanut butter (with the small peanut particles), it also helps exfoliate! 


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