Safe to remove tree sap with acetone based cleaner (paint thinner)? - AcuraZine - Acura Enthusiast Community



Safe to remove tree sap with acetone based cleaner (paint thinner)?

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Old 06-08-2008, 08:47 PM   #1
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Safe to remove tree sap with acetone based cleaner (paint thinner)?

is this safe for the clear coat? i have some nasty tree sap on my car... horrible. anyways i bought the bug and tar stuff from the store... took like 10-15 reapplications on the same spot to get a small amount off. so i decided to step it up a notch...

got out the paint thinner (actually some crazy ass cleaner) and used just a dab of it and BAM, instantly the sap is gone. even the thick crusted deposits.

but i dont know what its going to do to the clear coat...

it looks ok to me for now.

how about gasoline... it'd be in the same boat
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:53 PM   #2
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paint thinner?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?! I am thinking that is NOT a great idea.

I hope you just did a tiny spot and not the whole car. I am pretty sure a CLAY BAR will remove the tree sap pretty easily and will not damage the paint.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:56 PM   #3
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yea i did a very small, inconspicuous spot.

ive tried 4-5 different things now. this is the only thing thats worked.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:27 PM   #4
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^^good, try buying a clay bar kit. they work pretty well and it is really easy to use.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:28 PM   #5
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everyone freaks out when i tell them to take scuffs of the paint with gas or thinner, but thats what we did at the body shop i worked at. i thought it was nuts the first time i saw it, but these guys have been doin body work for years. If you really dont want to use gas or thinner try bug and tar remover and a hair dryer on a hot day in the sun. be gentle.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:45 PM   #6
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Clear cote GONE,,, It may not look bad now, but it will come back to haunt you.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HI OFECR
Clear cote GONE,,, It may not look bad now, but it will come back to haunt you.
it doesnt look or feel like its gone. its not like i dumped thinner on it. i just dabbed the smallest amount on my rag, and lightly rubbed it on the sap. took it right off, then watered it down
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:20 PM   #8
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lol paint thinner on the outside of the car??
that will come back to haunt u for sure...
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:25 AM   #9
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OMG... I would have rather used gas than thinner! Next time, reach for the claybar.
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Old 06-09-2008, 03:32 AM   #10
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This can't be real!!
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theanomaly
it doesnt look or feel like its gone. its not like i dumped thinner on it. i just dabbed the smallest amount on my rag, and lightly rubbed it on the sap. took it right off, then watered it down


If I were you id wax the hell out of that area and keep doing so as long as you own the car.
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:58 AM   #12
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lol sorry.. but he idea of using thinner or gas isnt the brightest idea.. although it may seem like a temp fix.. it will bite u in the ass later like others have said..
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:09 AM   #13
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Paint can withstand gas for short durations. It is because people will spill some when they fill their car up.
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:44 AM   #14
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I just used Turtle Wax bug and tar remover Saturday night and it worked great. Granted, the sap was brand new and not hardened yet.

I also have Stoner's Tarminator in the basement, that I forgot I had. Maybe try that if you haven't already.
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:00 AM   #15
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Paint thinner does not contain acetone - it's a petroleum distillate and it's used to thin oil-based paints and stains. I've used paint thinner and gasoline to clean stubborn tar and bug glop from car finishes for many years. Be sure to polish and wax the area because all wax is removed when you do this.

Acetone is a completely different solvent and I would not use it on car finishes without trying it in an inconspicuous area first.
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:17 AM   #16
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Lacquer thinner will dissolve most anything, and acetone is not far behind. I would recommend keeping both of them away from a car.

Use in order:

1) A commercial remover such as Turtle Was Bug & Tar remover. It is very effective and will usually do the job with one application. This product is also good at cleaning wheels and removing brake dust. Wash the area immediately afterwards with a good car wash detergent.

2) Rain-X Tar Remover is an alternative to Turtle Wax, but doesn't seem to be as strong nor effective. Thus, I use it for large areas, and use Turtle Wax on the really tough areas like the front and the mirrors.

3) Paint Thinner -- same as turpentine.

4) Gasoline

Do not scrub. Once the solvent does it's job, the bugs and tar will come off with light pressure. My car is PWP -- so bugs and tar provide heavy contrast to the finish and I have gained a fair amount of experience at removing both over four years.

In every case, wash after application with a good detergent, and warm water, to remove the residual film left behind. Paint thinner, and gasoline, may remove wax and polish -- as well as the bad stuff.

Once I have the bugs and the tar removed, I apply, with a soft cloth, a coat of Dupont Wheel Cleaner to the front bumper and the mirrors. It contains teflon and seems to make it easier to remove the bugs and tar the next time. The product states that it is safe for clear coat. I have not found it at AutoZone. I buy it at Lowe's. I have been doing it for a couple of years without any noticeable adverse effect.

Fo those that don't know, acetone is what removes fingernail polish.
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Holloman
Lacquer thinner will dissolve most anything, and acetone is not far behind. I would recommend keeping both of them away from a car.

Use in order:

3) Paint Thinner -- same as turpentine.
Wrong ...

Turpentine is much different from paint thinner

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turpentine

Paint thinner is mineral spirits - made from a petroleum base and turpentine
is made from pine trees. Each can be used in much the same way by painters
to thin oil based paints and clean brushes.

Can't fool an old paint salesman ...
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:54 PM   #18
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As others have said, keep the acetone away from your paint. It will at very least cause the clear coat to haze up, particularly over time. Luckily, buffing can fix that if need be. We always used kerosene at the detail shop I worked at. I think the main reason being it's less volatile than gasoline and somewhat less of a fire hazard as a result. Some of the additives in gasoline might not be so great for the finish.

As to those making spastic claims that the OP has ruined his paint, calm down, he's almost certainly not.
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:52 PM   #19
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In the end... I still recommend that you use a claybar. I had 1 month old treesap on my car which was stubborn and resisted bug and tar remover, the fingernail hot water, ethanol and even the bug remover side of the wash mit (OUCH!). Claybar took it off in 5 seconds.
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbtx
Wrong ...Turpentine is much different from paint thinner
Thanks for catching my goof.
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:08 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeaTron
We always used kerosene at the detail shop I worked at.
A much better choice than gasoline.

It can be difficult to find, though. And, surprising, the last time I bought some of it several years ago, it was about twice the price of gasoline. I recall when kerosene was about 1/3 to 1/2 the price of gasoline. I don't know what it sells for these days, but the evening news reported that the cost of jet fuel (similar to kerosene) has increased faster than gasoline.
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:31 PM   #22
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Prep Spray

Quote:
Originally Posted by theanomaly View Post
is this safe for the clear coat? i have some nasty tree sap on my car... horrible. anyways i bought the bug and tar stuff from the store... took like 10-15 reapplications on the same spot to get a small amount off. so i decided to step it up a notch...

got out the paint thinner (actually some crazy ass cleaner) and used just a dab of it and BAM, instantly the sap is gone. even the thick crusted deposits.

but i dont know what its going to do to the clear coat...

it looks ok to me for now.

how about gasoline... it'd be in the same boat
Use Prep Spray! It's made to use before you paint a vehicle remove impurities. I've used it several time. It will get ANYTHING off without damaging the paint. Don't leave it on longer than necessary, and maybe clean with Windex afterward. (Sometimes you can find it in wipes)
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:35 PM   #23
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:20 PM   #24
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NO ACETONE! I used it on my '99 Accord to remove various marks on the white paint. Didn't notice the dull white marks until about a day later. All over the car where I used the acetone. Essentially I stripped off the clear coat leaving only the paint. Kicked myself hard for that one.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:49 AM   #25
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use brake cleaner
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Old 08-15-2017, 02:09 PM   #26
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Hand sanitizer also removes tree sap without any damage ..... I also give it a quick buff after with Meguiars "Quik Wax"
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Old 08-18-2017, 12:30 AM   #27
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use brake cleaner
bahahahahaha
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Old 08-18-2017, 12:37 AM   #28
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Just use wheel cleaner, then PlastiDip it after... Do as others say, don't do what I did, lol!!!
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