How to Remove Pine Pitch and Sap
If you have an old pine tree hanging over the driveway, pine pitch can drip down from branches and stick to the roof, windshield, and anything else it touches. It will stain your hands and your clothes, and once you have the pine tar on you, it will seem to stick to everything you touch. Luckily, there are quite a few household remedies for pine sap.
1. Remove Sap from Skin
To remove pine pitch from the skin, you can use a number of household items you already have on hand. A dab of mayonnaise, for example, rubbed on the sap can take it right off. Also, many gel-type antibacterial soaps contain alcohol that will remove pine sap. Not all soaps contain the alcohol needed, so be sure to check if your soap isn't working.
For badly resin-stained palms, use orange peel mixed with baking soda as an abrasive cleanser. Or you can use a blended mixture of olive oil, baking soda, and orange or lemon peels to do the trick.
2. Remove Sap from Hair
If you get sap from pine trees in your hair, remove it by using mayonnaise or peanut butter and brushing out with a fine-toothed comb. Both ingredients will wash out with a regular shampoo after, and neither will bleach or stain your hair.
You can also apply olive oil to hair without damaging it. Moisten a wash cloth with the oil and apply it to the hair with the sap in it. Hold it on for five minutes or so, and then remove the sap with a fine-toothed comb.
3. Remove Sap from Clothing
For clothing, you'll need to pre-treat the stained area before washing. Blend orange peels with a small amount of peanut butter or mayonnaise to form a paste, and apply it directly to the affected area. Work the mixture into the fabric and it will lift out the entire pitch stain, allowing you to simply wash the garment normally. You can use this same treatment to remove grease and blood stains, and makes an excellent alternative to chemical stain removers.
Applying rubbing alcohol to fresh stains of pine pitch will make quick work of them as well. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to the area before the alcohol dries, and work it thoroughly into the fabric. Baking soda will active as an abrasive, removing the sap from the fibers.
Other Sap and Stain Removers
Pine sap is a protein-based resin. If it stubbornly sticks around after you've tried the above solutions, paint thinner or even mineral spirits can be used for removal. For more delicate materials, massaging olive oil into the area is recommended.
As a last resort on especially troubled areas, lighter fluid or even gasoline will cut the sap. When using these substances, be very careful as the harsh chemicals increase the risk of fire and damage to the skin, the material, and the environment.