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  1. #1

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    Tree Sap on Cloth Convertible Top

    I don’t know how or when it happened, but I have a ton of pine sap on my fabric top. Anyone have any suggestions on how to tackle this mess?

  2. #2

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    Re: Tree Sap on Cloth Convertible Top

    PoisonTheWell:
    Get the pine sap off your fabric top as-soon-as-possible! The turpentine-like chemicals in the sap will stain your top in short order. Keep it out of the hot sun if possible.

    First, try an ice cube to harden the larger clumps or drips and then use a plastic razor blade to CAREFULLY scrape them off. Your thumb-nail is a suitable substitute.
    What exact solvent to use to remove the sap residue is risky because of the color dye in the fabric may be damaged.
    My first solvent "guess" is Professional-Strength Goof-Off (not to be confused with citrus oil-based GooGone)
    My second suggestion is iso-propyl alcohol (75% rubbing alcohol)
    My third suggestion is 3M`s Adhesive Remover, but that might be a little too strong for the fabric.
    i would pour the solvent on to a WHITE (not colored) cotton rag (an old cut-up T-shirt or wash cloth) and then dab/blot the residue first and then gently rub the fabric. Use a dry white cotton cloth to dab/blot the area that was first blotted and rubbed to extract what was dissolved. Repeat as necessary. Just pay attention to the WHITE cloth to see if the fabric dye is being dissolved with the pine sap. Yes, it is risky business. If you want a little more control over a smaller area, use cotton swabs (AKA, Q-tips) rather than the cotton cloths (highly suggested and preferable).
    If the sap drips look removed to your satisfaction, then clean the top with whatever specific method you follow. You may want to dry the top first after cleaning it and inspect it again. Then wash the entire vehicle with whatever soap and method you prefer and dry it as needed.

    I really think you need some type of petroleum-based solvent to remove/dissolve pine sap. I know some one MIGHT suggest turpentine itself, but I think that is too strong as well for the dye in top fabric.

    Then again, a strong de-greaser like Optimum`s Power Clean might be work , but I doubt it.

    You have a unique detailing problem and I hope Autopian detailing guru Stokdgs chimes in, as he may have run across this problem in his numerous Northwest detailing exploits.
    GB detailer
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  3. #3

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    Re: Tree Sap on Cloth Convertible Top

    Thanks, Lonnie! I’ll try ice and see how much I can scrape off. I’m going to have to pick up some plastic razor blades. I’m kind of freaking out because this is my F360 Spider, unfortunately. I can’t figure out how to post a pic from my phone, I’ll try next time I’m on my computer.

  4. #4

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    Re: Tree Sap on Cloth Convertible Top

    An F360 Spider, as in Ferrari F360?? Yikes!!!!!!!!!! No wonder the concern.
    If it`s on your cloth top, is it also on your paint/clear-coat??? I assume the top color is black and not tan.

    Do you have a Ferrari dealer nearby that you could inquire about this problem? Not sure if they would tell you how to do-it-yourself and most likely will suggest bring it in and we`ll take care of it for you for a "nominal fee".
    Or are there Ferrari forums that may have other (better than mine) suggestions for cleaning this specific top problem??

    I know RaggTop makes a cleaner specifically for fabric tops that Stokdgs has used and I have, too, but that is mostly for embedded road grime and dirt, not sap.

    Whatever you do, let us know.

    I myself, along with long-time Autopian contributor Accumulator never posted pics. I would not be that concerned about the pics, although as someone has said, "without pictures, it never happened" and the proverbial "a picture is worth a thousand words", which would explain my many times long-winded posts.
    GB detailer
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  5. #5
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    Re: Tree Sap on Cloth Convertible Top

    If you were considering alcohol. an alternative might be unscented hand sanitizer. I`ve used it with success on paint.....there is just enough alcohol in it to break down the sap. Even though I`m not generally a fan of taking something back to a dealer, I`m with Lonnie on this one....as far as the suggestion to consult with one.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Tree Sap on Cloth Convertible Top

    It’s not on the paint. One glob just fell right on the back of the top by the rear window. And I think I’d be in better hands with a high end detailer or one of the reputable independents than a dealer. I’ll see what I can get off myself.

    The challenge is definitely breaking down the sap and not pulling the color or destroying the fabric. And yes, it’s a black top. I have the RaggTop cleaner and circular brush. I don’t k ow if that’d just mash it in more.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Tree Sap on Cloth Convertible Top

    If it is just one (big?) blob, then consider the using Q-Tip as the cleaning tool after using the ice cube to harden the blob and then scrape off the blob`s excess sap; it is just easier to control the area that you want to apply a solvent to or on.

    It may be easier to use a soft-bristle tooth brush or boar`s hair brush with said RaggTop cleaner to clean that ONE area where the sap bob was after removing what you can and then drying that area, rather than washing the WHOLE top and then the WHOLE vehicle, but that is up to you; you know how "dirty" your vehicle is.

    As far as how you may have gotten ONE blob on your top, even though you KNOW you did not park near or even under a pine tree, pine sap may have dripped off a pine log or lumber board while in transit on an open semi-trailer. Sounds weird, BUT in hot weather sap will ooze out of pine logs or pine boards that are somewhat pitch-filled and if you just happen to be traveling on an interstate where traffic is moving along at highway speeds near or beyond 70 MPH, these sap blobs will drip and fling off and your vehicle is the unfortunate recipient of this highway debris, being in the wrong place and the wrong time.
    It is one of the reasons I will not follow dump trucks filled with gravel or blacktop. They are suppose to have covers over their blacktop or gravel loads on highways to prevent the loss of their load during travel, but that does not guarantee that some small stone will not fly out at some inopportune time when the dump truck hits a road bump or concrete section expansion upheaval and chip your paint or crack your windshield. It is especially prevalent during the summer here in Wisconsin during the road construction season. As we say about Wisconsin weather: "There are only two seasons in Wisconsin: winter and road construction." Live and drive here in this state year-round and you will understand the truth to that statement. (More-than-you-really-wanted-to-know)
    GB detailer

  8. #8

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    Re: Tree Sap on Cloth Convertible Top

    Finally hopped on the computer. Here`s a picture of the spot. Had all the materials suggested I use arrive a little while ago.


  9. #9
    audicoupej's Avatar
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    Re: Tree Sap on Cloth Convertible Top

    SLX Denatured alcohol will take care of it. I had a mini cooper with a black fabric top covered in sap spots years ago and that did the trick.
    John

    JEMM Auto Detailing - Serving the Greater Binghamton, NY area
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  10. #10

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    Re: Tree Sap on Cloth Convertible Top

    Thanks, I’ll add that to the arsenal.

  11. #11

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    Re: Tree Sap on Cloth Convertible Top

    Remember to always go from least aggressive up to whatever does the trick. I’d start with the Raggtop cleaner to get it down to what really needs to get off with something more aggressive. When you get it off, be sure to put a fresh sealer on the roof, e.g. Raggtop or Gtechniq fabric coating.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Tree Sap on Cloth Convertible Top

    I do have the protectant from Raggtop as well. I just ordered those plastic protectant sheets that Merlin posted in the 650i thread. Hopefully have some downtime Wednesday or Friday to tackle this stuff.

  13. #13
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    Re: Tree Sap on Cloth Convertible Top

    Oh man the ragg protector might also help if you lightnened or pulled the dye out when removing it might darken it back up

  14. #14

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    Re: Tree Sap on Cloth Convertible Top

    Latest update: figured I’d test the plastic razor, the Goof-Off and the 3M Adhesive Remover on the window of another car. Plastic Razor is great for getting off the bulk of it. The Goof-Off did nothing to it. And with some agitation the 3M cleared off what was left after the razor. When it’s not raining, I’ll pull the car out and wash the top. Assess the what’s there then try a Q-Tip and 3-M then wash again.
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  15. #15
    audicoupej's Avatar
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    Tree Sap on Cloth Convertible Top

    The 3M adhesive remover is pretty harsh. It works great but I’d be wary using it on the top. I had an issue once using it near factory emblems on a Frontier.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    John

    JEMM Auto Detailing - Serving the Greater Binghamton, NY area

 

 
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