How To Get Sap Out Of Clothes When Camping Outdoors?

How To Get Sap Out Of Clothes When Camping Outdoors

There are a lot of memorable moments that come with activity as adventurous as camping. You might find new species of plants, meet small forest critters, make enjoyable memories with your loved ones or by yourself as well. But with good things, come the bad ones at times, too. From having to fight a bear to have to get sap out of clothes when camping anything can happen when you’re camping outdoors.

One minute you’re in your relatively clean attire, and the next thing you know – the tree you were leaning against, for a moment of shut-eye, has smeared sap all over your clothing. When that sap dries, it will become increasingly even more so difficult to remove it. It will cling to every fiber of your shirt or trouser and refuse to come out through a simple wash. Hence, it is crucial to know how to remove it.

Although fighting a bear is a task all too difficult, you can know how to remove sap from your clothes with no trouble by following a few easy instructions.

What items will you require for this task?

  • A freezer, or a cooler; if you do not have that, then any ordinary plastic bag filled with ice can also work just fine
  • A blunt knife, or a spoon, nothing too sharp to avoid any injuries
  • Any sticky tape – scotch tape, or even band-aids
  • Any solvent like – rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, thinner, nail polish remover
  • Items like peanut butter and cooking oil help as well
  • For the final step, a washing machine and a dryer
  • Cautionary of any stains, also have a stain remover or bleach

What steps should you follow for best results?

Step 1: To freeze the sap

As the sap is a gooey substance, it sticks to your clothing rather stubbornly. It can seep through the material of fabric and cling to each fiber of its making. Hence, it is a crucial task to make sure that the sap has been hardened into a brittle substance, which makes it easier to remove. Freezing the sap will turn it cold, and hard.

Step 2: To scrape it off

Now that you have a relatively hard matter, you can scrape it off with a blunt object. Just like chewing gum is easier to scrape off when it hardens, the sap is another adhesive item of that sort. If it does not come out in one go, you can crack it into smaller bits, and then easily remove it by sticking it into the adhesive of tape and extracting it out.

Step 3: Decide on which solvent to use

Although you have many options at hand, it is necessary to realize the graveness with which the sap has ruined, or stuck to, your shirt or pant. The foremost reason for sap being unable to get rid of through a wash is because it is hydrophobic – or in other words, it does not dissolve in water. Choosing the right solvent is important with consideration to the fabric of your clothes – if it’s delicate, avoid alcohols; if it stains easily – avoid oils.

Step 4: Apply the solvent onto the remaining sap

Whatever has remained in your clothing after scraping the sap off, is to be gently scrubbed off with the use of a solvent. Apply it over the stain, and continue with the ministrations until you’re sure that most of it is out. Then, leave some of the solvents on the stain for it to moisten.

Step 5: Throw the clothes into the washer

With the solvent tact on the stain, place the clothes into your washer, along with an ample amount of detergent. Make sure not to mix it with other clothes in your laundry, and to wash it in the highest setting. Furthermore, it is crucial to use the right kind of detergent and the right amount. There are different detergents for different types of fabrics and stains, as well. Hence, you need to be smart with opting for it.

If you do not have a washer with you, then you can also scrub it with your own hands. Using a bucket of clean water, and enough correct detergent, you can wash the clothes with your hands till you are satisfied that the stain has been removed. If available, use hot water in place of normal temperature for best results.

Step 6: Make sure to dry it out

Now that the clothes have been washed properly, you can leave them out to dry. Because only after drying will you get to know whether the sap has truly been removed or not. The preferable option for drying it is a dryer – a machine, as it will wring the clothes out to their extent and make sure they’re completely dry before meeting the moisture of the air. But, hanging the clothes on a clothesline under the sun and within the wind is also a viable option, especially if you’re camping outside.

Additional/Optional Steps:

  • Use stain remover or bleach: Sometimes, even after so much of work, the stubborn sap manages to leave a faint stain. To remove that, you can either use a stain remover or bleach. But make sure that your fabric does not get ruined instead of it. After applying either of those on the stain, you can put the clothes in the wash, and see the result after drying it out.
  • Sprinkle non-sudsy ammonia on the stain: This method is also optional, mostly if the stain remains. You can put these granules on the stain, rub it thoroughly, and put the clothes in the wash. Because ammonia acts strongly, it is necessary to be safe with the amount of it you put to use.

After being acknowledged with the do’s and don’ts of how to remove sap stains out of your clothes, you might consider this task easy. Sometimes, you might not be equipped with the materials that are required to remove the stain. Hence, there are optional alternatives given within each step.

The only important decision making goes into the choosing of solvent; you should choose a hand sanitizer if you’re not too sure about the fabric of your cloth. Since hand sanitizer, albeit alcohol, is mild and non-damaging. Furthermore, if you are camping outdoors with no machinery available around you, it’s okay to wash the clothes with your hand, wring them out nicely, before drying them on a clothesline.

You cannot fight a bear at the end of this guide, but you can surely have sap free clothes.

How To Get Sap Out Of Clothes When Camping Outdoors?
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About the author

Michael Everett

I am Michael, I like camping and have camped many times over the place. I'm the creator of blog rainycamping.com, through my blog I want to share my camping and travel experiences for people, there are explanations, questions and things you need.

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