How to clean tree sap off of your hands

Get tree sap off your hands with two ingredients from your kitchen

The one down side from making your own Christmas wreath out of fresh greenery, or doing any holiday decorating with pine and other sap oozing branches, is that you end up with gunk (that’s the not-so-technical term for tree sap) all over your hands. I’ve found washing to regular soap and water doesn’t help, but two ingredients from your kitchen cupboard–cooking oil and sugar–solve the problem. Let me show you.


This is what my right hand looked like after I filmed my wreath making video:



The left hand wasn’t quite as bad (only one hand pictured at a time for this post, since I didn’t set the camera up on a tripod), but it wasn’t great either. Here’s the solution:




Add cooking oil


Rub hands together in a washing motion for a minute


Then, wash with regular soap and water to remove the sugar and oil.

Tah dah!


No more tree gunk!


If you don’t have sugar on hand, salt works too.

This tip is a handy one (pun intended) at Christmas when you’re decking your halls with boughs of anything sap-filled, but keep it mind when you get back out into the garden as well. Whether you’re taking out that little blue spruce from the front yard that should never have been planted so close to the house because it’s actually gigantic, candling pines, or just working around the garden, sap happens. But now you know what to do about it!






  1. Eugene Knapik on December 1, 2017 at 6:39 am

    Great tip!

    • Jennifer on December 4, 2017 at 8:44 pm


    • Lyn on January 23, 2024 at 3:06 am

      Fantastic. Thanks

  2. Natalie on October 21, 2020 at 8:18 am

    My husband has just done this and he can’t stop saying how incredible this tip is! And he says his hands feel really nice! Thanks!

  3. Aleah on February 26, 2023 at 6:11 pm

    Worked like a charm!

  4. Lauren Jones on May 12, 2024 at 12:06 pm

    My 9yr old son and some of the neighbors children were playing in the fallen trees that happened after a storm and sap is all over their feet, hands, and some of them even got it in their hair!! I googled and this popped up so I am hoping it works better than just soap and water and probably makes it less painful to scrub without causing the skin to become red. I will try this later on today because I have both already in my pantry.

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