While spring has a lot of wonderful things to offer, there are also some serious annoyances. One of the major ones is tree pollen. That greenish-yellow pollen dust turns up everywhere throughout the season, including on your car. And it’s not just a nightmare for those with allergies. Pollen can actually scratch and damage the paint on your car.
Pollen isn’t the only thing from trees that can harm your car. Look out for tree sap as well. In addition to damaging the paint, sap can cause rust to form on the car’s surface. Sap is dangerous because of the way it bonds to the car.
So, what do you do to take care of these issues? Read on below for some helpful information on how to get pollen and sap off your car.
How do you know what not to do to get the pollen off your car?
Many just ignore the pollen or assume the wind and/or rain will get it off the car anyway, so why bother? However, this is risky. In reality, wind can add even more pollen to your car. And in general, the longer you leave pollen on your car, the more it will damage and scratch the paint.
Your instinct may be to just brush or dust the pollen off casually, with your hand. That might seem easiest, but it won’t be enough to protect the body of your car. Also, don’t just try to get the pollen off by using a dry cloth. This will damage the paint. To get pollen off your car, you will need to use a lot of water.
You will also need to use soap. But make sure to avoid using harsh chemicals and solutions. You want to be gentle, not damage the car with chemicals instead of pollen.
How do you most effectively get pollen off your car?
Thankfully, cleaning pollen off isn’t too difficult. You can do it yourself, right at home. Start by gathering everything you need for an effective clean. Get a bucket, microfiber cloths, rags, gentle car wash cleansers and soaps, sponges, and a hose.
To wet the car, turn the hose to the normal setting and spray, moving from top to bottom. Once the car is wet, use the hose to fill the bucket with water and mix in the car wash cleanser. Then dip a sponge into the solution to start cleaning.
Start cleaning the car by wiping the sponge or cloth from the top to the bottom of the vehicle. Thoroughly wash one panel at a time. Use a different sponge or cloth to clean the painted panels than you use to clean the parts without paint, like the wheels, windows, and chrome.
Once it’s washed and rinsed, dry the car off with a soft cotton towel or a microfiber cloth. As soon as it’s all dried off, you can add wax or a detailing spray for a finishing touch. This will remove any remaining pollen and get rid of other spots. It also makes the surface slicker, which is more difficult for pollen to stick to. However, some advise you to skip that extra step if your area is still in the middle of a pollen storm.
For all of these steps, remember that the gentler way is the better way.
How often should you clean the pollen off your car?
This can depend on where you live. If you’re surrounded by trees, like in Portland, you’ll probably need to do so more often than if you live in a city with little foliage. Some recommend twice a week if you have those more tree-filled surroundings. Whereas once a week should be enough otherwise. And you can change the frequency once pollen becomes less of an issue as the seasons change.
What about sap?
Tree sap is more of a hassle to get off your car than pollen, but it’s still something you can do by yourself. For the most part, you can follow the same method and use the same materials to wash off sap as you would pollen. Mix water with a gentle car wash cleanser in a bucket and use microfiber cloths, rags, and sponges.
Like you would for pollen, start by hosing off the car. This will ideally get a large amount of sap off already. It will also give you a clear idea of which parts of the car need the most cleaning attention. Be sure to wash all over, not just in areas with obvious sap.
Since sap is more stubborn, you can try using a bug and tar removal spray on the globs that didn’t come off with the rinsing. Let the spray sit for a minute before wiping it off with a towel or cloth. For especially sticky and stubborn spots, you might need to apply the spray more than once.
As with pollen, you’ll want to get tree sap off of your car as soon as possible to prevent any damage. Tree sap actually shrinks over time. The smaller the sap gets, the more it will bond to the car. If you don’t act to remove it quickly, it could crack the finish. And try to clean it off earlier in the day as well. The warmer it is outside, the faster it will stick to the car’s paint.
How do you protect your car against pollen and/or sap?
The solution to avoid getting pollen, sap, or anything else from a tree on your car can be as simple as parking your car somewhere else. If you have a garage, try leaving the vehicle in there instead of outside.
Using wax and/or detailing spray isn’t necessarily a preventative measure, but it can provide some protection against different environmental issues such as pollen and sap.
Sap is especially prevalent when the tree has cuts, damage, or wounds. Get regular tree service to take care of those and even prevent them. At Mr. Tree, we are the experts on everything to do with trees. You can find more information on our website. On our blog, you’ll see plenty of helpful hints, advice, and how-tos. And don’t hesitate to contact us with any issues or questions.