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Remove Sap From A Vinyl Tarp Covering A Truck Bed

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If you parked your truck underneath some large maple trees while on a camping trip and sap leaked onto the tarp covering the vehicle's bed, safely remove it and restore the tarp's appearance by completing the instructions below. Afterwards, apply a vinyl protecting agent to the tarp's surface to prevent the vinyl from becoming damaged or stained in the future.

Materials Needed

  • plastic putty knife
  • spray bottle
  • mild detergent
  • warm water
  • slightly-abrasive sponge
  • handheld scrub brush with soft bristles
  • rubbing alcohol
  • water hose
  • towel
  • vinyl protecting agent
  • chamois cloth

​Eliminate Hardened Sap And Treat Remaining Spots With A Spray

If the sap has hardened, use the tip of a plastic putty knife to gently pry the sticky substance loose. Place the tip underneath each edge of the hardened areas and wiggle the handle slightly to assist with moving the tip underneath the hardened residue.

Once you have removed as much sap as you could in this manner, add a few drops of mild detergent to a spray bottle and fill the rest of the bottle with warm water. Spray a generous amount of the cleaning solution on each area that is covered with sap, and wait a few minutes for the cleaning solution to soften the sap. 

Remove Sap That Remains On The Vinyl

Wipe the softened sap with a damp sponge that has a slightly abrasive surface. If the sap does not all come loose in this manner, move a handheld scrub brush firmly over each spot. Add more of the cleaning agent to the sap as needed. Rinse the cleaning tools with water as they become covered with sap. Thick sections of sap may require a stronger product to eliminate them. Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto a sponge and wipe it over each thick spot.

Treat The Vinyl With A Protecting Agent

Once all traces of sap have been removed from the tarp, rinse the vinyl surface off with a water hose. Dry the vinyl with a towel. Apply a vinyl protecting agent to the tarp's surface to restore shine and provide the cover with protection against damage and stains. Spray a chamois cloth with the agent and wipe it over the tarp's surface. Once an even amount of the agent has been applied, wait for it to dry before touching the tarp or lifting the edge of it to place items in the bed of the truck.

For more information, contact local professionals like Lehman Awning Co.