How to Remove Tree Pitch From Blue Jeans

Tree pitch may take a few washings to remove completely.

Photo: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Blue jeans may truly be one of the most versatile wardrobe staples. You can dress up jeans or wear them casually. If you're an outdoorsy kind of girl, your blue jeans might meet up with the sticky substance that is tree pitch -- the crystallized form of tree sap. Instead of bemoaning the sticky mess adorning your denim, get busy in the laundry room!


Rub an ice cube over the pitch-stained area of your blue jeans. Pitch is already a solid form of tree sap, but the cold temperature will make it harden more and thus easier to remove.


Arm yourself with heavy-duty weaponry -- a kitchen knife! But go for the blunt kind, not the I-hear-noises-at-night-and-need-to-protect-myself butcher knife. Scrape off as much of the crystallized sap as you can with a butter knife, a spoon, a wooden coffee stirrer, or whatever else is available.


Dab your denim with solvents you most likely already keep in your medicine cabinet -- rubbing alcohol or acetone-based nail polish remover. You might just see the tree pitch dissolve in front of your very eyes. Luckily, jeans are made from a hardy material that can take the power (and noxious fumes) of either of these products without damaging the fabric.


Treat your sap-stained jeans to a generous helping of laundry pretreatment product. Saturate the pitch and let the pants sit for a couple of minutes while the chemicals penetrate the denim.


Wash your blue jeans as you normally do in the washing machine, with your regular laundry detergent. Throw the load in as soon as the stain remover has bubbled, fizzed and attacked the sap.


Inspect your blue jeans after they've been washed for signs of sticky tree residue. Any sign of pitch means you need to get really serious now. While the pants are still wet, irrigate the offending area with dry cleaning fluid, and sop up the excess with a cloth.


Re-wash your blue jeans in the machine. When your clothing is finally pitch-free, you have permission to toss the jeans in the dryer.

Things You'll Need


1.Ice cubes

3.Rubbing alcohol

5.Soft cloth

7.Laundry detergent

2.Blunt knife

4.Nail polish remover

6.Stain pretreatment

8.Dry cleaning fluid


Tips & Tricks


You can also use nail polish remover to get tree pitch out of other natural fabrics like cotton and exterior surfaces like windows.


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