How to Remove Tree Sap from Hammock Straps

How to Remove Tree Sap from Hammock Straps

October 13, 2017

It really sucks when you get sticky tree sap on your hammock or tarp suspension system. It’s hard to get off and it spreads other parts of your hammock setup quickly because it’s all stuffed together when you pack up, making it tacky to the touch. Always check for oozing tree sap before hanging your tree straps, tree huggers, tarp suspension system and pick another tree if it’s present.

But if you do get “sapped”, the stuff is easier to remove than you might realize. Hand sanitizer containing alcohol dissolves the sap and eliminates the stickiness. Make sure to use the unscented variety. It also works if you want to get the sap off your hands.

If I’ve gotten sap onto my tree straps and tarp guy lines, I segregate them from my other hammock components as quickly as possible and pack them separately. When I get home, I let the sap dry a bit so it gets flakey and scrape as much of it off with a fingernail as possible. That doesn’t get rid of all of the invisible sticky coating though.

Next, I smear hand sanitizer over areas that have come in contact with tree sap and are still tacky to the touch. This dissolves the remaining sap and neutralizes the sticky areas so they return to normal. Any residual by-products left in the straps aren’t sticky and don’t affect the function of the straps at all. They might even make it last longer. :-)

If you let the sap dry for a few days, you can scrape most of it off with a fingernail before applying hand sanitizer to any remaining sticky areas.

I’ve seen reports on the internet of people who use WD40, HEAT gasoline additive, and Goof Off Remover to get sap off hammock tree straps and huggers, but I’d be wary of using those because of the damage they might do to your synthetic straps or silnylon hammocks and tarps.



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