Monday, 18 August 2014

Removing Tree Sap From Mesh Sneakers and A Bear

J and I love to camp and hike and go on adventures. Recently we were hiking on a camping trip and J was wearing his very new sneakers. Unfortunately he got a big blob of tree sap right on the toe of one shoe. Now I'm not one of those people who think sneakers should be spotless but this blob looked really bad so we went to work trying to remove it.

after several unsuccessful cleaners

As a side note, this little guy tried to join our picnic while we were camping. We had finished our lunch and put the food back in the car. J was on the dock with Raven, who was drying off after a swim, and I was at the table with our drinks  picking our next hike from the guide book. J noticed Raven was staring at something, looked, and saw this black bear cub about 20 feet from us. He called out to me and we all backed away to the safety of our car. The bear went to the dock and then up to the picnic table where I'd been seated. In my hasty retreat I'd left our soft drinks on the table. The bear sniffed them, decided (s)he wasn't interested, and wandered back in the woods. We waited a while to see if the bear would come back and when there was no sign of it J, armed with bearspray, went and retrieved the rest of our belongings from the table.

Anyway, back to the tree sap sneaker. We tried several methods that were suggested online that used things we had at home: Goo Gone, dish soap, even Vim. None of these made much of a dent in the tree sap. 

the cleaner that actually worked

Finally we found the solution that really worked: alcohol. I used little alcohol swabs because that's what I had on hand (love these things!) and a toothbrush to work down in the mesh. Once the sap was gone I gave the sneakers a good scrubbing with some water and left them to dry. After they were dry we can still see the mark but it's quite faded and not noticeable unless you're looking for it.

after scrubbing with toothbrush and alcohol

The next day we went to Newfoundland and I forgot to take an after picture, so this after picture is actually two weeks later, after much more hiking and adventures. Oh well, you can still tell the spot is mostly gone.


  1. Thanks for the tip about the alcohol. I didn't know it could remove tree sap and I could have used that trick many times!

  2. Fun story and a beautiful photo! Glad Mama bear did not make an appearance! I'm glad I found this post on the #WonderfulWednesdayBlogHop!

  3. bear! i would have loved to have seen that, thought would have been scared i'm sure.

  4. That is a close bear encounter!! Scary with little guys because their Mamas could be it a bad sign that bears don't want soft drinks?? They literally eat garbage, lol.


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