Help! My nice one year old Sun-Dura boat cover is black from oak tree sap.

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Douglasdzaster

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Location
Smithville,Texas
LOCATION
Smithville, Texas
A couple weeks ago I put my truck up on stands and upgraded all four brakes. During the process I noticed the second day sap was falling out of the big oak tree I was under. Never seen anything like it. Sap fell like snow for three days. By the time I finished my truck the bed was full of Acorns and my shadow black truck looked like it was sprayed with bed liner. It took different chemicals and soaps before I found a combination that worked. Then I had stripped all the finish down to the clear coat.
I got the truck brought back to life after lots of polish and topping.
Today as I took the trash can out to the road I thought I’d stop and check things on the boat. I knew it was time to rinse the cover again. Usually once a week but skipped last week. The closer I got to the cover the blacker it looked. Supposed to be khaki.
Anyone have any idea how I can remove the sap and clean up my cover? It’s marine polyester and not quite as resistant as Sunbrella acrylic fabric. I have to be careful with solvents. How careful I’m not sure. I have some 303 all purpose cleaner left from last cleaning. Dura craft said only use 303 apc and 303 marine fabric guard but I think they have some kind of deal I could be wrong it’s happened twice before.
I’m going to see if the 303 cuts it any. If it does I’ll buy another $30 bottle.
What I used on the truck was Seafoam Bugs B Gone and it’s supposed to be gentle on surfaces. But everywhere it ran down the paint I had to buff out the streaks.
I may try it in a small area.
Anyone with any ideas please send them my way. The longer this stuff stays on there the more harm it’ll do. I just got the cover paid off too.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated! What ever concoctions I have to mix up I’ll try it.
 
Not what you want to hear but, It's a cover, wash it and be done with it. It's supposed to protect the boat, the cover did it's job. As for removing sap, heat and chemicals.

EDIT: After commenting I did a quick search, Rubbing alcohol: Rubbing alcohol is commonly used to remove tree sap from clothes and hair. A powerful solvent, rubbing alcohol breaks up and dissolves sticky sap. Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol, and dab away at the sap to dissolve it
 
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Contact the fabric manufacturer they will know what is best for sure....tree sap is some tough stuff !!
Unfortunately exposing the cover to tree sap is one of the many things that void the 7 year warranty. I’m almost supposed to have it parked inside somewhere after reading it all. Lol
I’ll go to their q&a and ask for advice.
 
Not what you want to hear but, It's a cover, wash it and be done with it. It's supposed to protect the boat, the cover did it's job. As for removing sap, heat and chemicals.

EDIT: After commenting I did a quick search, Rubbing alcohol: Rubbing alcohol is commonly used to remove tree sap from clothes and hair. A powerful solvent, rubbing alcohol breaks up and dissolves sticky sap. Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol, and dab away at the sap to dissolve it
Hey thanks. There’s isopropyl alcohol in some of the waterproofing sprays for boat covers. I hadn’t considered it. Maybe that and warm water?
Yea part of me wants to soak it in something and hit it with the pressure washer. But kind of made a promise as to how many years it was going to last. That’s how I justified the purchase to the Admiral. Besides they actually made one to fit my 1983 Monark 16/52 wand it covers the 40hp Yamaha. Perfect fit. I built a frame out of pvc for it that has a ridge running the length of the boat so it never has any standing water.EAE004D5-0077-4FF1-A27E-B40B3560B01F.jpeg
 
Maybe cover the cover with a tarp so it doesn't get worse.
We’ve been living here since 2013 and have never had the oak trees put off so much sap. And it was all within a few days. It was literally raining the stuff. My neighbors trees did the same thing she’s a little upset about her Charger.
Not five minutes ago I was looking at HarborFreight extended Black Friday coupons and just happened to see a tarp. I’d have to figure out how to place the tarp so air can still circulate.
 
You can always re-water proof it when you get it cleaned. I would definately consider a cheap tarp cover to cover your cover....that was a mouthfull !!
I’m planning on retreating it once I get it cleaned. Just like my truck. I had to remove everything down to the clear coat. And then the sap had already etched its way into the surface. I got lucky and was able To polish it out along with the scratches I made removing the sap.
I tried a small spot today with Seafoam Bugs B Gone. It took sap off the truck and I contacted them and was assured it’s safe on any surface. Then they fallowed up with but try a test spot first. Lol
I didn’t leave it on for a full minute and it took off some sap. The instructions say wait 1-2 minutes. I’m going to try ipa as well.
Right now I’m on Christmas light duty before I can go at it full steam.
I thought about something else. I have a pretty powerful little Bessel for cleaning carpet and upholstery. I could spray what cleaner works and shoot it with real warm water then extract it. I’ve cleaned the vehicles and the furniture in the house with it and it’s a stout machine. The wand has a brush I can use with the water and cleaner before vacuuming it up.
Just another idea worth trying. Sure would make it easy to clean if it works. I always try to work smarter than harder. Sometimes it backfires on me though.
Thank y’all for the tarp idea. Consider that done.
 
You definetly have your work cut out, no envy on my part !! Hope it works well for you.....
Thank you sir. How ever I end up cleaning it I bet it won’t take me three days like my truck. I did all that by hand. I told my wife I want a random orbital polisher for Christmas.
 
Man, that sucks. A nice new, good-looking cover that will soon turn black and look like it's 100 years old.

Alcohol sounds like a good idea. I've always used very hot water and purple power, and it's still a pain. I hate using a power washer on a cover, but it does speed things up a lot.

Either way, I hope it works out well.
 
Man, that sucks. A nice new, good-looking cover that will soon turn black and look like it's 100 years old.

Alcohol sounds like a good idea. I've always used very hot water and purple power, and it's still a pain. I hate using a power washer on a cover, but it does speed things up a lot.

Either way, I hope it works out well.
Thanks. I’m going to try and put a machine I have to use. Find a cleaner I can pretreat an area with then after letting it sit I’ll use the machine to spray hot water and scrub with the brush it has. Then extract everything from the area. Probably give it a second rinse.
When I was a young man I had a carpet and upholstery cleaning business and learned a lot of tricks. I just have to be careful not to use a cleaner that will trash the fabric.
 
Commercial DIY laundry. Find a giant machine and put your cover and cleaner in on warm wash. Hang to dry.
 
Instructions for cleaning a boat cover that is saturated with tree sap:

1. Place cover on the ground in an open area away from combustionable materials
2. Generously drench the cover with alcohol
3. Step back several feet
4. Strike a match and toss it on the cover
5. Run!

Obviously just kidding but, any time that you are cleaning a large area with flammables there is a risk that things could go wrong.
 
Amazon just had the tarp I was watching reduced to $36. Bought it. Probably spend more on cleaning stuff than the cover costs to replace.

Patiobay Heavy Duty Tarp 10x20FT, 16 Mil Sliver Thick Waterproof Poly Tarp for Outdoor Camping Pool Car Tent, UV Resistant, Rip and Tear Proof Tarpaulin with Grommets and Reinforced Edges

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0C2ZCXXTL/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&th=1
Will use it over the boat cover I also bought for about the same price.
 
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