W99 – German cleaner for removing pine sap

Pricey, but worth every penny.  W99 removes pine sap better than anything else we've tried

Pricey, but worth every penny. W99 removes pine sap better than anything else we’ve tried

This is a German-made industrial cleaner recommended by AutoObsessed, our local car detailing gurus.

The product’s full name is 1Z Industrie-Reiniger W99.  (Count on the Germans to laboriously name anything.)

I just call it W99.  After our 2015 Subaru’s Galaxy Blue finish got globs of pine sap dripped onto it, I was at my wit’s end to remove the clear, sticky sap.

I tried all the ‘standard’ sap removal home remedies:  hot, soapy water; acetone (nail polish remover); rubbing alcohol; paint thinner; gasoline; WD40; and turpentine.  None of these worked.

I borrowed a spray can of Tarminator, advertised as a bug, tar and sap removal product that was highly recommended in various car forums.  It didn’t work either.

In frustration, I popped into AutoObsessed, a local auto detailing specialty shop that carries one of the largest varieties of car car products I’ve ever seen.  I asked staff what they use to remove pine sap, and they recommended W99, which is an industrial strength cleaning concentrate that must be diluted with water.

For pine sap, they recommended a dilution ratio of 1 part W99 to 5 parts water.

I went to the Dollar store and picked up a new spray bottle ($1.60) and poured into the spray bottle one 1/3 cup kitchen measure (for the 1-part of W99) and five 1/3 cup measures of hot water.

And I washed the WRX before trying the W99.

I sprayed the W99-water mixture on to a bunched up ball of Bounty paper towels (the specific and only brand of paper towels used by one of the largest 3M paint protection film authorized installers in Northern Alberta) and rubbed it on the sap.  It takes a little bit of elbow grease, but the sap does come off.  After the sap is cleaned off, I wiped the paint surface with a clean paper towel and plain water to remove any remnants of cleaning solution.

The W99 is pricey, about $18 dollars for a 1-litre bottle, but a little goes and long way, and it flat works, when nothing else did.

W99 is highly recommended.  It can be used (when diluted in varying strengths) for cleaning engine compartments, removing tar and bugs, and for household cleaning such as carpets.

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