"And when I awoke, the effulgence of the forest's treehood lay over my iPhone like a baker's glaze."
July 7, 2010 3:17 PM   Subscribe

What can I use to safely remove tree sap from the back of my iPhone?

It's so hot here that the trees are weeping. Literally. While out for a bike ride, glunks of thick treejaculate splattered me as I passed beneath the oozing bowers. I keep my phone in a covered case on the strap of my backpack, but the glop seeped in and coated the back. I wiped it off as best as I could, but now have a hardened but still somewhat tacky non-newtonian fluid type situation going on. Scraping doesn't work, rubbing doesn't work and I fear that I'm making it angry. Help!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts to Technology (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
try baby oil on a cloth
posted by parmanparman at 3:19 PM on July 7, 2010

I use Goo Gone on everything sticky that happens to my shoes and film equipment in the summer. Just don't let it get anywhere near a seam that would allow it to get inside your phone. Otherwise it'll be fine on the outer shell.
posted by zarah at 3:27 PM on July 7, 2010

Ugh. I grew up with a multitude of pine trees, and tree sap on cars was a constant issue.

If it's a 3G/3GS iPhone:

You might try mineral spirits. It's the strongest solvent you can generally use that won't harm plastic. Dampen a bit of rag with it and rub at the sap. Might take a bit and a little elbow grease, but will probably be faster than anything else you can use.

If it's an iPhone 4:

I would start with mineral spirits again, but the glass back will give you a little more leeway in what you can use. The best thing that got it off car hoods and such back in the day was actually a little bit of gasoline, used the same way as above. You'd have to reapply any car wax right away after you were done, but the finish was unharmed. Some other solvent- lacquer thinner, acetone- might work instead. Just make sure in either case you apply the solvent to the rag, and then the rag to the phone, to keep from dousing the device.
posted by The Mysterious Mr. F at 3:42 PM on July 7, 2010

rubbing alcohol got tree sap out of some jeans for me.
posted by sulaine at 3:49 PM on July 7, 2010

Rubbing alcohol was the only one of the above substances that I had on hand. I just tried it and it worked like a charm. Thanks!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 3:54 PM on July 7, 2010

Olive oil.
posted by KneeDeep at 8:25 PM on July 8, 2010

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