Originally Posted by Dackelone
^^I would NEVER use a paper towel on a painted surface. That's a no no.
I would try a clay bar first, then maybe Tarminator or 3M's all purpose cleaner. Use a new micro fiber towel... then throw it away after you are done removing the tree sap.
I have even seen people(detailers) use kerosene fuel as a wheel cleaner, maybe that would work too. ??? But I would be afraid of damaging the paint with kerosene. I think if the clay or 3M cleaner(s) don't work... maybe seek the advice of a pro detailer in your area.
You do not rub the surface with the paper towel -you are correct on that point-that would destroy your finish - you let it soak the Wd40 into the SAP and the paper towel is the best I have found to hold it in place - kind of like when you cut yourself shaving and put a piece to tp on it in reverse. It works on tree dropings to disolve most sap. Clay will never get the old hard sap off in my experience - works great if you get it imediately- sadly our trees on this side of the pond drop clumps that are very thick - it has never come off with clay - it just gets hard and lumpy. This technique is merely done to soften the sap and hold the solvent in place, then it comes off with nominal effort. You could also use cotton balls or a micro fibre - but they do not hold the Wd40 as well as a paper towel. Most sap falls off like honey when you get it soft and slippery - but some is really tough. The harder the tree the harde to remove in my experience.