How to BEST Remove Sticky Sap from Pinecones

How to BEST Remove Sticky Sap from PineconesWe’re now into the month of December and if you haven’t started your wintertime crafting yet, it’s time to get moving! One of the things we like to collect during this time of the year to use in our craft projects is pinecones! With that said, pine cones can be really messy to deal with when they’re covered with sticky sap!

When collecting them, I recommend that you wear an old pair of gardening gloves to protect your hands. As you collect them, you’ll want to pull off any pine needles or small twigs before tossing them into your bucket. If you happen to get that icky stuff on your hands, the best way to remove it is with a little nail polish remover and then wash your hands with warm, soapy water.

Over the years I’ve found that baking the pinecones in my oven was the BEST WAY to remove the sticky sap. You’ll want to preheat your oven to 225 degrees F. While the oven is preheating, line your baking sheet (cover the sheet completely) with aluminum foil. Put your old garden gloves on and then lay the pinecones in a single layer onto the baking sheet. Leave some space between each one to allow the heat and air to circulate between them.

How to BEST Remove Sticky Sap from Pinecones

Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake them for 10 to 15 minutes at 225 degrees F, then turn the oven down to 200 degrees F and bake them for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow them to cool on the sheet. You’ll notice that about 1/2 to 3/4 of the sap has melted off and is now laying on the aluminum foil and then rest is still on the pinecone. Don’t worry though, as they cool it will turn clear, shiny and hard. It will no longer be sticky and icky. Once they’re cool, you can pick them up with your bare hands, without the gardening gloves. Yippee!

By baking them in the oven over low heat you’re killing any little critters that may be hiding inside them and you’re remove a good portion of that sticky sap, and what’s left behind will harden up. They’re now ready for all of your wintertime crafting projects.

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  1. Jo-Ann Brightman says:

    These are great tips. I never knew howto remove the sap when my kids were young. Now I can do this with my grandchildren.

  2. I never ever knew this and I am so going to try this. Thank you for sharing this one we have tons of pine cones around our house and I love to use them for decorations this time of year.

  3. Peggy Nunn says:

    This is a great idea. I don’t use mine because of the sap. This will be so useful to the kids and me. thank you.

  4. That’s a very clever way of getting rid of the sap on the pinecones. I do like to make peanut butter cones for the birds.

  5. We dont have many pine cones here… but I have always wondered how to deal with the sap. Most people use the old cones that have been laying b about for a bit. I think pinecones are beautiful and I love the smell of them!

  6. Melissa Storms says:

    Great tip. I don’t collect the many, many pine cones I would like to because of the sticky, sappy mess. I am going to pin for next year, I would love to make a fresh wreath with local greens and pine cones.

  7. This is so clever. We are surrounded by Fir trees and have so many pinecones that my grandchildren like to collect. This looks like an easy way to prep the pinecones for future use.

  8. Great tips! I have a bag full of pinecones waiting for me to do something with them! I bet the kitchen smells amazing while these are in the oven!

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