Why Are Apples Sticky?

Apples are often seen as the quintessential healthy snack. They’re packed with vitamins and minerals, they’re low in calories, and they’re easy to take on the go.

But have you ever picked up an apple and found that it was sticky to the touch? Chances are, you probably just shrugged it off and washed it before eating it. But have you ever stopped to wonder why apples are sticky in the first place? Well, wonder no more, because we’re about to uncover the sticky truth about apples.

The Direct Answer

Contrary to popular belief, apples are not inherently sticky. They may become sticky if they come into contact with a sticky substance, such as sap from a tree or if they are not washed properly before eating. The fruit also may have been treated with a wax coating to make them shiny before being sold in store.

Sticky Apples

What causes apples to become sticky?

As I mentioned earlier, apples are not inherently sticky. However, there are a few things that can cause them to become sticky.

One of the most common causes is contact with sap from a tree. Apples grow on trees, and as they grow, they can come into contact with sap from the tree. This sap can stick to the apple, making it sticky to the touch.

Another common cause of sticky apples is a lack of proper washing. Apples are often picked and then shipped to stores without being washed first.

When you buy an apple, it may have dirt, dust, or other debris on it. If you don’t wash the apple before eating it, the debris can make the apple sticky.

Why do apples get treated with the wax coating?

Another reason why some apples may be sticky is due to the wax coating that is used to make them shiny. This is a common practice in the fruit industry, and it’s used to make the apples look more appealing to consumers.

The wax coating is applied to the apples after they have been picked and before they are shipped to stores. The wax coating can make the apples shiny and more attractive, but it can also make them sticky.

Dealing with Sticky Apples

Washing the Sticky off

If you have a sticky apple, the best thing you can do is to wash it. Apples are typically washed with a mild detergent, and then rinsed with water.

This will remove any dirt, debris, or sap that may be on the apple. If you’re not sure how to properly wash an apple, you can watch a video or read an article online for guidance.

Removing the Wax Coating

If you suspect that the apple you have is sticky due to the wax coating, you can remove it by using a little bit of vinegar.

Mix 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water in a bowl. Dip the apple in the solution for a few seconds, then gently scrub the apple with a brush. Rinse the apple under running water and dry it with a clean towel.


Apples are a healthy and delicious snack, but sometimes they can be a little sticky. While it may be tempting to just shrug it off and eat the apple anyway, it’s important to understand why it’s sticky and what you can do about it.

Whether it’s sap from a tree, a lack of proper washing, or a wax coating, there are ways to deal with sticky apples.