How To Clean Bugs Off Your Car And Keep Them Off


In this article you will learn:

  • Why bug remains are so difficult to remove

  • How to clean bugs off your windshield and car exterior

  • The best way to prevent bug stains in the future

There’s nothing worse than the familiar plunk of flies or mosquitos hitting your windshield as you’re driving over a bridge or taking the scenic route during a summer road trip. Even worse, your windshield wipers do virtually nothing to wash away the bug remains.

Bug splatter is one of toughest stains to wash off the surface of your vehicle, and the longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes to remove. While you can’t prevent bugs from flying into your windshield, you can take the proper precautions to prevent bug stains from damaging your paintwork while making them easier to remove in the future. All you need is an all-purpose car wash detergent, the protectant of your choice and a dedicated bug remover for cars!

What You Need to Know

Bugs, are living, breathing organisms full of highly acidic fluids that won’t wash away with a regular, pH-balanced car wash. Give these stains enough time and exposure to the sun, and they’ll become baked permanently into your finish, ruining your flawless paint job.

You’ll need a bug and tar remover that can neutralize these acidic bug guts and remove them from the surface of your car as soon as possible. We recommend using a powerful, specialty cleaner like Turtle Wax Bug & Tar Remover, specially designed to remove difficult soils from tree sap deposits, fresh tar and bug remains. This easy, spray-on solution will save you the time and elbow grease it would normally take to scrub away bug stains using a typical car wash solution.

Removing bug stains may seem like a daunting task at first, but don’t worry! With these products and tools, we’ve boiled it down to 5 easy steps.

bug & tar remover

Wash and Dry Your Car

Start by washing your car using your preferred snow foam or car shampoo. Although this won’t remove all the bug remains from your finish, it’s always recommended to pre-wash any surface with soap and water that you’re going to treat . Use a car wash mitt or a microfiber cloth to scrub away what you can of the bug carcasses along with any soils and road grime. Rinse your vehicle thoroughly and towel dry wet surfaces using a fresh, microfiber towel.

wash and dry your car

Use a Heavy-duty Detergent to Spot-clean Bug Remains

Next, wet the bug stains on your car with a more powerful car wash detergent like M.A.X. Power Wash to remove as much of the bug stains as you can. Since specialty cleaners can be rough on your delicate clear coat, you want to clean as much of the bug remains as you can before using your bug and tar remover. Apply the detergent directly to your microfiber cloth or car wash mitt and massage the product into your painted surfaces and auto glass. Once again, rinse these areas off and pat them dry with your microfiber towel.

use a heavy-duty detergent to spot-clean bug remains

Remove Any Leftover Stains With Bug Remover

If there are still bug stains on your car, don’t fret! That’s what this step is for! Spray any leftover bug stains with your bug and tar remover until they are fully saturated. Allow your specialty cleaner to dwell on these surfaces for the time specified on the back of the bottle. This gives the formula enough time to break down these acidic bug guts and remove them completely from the surface of your car. Then, wipe away product and bug stains with a fresh, microfiber cloth.

remove any leftover stains with bug remover

Give Your Clear Coat a Gentle Polish

If there are still bug stains on your finish, then they’re no longer on your finish; they’ve actually burned into your finish. You’ll need to correct your clear coat with a car polish to remove these imperfections from your car’s paint surfaces. We recommend an adjustable solution like Hybrid Solutions Pro 1 & Done Polish, so you can start at the lowest intensity possible and increase your cutting power if necessary to be as gentle as possible on your clear coat.

For more guidance on how to polish your vehicle, check out this guide on how to compound a car at home!

Continue to polish any tarnished areas of your clear coat until bug remains are no longer visible on the surface of your vehicle.

give your clear coat a gentle polish

Protect the Vehicle With the Wax of Your Choice

You can breathe easy knowing you’ve removed the bug stains from your car exterior. But you’re not done yet! Now that you’ve used all these powerful cleaners and restorers on the surface of your car, you need to give your car a fresh coat of protection to replace the wax you stripped away during the cleaning process.

Applying a car wax or paint sealant will also make it easier to clean bug stains from your car in the future, creating a slick, hydrophobic barrier between these acidic bugs and your car’s painted surfaces. We recommend a car wax infused with graphene, like the Hybrid Solutions Pro Flex Wax, to give your car maximum protection against bug remains and harmful UV rays.

Now your car is free of those pesky flies or mosquitoes, and it will be much easier to clean and maintain! Just remember to reapply your car wax every 3-6 months to keep your glossy finish fresh and protected!

protect the vehicle with the wax of your choice


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