A sticky situation - removing stuck bugs from your car!

March 9, 2022
A sticky situation - removing stuck bugs from your car!

How to remove bugs from your car.

With spring just starting and summer around the corner, it won't be long until the front of the car starts to resemble a bug cemetery. Ignoring the fact that the squashed insects look rather unsightly, there is a more critical problem of the acid from inside the bugs damaging the paintwork.

The real solution to this is to tackle the problem as often as possible, removing any bugs quickly. This not only makes the removal process easier but also limits the exposure of the paint to the bugs acid and thus saving your paint in the process.

Cleaning bugs doesn't need to be extreme.

When cleaning the car, you may notice that the bugs remain! Traditional car shampoos and car cleaners rarely get the bugs off the paintwork, and those that do get removed often lean stains, marks and similar visible debris behind.

Our normal reaction to this is to get extreme, normally in the sense of grabbing the nearest abrasive cleaning solution and really scrubbing away at the paint. Whilst this may have the desired result, it also damages the lacquer and clear coat on the paint, quite often there is a gentler, easier approach to cleaning away those dead bugs.

Special products for bug removal.

When dealing with dead bugs, the best advise is to clear them off before washing your car. There is a comprehensive range of products available that are specifically designed to attack the bug remains without being abrasive or extreme. They are often sold as 'bug cleaners' or sometimes bundled as a 'bug and tar remover' product.

These specialist products come in a variety of forms including concentrated solutions, sprays, wipes and even 'bars' that you rub on the bugs.

Do these cleaning products actually work?

These speciality cleaners can certainly work wonders and often produce much better results when used before washing your car normally. They work by using chemicals to break down the sticky bond between the stuck substance and the paintwork. Most of the specialist products work well on not only stuck on bugs but also tar deposits and bird poo which are both just as detrimental to paint work.

AutoExpress have done a fantastic review of bug cleaners on the market which can be found at the link below, although you will need to register for free to read it all.

Best bug cleaners 2021 | Auto Express

The general consensus with cleaning products is to try and stick to products either reviewed well or produced by the name brands such as Meguiars, Turtle Wax, Auto Finesse and AngelWax

How to remove dead bugs from the front of the car.

Current products on the market are very easy to use, the spray is simply sprayed directly onto the bugs and left for a bit for it to work away at the sticky residue. Once left for a few minutes they can simply be wiped away with a damp cloth.

The other common product is 'bug wipes' which allow you to simply wipe the bugs away, although in tests these are best to have in the car to wipe away the bugs quickly and are often not that good at removing more ingrained bugs.

The trick with removing the bugs without damaging the paintwork is to act quickly. Removal of the bugs before washing the car is also highly recommended. Many car geeks often keep a bug/tar remover in their car so they can tackle this issues immediately.

How to remove dead bugs from my windscreen.

Unliked the paintwork, dead bugs on a windscreen are considerably easier to remove. Most screen wash mixes at the correct ratio are more than capable of letting the wipers remove the bugs. Failing that, most glass cleaners with a decent microfibre cloth or even better glass cloth will remove even the most stubborn of stuck bugs with little issue.

In the very rare instance of a truly stuck bug on your windscreen, the brand Turtle Wax recommends a bit of baking soda dissolved in water sprayed or applied to the bug works. The baking soda dissolves the bug and allows easy removal via the normal methods.

Can I stop or help prevent bugs from sticking?

Stopping the bugs from sticking is virtually impossible, however like most things, the rougher the surface the easier it is for the bug internals to adhere to the paint. Aside from keeping your car clean.

It is recommended to apply a wax, polish or paint treatment to your cars paint work. Not only does this give you a nice shiny showroom finish but this finish is caused by the paint being incredibly smooth. This ultra smooth clean paint can prove much harder to 'stick' to thus making it easier to keep the car in a clean, tip top condition.