You can always tell how far a car has traveled by looking at the state of its bumper, hood, and windshield. Typically, these areas of the car will be littered with bug splats that leave a nasty effect on the appearance of the car.
Hundreds upon hundreds of insects hit our cars every day, and these range from mosquitoes and moths to beetles and midges.
Bug splats, if left uncleaned on your car for too long, can harden, accumulate, and eventually obstruct your view of the road ahead. Furthermore, dead insects can be acidic and tend to damage the paint job on your car over time.
Unfortunately, removing dead bugs off your car takes more than just a routine car wash. Consider the following guide on how to effectively get bugs off your car.
How to Remove Bug Stains from Your Car
There are different ways to eliminate the dead bug stains from your vehicle without necessarily taking it to a detailer. The good thing is that most of these methods are pretty basic and some of the cleaning agents can be sitting somewhere inside your home. To remove bug stains, follow the easy steps below:
Step 1: Choose a Bug Remover
The market provides bug removers that are specifically designed to clean insects that are squashed against the body of your vehicle. However, there are domestic solutions you can opt for if you don’t want to spend on a car care product. Choose from any of the following as a cleaning agent:
- Baking soda
- Dryer sheets
- Baby/Lamp oil
- Magic Eraser
Step 2: Remove the Bug Stains
Depending on the cleaning product you select, you can remove the dead insects from your vehicle using the process below:
Remove Bugs with Baking Soda
A solution of baking soda can make the perfect substitute for car soap, and will rarely miss in most kitchens at home. It comes with alkaline properties and will work well at getting rid of dead insects from the surface of your car.
Add a few spoons of baking into a bucket of warm water then stir to make a mixture. Dip a clean piece of microfiber clothing into the mixture while applying it to your vehicle.
Gently scrub off the affected areas in a circular pattern to eliminate the dead bug stains then rinse with a water hose before drying with a clean microfiber towel.
Remove Bugs Using Dryer Sheets
Fabric softeners will not only remove lint from clothing; the dryer sheets can also be used to get the dead bugs off your car. This method can also be used to remove tar.
Fill a spray bottle with warm water and spray the fabric softener sheet to make it wet. Using circular motions, rub the softener sheet onto the stained areas on your car.
The solution does a nice job of loosening the hardened bug splats, which makes it easy for you to get rid of. With all the grime removed, wash the car and leave it to dry.
Remove Bugs Using Vinegar
A solution of vinegar works best when removing bug stains from the car windshield and will come in handy when you want to clean any kind of stain from your car windows. Vinegar is mildly acidic and cleans the dirt off the glass without leaving behind streak marks. This method can also be applied when cleaning aluminum rims.
Add a few drops of vinegar into a bowl of warm water then pour the solution into a spray bottle before spraying the windshield and windows of your vehicle. Using a clean piece of cloth, wipe the surface in a circular pattern to eliminate the dead bug grime.
Reapply the vinegar solution a second time and use the same wiping motion for better cleaning results.
Be sure to do the same on all the other windows of your car while washing away the residue.
Vinegar will also make an excellent domestically-accessible cleaning agent for pretty much any stained part of your car; both outside and inside.
Remove Bugs Using WD-40
WD-40 is another option that you may have readily available in your garage. One of its many listed uses is the removal of dead bug splat from the surface of your car.
Spray the WD-40 on the stained patches around your car and give it a few minutes to soak in. This helps to loosen the grime for easy removal.
Take a clean piece of rag and wipe off the dirt gently, making sure that you get all the places. Spray more WD-40 on stains that prove to be stubborn before wiping again.
Remove Bugs Using Baby/Lamp Oil
Various oil substances in your household can be used to remove bug stains from your car. You can use baby oil or lamp oil, if you have some in your home, to get the job done.
Pour a small amount of the baby oil or lamp oil onto a clean piece of cloth then rub it against the stained surfaces. Wipe in circular motions to get rid all the residue then wash with soapy water.
Wash the car again with clean water and allow it to dry.
Remove Bugs Using Magic Erasers
Magic Erasers clean pretty much any kind of stain that comes to mind, so this will be a nice way to get rid of the dead bugs on your vehicle.
Take a wet Magic Eraser and slowly rub the bug grime off your car without using too much force.
Being vigorous while doing this may mess up the paintwork on your car, and the same is true when using a dry Magic Eraser.
Step 3: Wash Your Car
Once you have removed all the bug splats from the affected areas, you need to give the entire car a proper wash. This ensures that any residue from the cleaning agents that you might have missed while rinsing your car is completely washed away.
It is recommended that you manually wash the car on your own as opposed to taking it to the car wash. Remember to use a fresh bucket of soapy water and a different towel from the one you used to clean off the bug grime.
Step 4: Apply Car Wax
Some of the cleaning methods mentioned above, such as using dryer sheets and WD-40, may end up stripping the wax off your vehicle. Hence, you want to re-apply car wax after the final wash. Applying the wax also makes it easier for you to remove bug stains the next time it happens.
This is because the wax coating cleans up easily and prevents the dead bugs from hardening directly on the car’s surface.
Step 5: Protect Your Car from Future Bug Stains
Bug stains on a car are not a one-off phenomenon! Even after successfully removing the dead insect squashed on your vehicle, you want to do everything to prevent it from happening again. This simplifies the process during subsequent cleanups. To protect your car, you can use:
These are also referred to as a clear bra. They are thin films that are applied temporarily to the car to preserve the paint job and do a great job when it comes to preventing dead bug stains. The bugs stick to the film as opposed to the car’s surface, which makes it easy for you to remove them.
These will typically come in the form of a solution that you spray on the car. Their role is to make the vehicle’s surface extra slippery to ensure that bugs won’t easily stick to the paintwork on your vehicle.
If you don’t mind compromising the aesthetics of your car, you can decide to apply painter’s tape to the bumper. The dead bugs will stick to the tape and the surface of your vehicle will be spared. Cleaning the bug grime will be as easy as removing the painter’s tape and you’ll have restored the integrity of your car.
If you are not sure of how best to apply the above protective products on your car, get a professional to do it for you. You don’t want to damage the paint job while at it!
Dead insect stains can be a huge nuisance to car owners, especially when bug season comes along. Knowing how to get rid of them allows you to maintain the looks of your car and saves you the cost of taking it to a professional vehicle detailer.
So, if you’ve been trying to get your car looking clean after a long journey, use the methods above to get dead bugs off your car.