How to Remove Dead Bugs off Your Car
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Here are but a few methods of getting rid of those pesky marks left by the demising insects. But before we get into that, let's take the time to understand why bugs are so particularly difficult to remove from the car, no matter where they hit: the grille, the hood or the windshield.
Some of these buggers tend to contain acidic substances which is why some of the time they tend to bite into the paint. That will cause you a bigger pain in the derrière after the bugs get a chance to dry out, because then it will be even more difficult to get them off without chipping the paint.
Most of us will take the mechanical removal approach, forcing the scratch resistance of our paint job, while others take a more scientific approach to it. Attacking the problem from a chemical point of view is often better than using sharp or pointy objects so close to your precious (and sometimes expensive) paint job.
Many people recommend soaking the bug stain for a couple of minutes with the wondrous solution known as WD 40 which is a penetrating oil sold in most hardware stores. Just spray on the dead bug, let it penetrate for a while and then simply rub it off with a clean cloth.
Another idea is to stick to classic bug and tar removing products but as some of the people out there might know, these don't always work, which makes it frustrating spending the money in the first place.
A good scrub might sometimes to the job, so before you go spending money on the “super wash” version at you local car wash, try to see if you can't do the job yourself in your driveway. Since you care so much about your car, you're bound to put more heart into the matter and thus get a better result.
When all else fails, when the scrubbing, the spraying, the wiping and even the grinding down come to no avail, you have only one option left: a new paint job.
The other nasty place where bugs tend to stick is the windshield, which is even a more tricky place to clean, since you can't really use oil-based products. The idea here is pretty much the same, let the stain soak for a while before attempting to clean it. You can do this by covering up the spot with a cloth soaked in special cleaning soap or another cleaning product.
The best idea is to use a microfiber cloth on your windshield as they don't leave as much lint as a regular fabric would. These go very well with the water-soap combination and a big plus is that they don't cause a dent in your budget either. For extra-sticky spots, try adding a little baking soda to the water. Its granules are small so they won't cause scratches to the glass.
The next solution is not for the faint-hearted and it requires a steady hand. Try rubbing the smudge with a light scouring pad, like a “000” steel wool. This will remove those stubborn bug residues that you can't normally get off with soap and water.
A less conventional method of removing bug stains from your windshield is to use a little Coca-Cola. The chemical composition of the drink will dissolve the bug juices and make it easier to remove. All you have to do is be careful not to get any on your paint job. At the end, make sure you scrub it with a little soap and water, to wash off the Coke.
Some of these solutions might seem a little too extreme if your car is either very expensive or very rare. But in that case, you probably have the dosh to get a professional scrub. For the rest of us, the hoi polloi, the idea is to try cleaning these stains as soon as possible, because once they dry up, the acid in the bugs has the time to eat into the paint.
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comments written so far
On 17 January 2010 at 10:09 UTC, Acft Mech said:
Bugs can be nasty to remove from aircraft that don't fly at high altitudes too. Especially helicopters. One trick is a little water in a spray bottle combined with a dryer sheet. Ya know, those static eliminating sheets ya throw in a clothes dryer?! Helps get the little buggers off expensive acft paint jobs without causing rub marks or scratches in the nose and lead edge areas of acft down in the gulf coast area of the U.S. And you know there are a lot of bugs down here!!
On 30 June 2010 at 13:56 UTC, cookinteacher said:
Used the tip with the fabric softener sheet. Worked great! Good tip for women so we don't have to "bug" our husbands for the WD-40.
On 6 September 2010 at 15:09 UTC, Alex said:
I tried the drier sheet thinking theres no way it would work but thought i have to go by them anyway so why not and after 5 seconds i got more bugs off than in ten mins of scrubbing.
On 14 September 2010 at 20:17 UTC, imatroll said:
I just tried Acft Mech's advice and, I have to tell you, it was nothing short of amazing!! I put a dryer sheet in the spray bottle & filled it about 1/4 full with warm water. I then used a second dryer sheet to scrub my car. Every single dried up bug washed right off!! I also used the Mr. Clean AutoWash Dry Clean unit to rinse & soap and my 10 year old Buick looks like she's going to the Prom!! Thank you so much for the tip - I will never use anything else, including elbow grease, again!!
On 18 July 2011 at 19:00 UTC, twdaddy86 said:
i read another method online and tried it and was amazed how well it worked.......A DEFINATE MUST Get a couple of dryer sheets wet them down and gently wipe them off. It is unbelievable how well and easy it works....No elbow grease and no soaking.
unreal idea to remove bugs from your car
unreal idea to remove bugs from your car
On 24 July 2011 at 13:42 UTC, brf50b said:
Get on old spray bottle (I use an old Window Cleaner spray bottle) and fill it with good old water - spray bumper/bugs liberally, wait 4-5 min, spray again, wait again, spray again then wipe off lightly with an old rag - I prefer an old hand towel my wife didn't miss. I do this every time I get bugs, usually within 24 hr. Well saturated bugs wipe off real easy!
On 27 August 2011 at 16:21 UTC, doc said:
I was browsing this morning trying to find a way to get the bugs off the front of my car...Saw the dryer sheet idea. I was really scared to touch my beautiful midnight blue metallic camaro SS with that wet dryer sheet....I WAS SO IMPRESSED at how easily the dead bug splat came off..I was so excited about it that I got a couple more and went after my husbands huge diesel pickup he drives every night to work....I WAS SHOCKED and amazed how easily those nasty splatters came off. I appreciate those that know tricks like this to keep us from buying expensive chemicals that we don't really need! Thanks acft mech!!!!!!!
On 30 October 2011 at 14:55 UTC, saleschick said:
Mr. Clean Magic Sponge works like a charm
On 24 August 2012 at 09:20 UTC, Martinez Joshua said:
http://www.bugrag.com/ Check this new product to keep your car bug free between washes and protect the paint from bug acid etching. Love Bug Rag!!
On 29 September 2012 at 08:20 UTC, sean wiggins said:
The best solution is to use dryer sheets as a scouring pad. With the sheets you can scrub as hard as you want without worrying about scratching the paint or damaging the car.
On 15 May 2013 at 17:26 UTC, Steve C. said:
Wow, I was reluctant to try the dryer sheet trick on my shiny new black Lexus GS 350 but I went ahead and it worked where nothing else would. No scratches even on the chrome.
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