July 13

How To Get Bugs Off My Car


The warmer months are prime time for insects. Irrespective of where you live, it’s hard to escape the horrors of finding dead bugs on your windshield, paintwork, and even in those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. Bug splatter is among the toughest stains to wash off a vehicle’s paintwork. It’s also common for bug remains on the windshield not to move an inch when you turn on your wipers. 

At  Huffines Hyundai Mckinney, we understand how frustrating it can be to watch helplessly as critter acids eat into your car’s finish. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of seven surefire methods to make getting bugs off your vehicle easier.

Pressure Washer and Dish Soap

Sometimes, investing in specialized products to get bugs off your car is unnecessary. A little warm water from a pressure washer and dish soap can do the trick. The dish soap helps soften the bug guts and neutralize their acid, while the pressure washer can safely clean them off.

If you don’t have a pressure washer, you can use a bug sponge and a microfiber towel instead. Use dish soap and the bug sponge to clean out the bugs off the vehicle as soon as possible. After this, use a fresh microfiber towel to dry the paintwork.

Bug and Tar Remover

If your car doesn’t look its best after using a pressure washer and soap, it’s time to bring out the big guns. Bug and tar removers are specialty cleaners that remove tar, bug splatter, and stuck-on dirt. They’re powerful and do better at neutralizing acidic bug guts because they’re alkaline based.

Start by spraying the cleaner on your car and give it a few minutes to soften the dirt and debris. After 10 minutes, use a microfiber towel to wipe the bug splatter clean. Make sure to remove all the junk, rinse your car with fresh water, wipe it dry, and apply wax or sealant.

Clay Bar

Removing dried bug splatter stains can be tricky but not impossible. The longer the acidic guts remain on your car’s finish, the more likely they are to become embedded into the clear coat. If you still see some stains after giving your car a good scrub, a clay bar could help. These bars contain a special detailing resin that does a fantastic job of grabbing and pulling contaminants from the paintwork.

Cut the clay into pieces that fit into your hand, then apply bar lubricant on the area you want to clean. Use back-and-forth motions to rub into the stained finish. Knead the bar to reshape it, and use a fresh side to remove all the stains. Give your car a full wash and apply wax for protection.

Glass Cleaner

Glass cleaner is also quite effective at removing sticky stuff like bug splatter from a car’s paintwork. It has a unique formulation that breaks down debris into small, easy-to-wipe pieces. Use a degreaser in conjunction with your glass cleaner for the best results.

Start by spraying a degreaser on the stained area and let it sit for a minute. Spray the glass cleaner and use a soft cloth to wipe down the bug splatter.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is alkaline and can help neutralize the acidity of bug splatter. You only need roughly 4 tablespoons, warm water, and a microfiber cloth. First, take a glass of warm water and add the baking soda. Pour the solution into a bucket and dunk your microfiber inside. Use gentle, circular motions to remove dead bugs, then rinse your car and dry it with a soft towel.

You can also make a baking soda paste with less water than the solution method that you can then let sit on the stuff on bugs for a few minutes. Another method to keep your car shiny and new is to make your own car washing solution with 1/2 cup liquid detergent, 1/4 cup baking soda, and one gallon of fresh, clean water. Using one cup of this solution as your replacement washing solution can help get off stuck-on grime and leave your car looking like it just came off the lot.

Vinegar Solution

Vinegar does a great job at cleaning car windows. It can help remove bug guts from your windshield without leaving stubborn streaks. You can also use a vinegar solution to remove bugs on aluminum rims. Ensure that it doesn’t touch the paint job because it can leave it with a dull appearance.

You create the vinegar solution by mixing one cup of vinegar with one cup of water.  Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and arm yourself with a microfiber cloth. Spray the windshield with the mixture, then use a soft towel to wipe it down and remove the dead bags. Clean in sections to prevent any vinegar from pouring onto the paint job.

Give Your Car a Gentle Polish

Have you attempted at least two of the above methods, but there are still bug stains on your paintwork? Unfortunately, this means the gut acids have likely burned into your finish. The best you can do at this point is to use car polish to remove or conceal the tarnished areas.

Start by washing your car thoroughly to remove any dirt and debris. Steam clean it to remove as many stains as possible, then dry it with a clean microfiber cloth. The next step is to apply the polish on a soft cloth and rub it into the paint in circular motions.

Can Bugs Damage My Car’s Paintwork?

Bugs can damage your car’s aesthetics, especially if they remain stuck on the paint job for more than 48 hours. When hit by a fast-moving vehicle, their guts splatter and release highly acidic fluids. The longer the acidic stains remain on the paintwork, the more likely they are to become permanently baked into your car’s finish.

Do you want to replace your car or invest in a second vehicle? We welcome you to Huffines Hyundai McKinney, Texas. We have an  extensive inventory of new and used cars to make your selection a breeze. You can also depend on our highly skilled sales representatives for guidance on choosing a ride that suits your needs, budget, and preferences.


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