Tips & tricks to get bugs and tar off your car

Updated Oct 13, 2020 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips

Bugs and tar are harmful to car appearance as well as your safety. Now, it's time to equip yourself with a handy guide and easy steps on removing stubborn bugs and tar from the car.

As a car owner, we always want our car to look clean and shiny. Unfortunately, there are lots of substances that ruin the overall look of our car. This includes dust, dirt, bugs, and tar.

Dust and dirt can easily be removed by car washing. But bugs and tar are totally different things. It can build up on your vehicle and bite into the car’s paint. These leaves marks that affect visibility.

Good thing there are ways on how to remove these sticky substances and Philkotse.com prepared a step-by-step guide on cleaning off that unwanted debris to make your car look clean and new again.

1. Removing Bugs

Clean immediately

The bug juices can quickly dry into the car’s paint. It should be removed and cleaned immediately because it can become very difficult to remove. If you wait too long before cleaning the bug juices, removing bugs might take off the car’s paint as well.

Regular cleaning

One of the most effective ways to remove bugs that have accumulated in the car’s paint is to clean it regularly. If you drive on country roads or go on road trips, the car might have picked up lots of bugs. So, it’s important to clean your car off within the day or two when you get back.

Man cleaning the car

One of the most effective ways to remove bugs that have accumulated in the car’s paint is to clean it regularly

Rub WD-40 on the car’s body

The WD-40 is an oily substance which loosens dead bugs that helps in removing them more easily. You can either use a rag or spray can to apply the substance in the body of your car.

Let the oily substance soak and sit on the car for ten minutes. One important reminder, do not use WD-40 on the car’s windows and windshield. This oily substance will be very hard to remove.

If there isn’t WD-40 available, you can try different products designed to remove tar and bug. You can look for a wide range of selection in a local auto store and pick the right products that will help you in removing bugs off your car. In addition, this product and method also work well in removing tar too.

Man spraying WD-40 in the car's finish

The WD-40 is an oily substance which loosens dead bugs that helps in removing them more easily

Scrub or wipe the bugs off

After applying and letting the WD-40 soak in, it’s now time to wipe off the bugs using a towel Do it in a circular motion. You can scrub the bugs off using the towel if necessary. Just be careful in scrubbing it because scrubbing it too hard might damage the car’s paint job.

Remember not to use steel wool pad or tough sponge in removing bugs from the vehicle as it will scratch the paint. It’s better if you’re able to catch bugs before they dry completely so that, one application will be enough to scrub it off.

But if bugs have already dried into the car’s paint, then it might take two WD-40 application. Let it sit in again and clean the vehicle again.

>>> List of easy tips you should know to keep bugs away from the windshield.

Clean windows and windshield

For the windows and windshield, you will need a different cleaning solution to remove bugs from the glass part of the vehicle. More often, a mixture of dish soap and water can already do the job. But if ever you need a stronger solution, you can look for a car window soap in your local auto parts store.

Spray the cleaning solution on the glass part of the car and let it soak for ten minutes. Then scrub the bugs away. For bugs that are tough to remove, you can use a scrubbing sponge.

Man cleaning the  window

For the windows and windshield, you will need a different cleaning solution to remove bugs from the glass part of the vehicle

Wash the car thoroughly

After all the bugs are cleaned off, thoroughly wash your vehicle to remove the residue of the products you used for cleaning it.

2. Removing tar

Loosen the tar

Tar is the easiest sticky substance to remove from the car. You can also use the different household product to loosen the tar. Use commercial tar remover, peanut butter, goo went, and WD-40 (not applicable for windows and windshield) to smother the tar for a minute or two.

Man spaying the car to remove tar

You can use a different household product to loosen the tar

Wipe the tar away

Using a soft cloth, wipe the loosened tar off. If it still holds to the car’s finish, you can apply more cleaning product then wait for another minute before you try to wipe it again. Just continue to smother the tart with the product you’re using then wipe it off until the tar is completely tar-free.

Wash the car

When you successfully removed all the tar, wash the car thoroughly to get rid of the tar-removal product’s residue.

Man cleaning the cxar

Wash the car thoroughly to get rid of the tar-removal product’s residue.

>>> Read related article: 10 tips to self-wash your car properly

3. General tips to treat bugs and tar

Bugs and tar can be a very annoying paint contaminant. It can stick in the car’s paint even after several washes. It can also damage the clear coat finishes. Typically, bug splatters stick on the front of the fenders and hood. Road tar, on the other hand, ends up on the rocker panels behind the car's tires.

But there are car wash supplies that are specially formulated so that removing tars and bugs will be easier.

Tar and bug removal products come in a variety of forms like sprays, soaps, and creams. It depends on the car owner on what cleaning products he/she prefers to use. Using tar soaps are usually applied directly to the stain. It is left to soak in for a few minutes before it will be washed.

removing tars and bugs

Car wash supplies that are specially formulated so that removing tars and bugs will be easier

You can make car washing products inside your house, however, in order to see positive results in a shorter time, spray-on car cleaning products will be what you are seeking for. This type of cleaning product is very easy to use.

You just have to simply squirt the cleaning product onto the stain. Allow and wait for it to penetrate. Use a clean towel in wiping the newly dissolved stain away in a gentle manner. Repeat the process if necessary.

The oldest style of removing tar and bug stains is by using creams. You just have to apply it onto a clean cloth then rub the stain gently until it breaks down. Use a clean towel to wipe away the stain and cream product residue.

As a car owner, you can choose from a variety of cleaning products depending on your preference. Just remember to apply only the right amount because these products can be very greasy and very hard to remove.

Your car is in its period for maintenance? Check our handy tips and advice right now!

Hanna Sanchez

Hanna Sanchez

Author

Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.

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