Besides being ugly to look at, bugs and tar make it difficult to keep your car in perfect condition. Luckily, there are bug and tar removers on the market to help with that. However, it raises the question: how potent are they? Can they remove the car's wax coating? Let's find out.
It depends on the product you purchase. Some bug and tar removers use chemicals strong enough to remove wax. For this reason, manufacturers will recommend applying wax after using it. Most of these products are often petroleum based.
Maintaining a car's looks is tedious. Fortunately, you don't need a chemical remover to remove bugs on the car's surface. You can also use homemade solutions to remove tar. If you'd like to learn more, keep reading.
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How Bug And Tar Remover Can Remove Wax
The common complaint against using a bug and tar remover is that it typically goes a step further. Instead of only removing tar and bugs, it will also strip off your car's wax. That raises the question: how do these products do that?
Unfortunately, there isn't any concrete evidence. Experience varies from person to person. Some people claim the product will strip the wax, while others claim it worked as intended.
We need to consider a lot of variables to get a solid answer. Some people will blame cheap waxes. Others think that the chemicals in bug and tar removers are the problem.
Considering Tar And Bug Remover Brands
Unfortunately, we can't solely place the blame on the remover. Most manufacturers don't list the chemicals used in the product. Therefore, we can't truly know what the culprit is.
If it does remove wax, manufacturers will warn users about it. For example, Turtle Wax recommends using their tar and bug remover before applying wax. So, if you have doubts, look at the instructions. It will tell you everything you need to know.
In any case, it's safe to assume some of them will remove a car's wax coating. However, that isn't always going to be the case. Still, be prepared to wax the area just in case.
How To Remove Bugs From Car
Fortunately, we don't always have to rely on car cleaning products to remove bugs or tar from a car. That should give you peace of mind because you don't have to risk stripping wax. You can use some tools at home to help you in these situations.
Use Dryer Sheets
If bugs are the problem, you can use dryer sheets to remove them. You'll need water, dryer sheets, microfiber cloths, and a spray bottle.
Fill the spray bottle with water. You don't need to fill it up completely, but there should be enough to soak a dryer sheet. Then, stick a dryer sheet into the spray bottle.
Close it and give it a shake. The contents of the spray bottle will be your cleaning solution. You'll need another dryer sheet to scrape the bugs off.
Once ready, spray the solution directly on the bugs. Wait a few minutes to let the bugs soak it all in. Then, wipe the bugs with the dryer sheet. They should come off effortlessly.
Finally, use more water and a microfiber cloth to clean the area. Here's a YouTube video demonstrating how effective it can be:
Use Honeycomb Sponges
Cleaners aren't always essential. You can use an abrasive material to scrub the bugs off. Of course, we don't want to make scratches on the car's surface.
So, we'll need to be careful with the tools we use. That's where honeycomb sponges come into play. They're sturdier than your average sponge, but they're safe on car coating as long as you give them enough time to soak in soapy water.
You'll need to spray the bugs with water to let them soften up. Then, after five minutes, take your honeycomb sponge and wipe it away. If you've followed through correctly, it should remove the bugs without leaving any scratches.
How To Remove Tar From Car
Bugs are relatively easy to remove. Tar, on the other hand, is a different beast. It's never a pretty sight. Additionally, it's a pain to remove.
Unfortunately, you'll need a tar remover. The tools you have at home won't be enough to fix the problem unless you want to risk damaging the car's surface.
We'll have to rely on solvents to remove the tar. Yes, it will remove the car's wax. Therefore, it's essential to reapply it afterward. One cleaner people love for tar removal is Schaeffer's Industrial Degreaser.
Using Citrol Cleaner
Before you start, wear the appropriate gear. This cleaner is strong, so you shouldn't expose yourself to it for long periods. Do this in an open area. Wear some gloves, goggles, and a painter's mask. Once ready, shake the can of Citrol and spray it directly at the tar.
It should start running down the car's surface. Take a hose or bucket of water and rinse the area. If any tar remains, repeat the process. The cleaner should effortlessly remove the tar without too much work on your part. Once all of it is gone, wash the car. Then, reapply the wax.
Here's a YouTube video you can use for help:
How Do You Get Tar Off A Car Without Damaging The Paint?
The thought of using solvents to remove tar can be worrisome. Are there no natural remedies we can use to remove tar? After all, no one wants to risk damaging the paint.
There are some tools at home you can use, but they're not the most efficient way to remove tar. In the worst case, it won't remove it all. So, you'd waste time and effort.
Using WD-40, Peanut Butter, Or Goo Gone
However, if you want to try them out, let's discuss how to use them. The three products you can use are peanut butter, WD-40, and Goo Gone. All of them follow a similar procedure.
You apply the cleaner of choice to the tar spots. Let it sit for 10-30 minutes. In theory, this gives it enough time to let the oils saturate the tar. Then, you can rinse it off with water and wipe it with a microfiber cloth.
Does it work? Some people have had success with it. Peanut butter is less likely to work, but WD-40 and Goo Gone are more reliable. However, you may need to apply more of it if it doesn't remove the tar.
It's a time-consuming process. You're more likely to carry a can of WD-40 at home, so you can use that instead of the two alternatives. But keep in mind that WD-40 leaves a greasy residue behind.
You can remove it using soapy water. Here's a YouTube video demonstrating how it works:
How Do You Remove Car Wax?
Sometimes cleaning can get messy. Some light scratches may appear in your attempt to remove the tar and bugs. At this point, it would be better to reapply a wax coating to the whole car.
Before you do that, you need to remove the old wax. Car wax is durable enough to withstand many conditions. However, it's not difficult to remove.
You can use a pre-wax cleaner or an all-purpose car cleaner. Before you start the removal process, wash the car with water. This way, you can remove dirt and grime from the surface.
Can You Use A Clay Bar To Remove Tar?
Car detailers have many tools at their disposal. One of them is the clay bar. It's an effective tool that removes many contaminants on the surface. Yes, it will also remove tar.
Most car owners will not have this tool on hand. Before you purchase one, make sure to get a kit, not the clay bar itself. Clay bars work with a lubricant.
The clay bar alone will drag dirt and grime against a dry surface. As a result, you end up with more scratches. Thus, it's essential to get a proper kit.
The clay bar will remove tar if it's relatively fresh. You will need to use harsher cleaners to remove tar that has been lingering on the car's surface for a while. It's a detail to keep in mind in case it doesn't remove the tar.
Spray the lubricant on the car's surface. Then, move the clay bar in a left-and-right motion. You may also work it in an up-and-down motion. Here's a YouTube video to help:
Once satisfied with the results, take a microfiber towel and wipe the lubricant off. Hopefully, it's enough to remove the tar. Otherwise, go with a chemical tar remover.
We hope you find an option that works best for you. Unfortunately, most bug and tar removers will remove wax from your car. It's unavoidable, but it beats looking at tar on the car's surface.
Before you go, do you need help removing other blemishes? How about scuff marks? To learn more, check out this post: How To Remove Scuff Marks From Car
Is your car's paint becoming cloudy? It doesn't take much to bring back its shine. For more information, check out: How To Remove Cloudiness From Car Paint