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How To Get Bugs Off Car With Dryer Sheets

Owning a car means being able to drive anywhere you want at any time. It's great owning a car, but maintaining it is another thing. On our way to places, it's not surprising to see a few bugs splattered on the surface here and there. The annoying part is cleaning it. If you need help removing them, let's go over the details.

If you want to remove bugs from your car's surface, dryer sheets can help. They come in handy for various situations. Here's the procedure you'll need to follow:

  1. Put a dryer sheet inside a spray bottle with some water.
  2. Spray the affected areas.
  3. Use another dryer sheet to scrape the bug off. 
  4. Rinse the surface.

Sometimes, a basic car wash isn't enough to remove all the dirt and grime on the car's surface. When that happens, we look for solutions. Using dryer sheets might seem like a magic trick. What makes them effective at removing bugs? To learn more, keep reading. 

girl washes the windshield of the car at a gas station. dryer sheets in box. woman spraying on car. man rinsing car with water from bucket. How To Get Bugs Off Car With Dryer Sheets

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Removing Bugs Off A Car With Dryer Sheets

Of course, some people are cautious before trying out a new solution. Why do dryer sheets work effectively to remove the bugs? Another concern that comes to mind is the coat and paint on the car. 

You wouldn't want to use a product that removes or harms the car's surface. So, let's get into the nitty-gritty details of dryer sheets.  

Crushed insect on car bumper. Crush the mosquitoes and gnats at the front of the vehicle

How It Works

Dryer sheets aren't a magic piece of fabric. It comes from unwoven polyester material coated with a softening agent. That's why it's effective at removing bugs. Dryer sheets soften them! 

They soften materials using a softening agent that has a long hydrophobic chain. The softening agent the dryer sheets use depends on the manufacturer. Some might use stearic acid, and others could use quaternary ammonium salts.

Do Dryer Sheets Harm Car Surfaces?

The answer to this question is tricky. Generally, there isn't enough concrete evidence to suggest dryer sheets harm car surfaces. Of course, they wouldn't be better than a dedicated car cleaning product. So, if you're hesitant to use this solution, go with a designated alternative. 

There are claims that dryer sheets can dissolve the vehicle's finish. How it can do that remains to be explained. Dryer sheets contain an antistatic agent, fatty acids (softening agent), clay, and fragrances. 

The general recommendation is to avoid using laundry detergents to wash your vehicle. The reason is that they can contain degreasers and other chemicals that can remove the car's top coat. 

Since dryer sheets fall into the laundry detergent category, it's important to be careful. If you want to play it safe, reapply wax over the surface to ensure you won't leave it unprotected. Now let's go over the process. 

1. Put A Dryer Sheet In A Spray Bottle With Water

Start the process by filling a spray bottle with some water. You don't have to fill it up all the way. Then, take a dryer sheet and fold it inside. 

Shake the spray bottle. This way, you can get a dryer sheet mixture. Once the water turns milky, you can begin using it. 

You can skip this step if you need to work over a large surface. 

2. Spray The Affected Areas

Bugs aren't going to be all over your car. The areas that they appear in the most are the front and windshields. Hopefully, there aren't too many bugs to remove. You want to spray the dryer sheet mixture directly on them.

You can wait a few seconds to let the bug carcass soak in the mixture. It will make it easier to remove. In any case, spraying the bug will soften them in some capacity. 

A spray bottle won't be necessary if you're working on a large surface. Instead, rinse the area with a hose. Once all the bugs are wet, scrub them lightly with the dryer sheet.

3. Use A Dry Dryer Sheet To Scrape The Bugs Off

The last step is simple enough. Take another dryer sheet. You don't have to get it wet or mix it. Rub it over the areas that have bug carcasses.

Most of them should come off with ease. However, some will be harder to remove. So, you might have to put in a bit of elbow grease. 

man wiping off excess water on car door using yellow cloth

4. Rinse the Surface

Before you call it a day, give your car a quick rinse with a hose. As mentioned, dryer sheets contain softening agents and chemicals. So, you don't want that drying on the car's surface. 

The dryer sheet will leave a milky residue if you forget to rinse it off. Rinse the car and dry it off. Now your car should look much better without the graveyard of insects!

Optional Step

Once you remove the bugs off the surface, you can reapply the wax. Since there's not much information about the effects on the car's finish, it's better to play it safe. This way, you can avoid unseen damages.

Here's a YouTube video you can follow along:

What Are Other Ways To Remove Bugs?

Bugs are the plague on your car's surface. If making your car look worse isn't enough, it can also damage it. Once they splatter over the front, their bodies release enzymes that should break down their carcass.

Theoretically, it could remove itself from your car in time. But, that's not the case. Those enzymes will also wear away at your vehicle's protective coating. Therefore, it's crucial to remove them. 

Sometimes dryer sheets aren't enough to remove the carcass. At that point, the bugs have embedded themselves into the clear coat. So, you might need more firepower to remove them. Let's go over some alternatives to consider. 

Clay Bars

Click here to see this clay bar and lubricant on Amazon.

Clay bars are auto detailers' last resort tool. They're effective at removing most contaminants. It's not often you find yourself in need of using one. But, if the situation requires it, use it! 

The best part about clay bars is that they will also remove other contaminants lingering on your car's surface. So, if you have tar, sap, or anything similar stuck there, it will remove it effortlessly.

Hand polishing by clay bar and clay lubricant for remove dirt on car surface in car-wash shop

How To Use A Clay Bar

Using a clay bar is fairly straightforward. That being said, it is worth noting that you will need some lubricant to work with it. Otherwise, you're rubbing a dry clay bar over a dry surface, which is a big no-no. 

The clay bar will still be effective at removing the bugs if it's dry. However, the big concern is scratching. You won't know what else the clay bar will pick up. If it picks up anything abrasive, it could potentially leave scratches. 

In any case, the clay bar method is similar to using a dryer sheet. You need to prepare the surface with a lubricant. Then, rub the clay over the bug carcasses. They should come off effortlessly. 

Here's a YouTube video demonstrating how effective they can be:

Microfiber Towels

Click here to see these microfiber cloths on Amazon.

Dryer sheets and clay bars come in handy once the bugs have set into the car. They're effective, but they can have their downsides. If you're not careful, dryer sheets can leave a residue. 

On the other hand, clay bars can scratch your vehicle if you don't use a lubricant. That's where microfiber towels come into play. Though, they'll only work if the bugs splatter is relatively fresh. 

Bug Scrubber Sponges

Click here to see this sponge on Amazon.

Messing with new tools can be anxiety-inducing. If you don't have experience with them, you're more likely to mess up. So, you might not want to use a clay bar. Additionally, maybe the microfiber cloth wasn't enough to remove the bugs. 

In that case, you can look for bug scrubbing sponges. These sponges have a honeycomb texture that effectively removes bugs. At first sight, they might seem rough. But, as with most cleaning tools, you'll want to start with a wet surface. 

Spray water or a cleaner on the bugs to soften them up. You'll also need to submerge the sponges in water. This way, it won't feel as rough, but it retains its honeycomb structure. 

Then, scrub away at the graveyard of insects. It's a simple process. And, it doesn't involve working with chemicals or tools you're not sure about.

What Dissolves Bugs On Windshields?

All that's left is the windshield. If you need help removing bugs from this area, all you need is warm water and vinegar. Soak the bug splatter with either of these two. 

Then, wipe it off gently with a microfiber cloth. The dryer sheet method also works in this area. Though, make sure to rinse the windshield afterward.

Cleaning the car with microfiber cloth and wax coating. How To Get Bugs Off Car With Dryer Sheets

In Closing

Like dust, bugs are an inescapable part of life. There's no way to avoid bug splatter. It doesn't look pretty when they're on the car surface and your windshield. Thankfully, dryer sheets come in handy in various situations.

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