How to Get Bugs off of Your Vehicle

How to Get Bugs Off Of Your VehicleWhat happens when our paint gets covered with bugs? Can that damage your car? And how can you get rid of those pesky stains? Removing bugs from your vehicle is a fact of life, especially in spring and summer in rural areas, so we researched the topic to bring you some answers.

If your car is covered in bug stains, you should follow these steps -

  1. Choose a good cleaning solution.
  2. Get sponges, cloths, and something to help you gently scrub the vehicle.
  3. Clean off the smeared bugs by hand.
  4. Get your vehicle washed, to get excess cleaning solution off.
  5. Apply a coat of wax, to protect the paint and make bugs less likely to stick to the car in the future.

Removing bugs from your vehicle is a fact of life, especially in spring and summer in rural areas. Knowing how to remove them will help keep your car looking good. If you aren’t familiar with how to remove them have no fear, we took the best resources available and created this article to help you out. Read on to find out the best way to remove bugs from your vehicle.

Our vehicles are so crucial to our everyday lives we use them to get all over the place and accomplish everything. They become an outward expression of ourselves, and as such, we like to keep them looking as good as possible.

What Cleaners and Equipment Will Help Get Bugs Off Of My Vehicle

Many different types of cleaners will help you remove bugs and bug splatters from your vehicle. The choice boils down to personal preference effectiveness, and even price. Some cleaners are more accessible and more readily available than others.

When removing bugs from your vehicle, you will want to use cleaners and brushes that will not damage the paint. Scrubbing anything off of the paint of your vehicle can be a delicate process. You will want a brush or pad that is soft and less abrasive. Some carwash solutions specialize in bug and tar removal.

Here is a great essential list of cleaners and equipment suggested for getting bugs off:

  • Vinegar and Water
  • Baking Soda and Water
  • Dryer Sheets in Water
  • WD40
  • Dawn Dish Soap and Water
  • Bugs N' All
  • Griot's Garage 10982 Bug and Smudge
  • Turtle Wax T-520A Bug and Tar Remover
  • McKee's 37 MK37-100 Road Kill Bug Remover
  • Soft Cloth
  • Spray Bottle
  • Telescoping Light Bristled Brush
  • Microfiber Scrubbing Sponges
  • Pressure Washer

Can Bugs Damage Your Car Paint

It may seem odd, but bugs can damage your paint in a few different ways:


If you live in an area where bug populations are high and you don’t clean them off, then large amounts of them can buildup and harden, making them near impossible to remove. The more bugs that have built up, the harder you will have to scrub, and you risk damaging your paint.


Bugs and insects are filled with many different types of bodily fluids. These fluids are often acidic, and unless moved right away, they can cause damage to the paint on your car. The acid can also eat away the clear coat of your vehicle.

Impact Damage

Believe it or not, hitting bugs with your vehicle can cause impact damage. Bugs and insects have a hard exoskeleton. If they are large enough, they can cause small dents and chips in the paint of your vehicle. 

How to Get Love Bugs Off Your Car

To remove lovebugs from your car, you can soak the area in water and use dryer sheets to remove them/ You may have to repeat this process several times. Keep in mind that the chemicals in the dryer sheets seep into the finish of your car; this is how they remove the lovebugs. 

If you notice bugs building up while you are driving, you can often stop at a service station and use their window cleaning equipment to clean the bugs off of your vehicle before they have a chance to dry and cause damage. 

Ultimately you can swing into a carwash and have the bugs washed off before they have a chance to dry. If you decide to do this, you can also have a wax put on that will help keep the bugs from sticking.

How to Clean Bugs Off of a Windshield

Cleaning bugs off of windshield is generally easier than cleaning them off the rest of the car. You don't have to worry about removing a coat of paint when you scrub on a windshield.

To remove bugs from the windshield that you will want to use a scraper or a scrub brush of some sort so that you can gently remove any buildup. You may also use standard glass cleaner to accomplish this.

You can use any of the cleaning solutions mentioned before on your windshield; there should be no damage. As a preventive step or something that can be done while driving, some windshield washer fluids are designed with enough acidity and chemical compounds to remove the bugs as they hit the windshield.

For more information on windshields, check this article out!

How to Prevent Bugs From Sticking

The best way that you can prevent bugs from sticking to your vehicle is by waxing the vehicle. This puts a slick layer between the paint and the bugs are so when there is an impact with your car, it may not stop it completely; however, a coat of wax keeps your vehicle slicker, so it's easier to clean.

Certain types of bugs embed into the finish of your car when they impact, such as lovebugs. By adding a layer of wax, you can also help directly protect the original finish of your vehicle.

Keeping Bugs Off Your Car

There is no surefire way to keep bugs off of your vehicle other than to clean them off. No matter what you do, there is no guaranteed way to keep bugs off of your vehicle. Cleaning solutions and wax are generally going to be your best bet.

Bugs are a natural part of the world, and as such, they become a natural part of driving, particularly in the spring and summer, when they are plentiful. The best defense is going to be a good offense, and in this case, that means preparing your vehicle with the right type of wax and cleaning solutions.

Bug Guards

There are guards that you can apply to your vehicle to help deflect bugs. These range in size style shape and price. The basic idea behind them is that they attempt to take an aerodynamic approach to bugs. They also help to protect the front of your vehicle.

Best Products for Cleaning Your Vehicle

It does not take a large amount of mechanical skill to understand how to remove bugs from a vehicle. It can be a little daunting when trying to select the appropriate cleaning solvent to help remove them and having the correct equipment to do so as always an excellent way to make things easier.

These are the best cleaners around and the best equipment to get the job done with spending as little money as possible and getting the most results, and we hope that this will make it easier for you when it comes time to remove those bugs from your vehicle.

Vinegar and Water

A solution of vinegar and water can be great for removing the bugs from a vehicle. This will work particularly well if the bug splatters are recent and have not dried. Be sure to mix more water than vinegar to keep the acidity down.

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Baking Soda and Water

A mixture of baking soda and water in a spray bottle can provide a very gentle cleanser if you are worried about damaging the paint on your vehicle. You will want to rinse the vehicle as this may leave an undesirable residue. Do not mix vinegar and baking soda as the bottle may explode, and it may eat the paint.

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Dryer Sheets and Water

Adding dryer sheets and water to a spray bottle can be a great way to remove bugs from your vehicle. Please be aware that you will not want to let this mixture sit on your paint for very long. It can seep into your finish and cause damage.

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This very popular sprayable lubricant can also be used to remove bugs from vehicles. Be warned that while it will dissolve bugs, it may also do the same thing to the paint on your vehicle if left on for too long. It is also petroleum-based, so you may have difficulty cleaning it up.

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Dawn Dish Soap and Water

Dawn dish soap is excellent at cutting through grease, and it is relatively gentle on paint. A mixture of dish soap and water can be effective at removing bugs from a vehicle. Be sure that you rinse it off fairly quickly so that it does not ruin the finish of your paint.

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Bugs N' All

This cleaner is available in a spray bottle and a mixable bottle. It claims to be safe on wax, paint, and clearcoat. It is easy to use; all you have to do is spray it on the area that you want to clean and wipe it off. For more heavy-duty cleanings, you will want to let it soak in. It claims to break bugs and spatters down within 60 seconds.

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Griot's Garage 10982 Bug and Smudge

This all-purpose cleaner has excellent reviews and is easy to use. You can spray it on a selected small area or pre-treat a larger area before washing. It claims to work within 30 seconds and will even remove rubber scuff marks!

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Turtle Wax T-520A Bug and Tar Remover

This is probably the best-known brand in car care. This cleaner will dissolve bugs and tree sap; it will also leave behind a protective barrier. This does not require any pre-treating you can spray it on and wipe it off.

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McKee's 37 MK37-100 Road Kill Bug Remover

This mixture is safe to use on clear coats and a variety of surfaces. There is no pre-treating required. You can dilute the mixture with water to extend your use.

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Soft Cloth

You will want to have a soft cloth that is clean and absorbant. It is best to make sure that it won’t leave lint and other debris around.

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Spray Bottle

You will want a spray bottle to mix in. It is preferable to buy unused one, but a well- rinsed one will do. 

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Telescoping Light Bristled Brush

These brushes will allow you to scrub any section of your vehicle. The bristles should enable you to wash debris from the paint without damaging it. The brushes extend to allow you to clean the roof.

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Microfiber Scrubbing Sponges

These well-constructed sponges allow you to scrub the surface of your vehicle without damaging the paint. They offer a rougher edge for scrubbing and a soft side for detail work.

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Pressure Washer

You may be able to cut down on your scrubbing with this handy tool. A light-duty pressure washer can give your hose some force, removing bugs with a jet of water.

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Cleaning And Preparation

Cleaning bugs off of your vehicle should not be a challenging task. In the event you are incredibly concerned about the bugs on your vehicle, the best course of action to start with would be to stop at a gas station or service station and clean them off or go to a car wash.

Need more help with taking care of your vehicle? Check out these resources -

How to Get Bird Poop off Your Car

How to Protect Your Car from Hail Damage [8 Proven Ways]

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