Summer is very welcome for many reasons. The bugs that end up splattered across the front of our cars isn’t one of them. High temperatures make this worse, effectively baking bug remains onto a car’s paintwork and glass. But there are plenty of car cleaning products that will remove them.
Specialist car cleaning products
The car accessory industry works hard to make life easier for car drivers and has come up with various products designed to dissolve bug splats from your bodywork and windscreen. In 2018, Auto Express conducted a test of bug and bird muck cleaners. From experience, we know it conducts its tests in a thorough ‘real-life’ way and its results are worth paying attention to. It found that Angelwax Revenge and Simoniz Insect & Dirt Remover were the best. CarPlan Demon Machine was next. Expect to pay between £5 and £8 for a 500ml bottle.
Applying these car cleaning products
With these products you don’t have to clean the whole car. You just spray the product on, leave it for the recommended time, then wipe it – and hopefully dead insects, tar etc… ‑ off with a damp cloth.
Alternatively, why not try…
WD-40 is a product that lurks somewhere in most people’s garages, sheds or DIY cupboards. According to its manufacturer it has more than 2000 uses and conveniently, one of those is removing bugs from car paintwork. You simply spray the WD-40 on, let it soak in, then cover the bugs you want to shift with a paper towel. Now spray the paper towel. This stops the liquid running away and allows the WD-40 to get to work on the dried-on bugs. You should then be able to wipe these off with another paper towel.
Or you could…
Put an old towel to work. All you do is fill a bucket with your regular car shampoo. You then get the old towel, soak it in the bucket and leave it on the affected area. This allows the cleaner to get to work on the bugs. Leave it for half an hour or so and then simply wash the car as you normally would. This should result in the bugs coming off with your sponge.
Do bugs harm car paintwork?
Car product specialist Simoniz says: “Unfortunately dead bugs are surprisingly acidic, difficult to remove, and can cause lasting damage to your paintwork if not dealt with swiftly.” The acid within the insects’ remains etches into the paintwork, dissolving the top layers of what’s known as the clear coat. This enables the humble insect to remove the shine from your car’s bodywork.
Clean them off immediately
The longer bugs are on your paintwork, the more damage they’ll do and the harder they’ll be to remove. That’s why you should act swiftly. Even if you haven’t got time to wash the whole car, you could just clean the front plus the windscreen. That will stop smearing which will make seeing out easier and your paintwork will definitely thank you.
I’ve been writing about cars and motoring for more than 25 years. My career started on a long-departed classic car weekly magazine called AutoClassic. I’ve since pitched up at Autosport, Auto Express, the News of the World, Sunday Times and most recently the Daily Telegraph. When I’m not writing about cars and motoring, I’m probably doing some kind of sport or working in my garden.