DETAILING MY CAR > How to Remove Dead Bugs From Your Car’s Paint

How to Remove Dead Bugs From Your Car’s Paint

Dodge MagnumIn this post, I’ll share my techniques for how to remove dead bugs from your car. At one time or another, everyone has taken a long road trip and watched as bug after bug slammed into the front windshield. As you know, those bugs are getting onto the whole front of the car, too.

Read on and learn my tricks to get this mess off.

Tricks for Removing Dead Bugs

I learned early on that a simple and quick car wash just doesn’t do the trick in washing off those nasty bugs – I hate bugs! The first thing you need to do is soak the car down for a long time. You need to loosen the dead bugs and let them get softened up. I normally spray the front of my car with a jet stream of water – repeating this four or five times over the course of 15 or 20 minutes. You don’t want to grind dried bugs into your car’s paint. This could cause minor surface scuffs and scratches. I have even known people who hook up a garden sprinkler and run it over the car. Whichever method you choose, just be thorough. Even one bug drives car fanatics like me crazy.

Hand-Washing the Bugs

Now it is time to get on with a good car wash – refer to my article on safe at-home car washing for the correct methods and supplies for this step. With a car full of dead bugs – even those that have been soaked down – you need to take some special care. I like to mix up a more concentrated mixture of soap and water than the label instructions call for. Next, I take my well-soaked wash mitt and get the soap slopped over the whole front of the car, the windshield, and even the side mirrors – now you are letting it soak into the bugs to soften them up even more.

After this mix has soaked into the car for several minutes it is time to do a regular hand wash – but apply a little heavier hand pressure as you go. I wash the whole car and rinse it off well. Next, I re-wash all of the leading edges (grill, hood, bumper, headlights, windshield and the front of the side mirrors). I always wear gloves for this. Some of those bugs could be bees or wasps – you can still get pricked by a stinger, whether the wasp is dead or alive.

The Final Dead Bug Check

Now it’s time to give the car a good inspection for any missed bugs. If all of the dead bugs are gone, you can go ahead and dry the car. Over the years at my auto detail shop I was often asked how to remove dead bugs from car paint. I would always tell people exactly what I said in this post. You just need to be patient – both in the rinse phase as well as the wash. Sometimes the bugs are so dried on that the car needs to be washed two or more times. Keep in mind that the longer the bugs are on the harder they are to remove. If you leave them on too long, they can even leave permanent marks. Bugs suck.

To sum up the process: Soak the car well with water, soften up the bugs so you don’t scratch the paint, use some strong car wash soap to wash the car, and dry it well. If you follow these steps, your car should look great.

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