How to get bugs off your car without damaging the paint

Cleaning Bugs Off Your Car

TDS Reader Solutions

Bug Be Gone

Does anyone know of a cleaner (bought or homemade) that cleans the bugs (and tar) of a car's finish and chrome without hurting the finish? The commerical products (Turtle Wax bug and tar remover) is so oily/diesel fuel like. I'd appreciate any suggestions you have for how to get bugs off my car! Thanks!

From Your Auto Center

On of the things I've found that work really well on chrome is Mothers Chrome Polish, it seems to take anything off. Another cleaner that works on bugs & tar is SuperClean, it's made by Castrol and is very effective, I usually spray it on, let it sit a moment, then give it a good scrub.

Here's a great hint for taking anything sticky off: They sell a product called battery cleaner at your local automotive store, this stuff will clean anything. I would recommend spot testing any of the above mentioned products before putting them right on in plain sight. After getting your bumpers nice & clean, make sure you polish (if a newer car) or wax (depending on finish) immediately following, this will make taking off those grimy guts much easier next time.
Aaron D.

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From Your Laundry Room

I use Spray n Wash or any other laundry stain remover to get tar and bugs off my car. After applying, let it sit for a minute to loosen the tar then wash. I've been using it for 15 years and haven't had any problems. It also works great on whitewalls.
Kathy G.

Simple Green

We use a product called Simple Green, which is available in grocery stores, automotive stores, Wal-Mart, and K-Mart. It gets rid of pesky love bugs for us in the south, and it is used diluted to wash the cars on used car lots.
Janet from Georgia


I use WD-40 to clean the bugs from my van. Of course, there might be a slight residue but nothing like some of the other preparations.

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Diesel Fuel

We work with automotive people all day and they all agree the best oil and road scum remover is diesel fuel. It's low price almost makes up for the smell.
Jill J.

An Amway Product

Have found for the past few years that Amway's Gel Bug and Tar remover does a great job - no residue if used as per instructions. May not seem like a `budget buster' if you just look at the price - but if price is analysed and broken down it is definitely worth it.

Windex and Soap

We live in Florida and have a hard time with Love Bugs. My husband has experimented with many cleaners and has found that if you mix Windex (or Windex-type cleaners) and hand dish washing liquid soap, the bugs come off with little effort and no damage to the paint.
Laura in Florida

Baking Soda

I use baking soda on my white car to remove road gunk and bugs. My car is almost six years old, and the baking soda hasn't scratched the finish at all. All I do is dip a wet rag in the baking soda and rub; most of the stuff comes off easily.
Su F. in Nashville, TN

Reviewed January 2018

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