Personally I enjoy nothing better than going on a driving holiday in the spring time. But one of the pitfalls of a long road trip can be thousands of insects smashed into the front end of your car! If you drive at night, in the warmer months, when there are lots of bugs around then this seems to just increase the problem. Also the longer you leave the bugs stuck to the front of your car the harder it is to remove them!
After putting off cleaning the front of my car I was dreading how much time it would take to clean away the now hard and crusty bugs. I went searching online for some tips on how to clean the dead bugs off my car more easily. I wanted some tips that would save me time and elbow grease but that would also be safe to use on my car.
Previously I had used a commercial car bug cleaner and standard car sponge but I found that a lot of time and rubbing was required. The following methods all worked a lot more easily and most utilised items I already had around the house.
Super Clean Degreaser
The following video by an auto detailer shows how to clean bugs from the front of your car using a product called Super Clean. While this product might do the job really well I put it at number four because I did not already have this product at home and I could not find where to buy it in Australia.
While searching online I came across several forums that suggested that a dryer sheet could be used to clean the bugs off a car. The following video shows how to extract some of the softener from within the sheets and then how to use it to clean bugs from the front of a car. I used this method on a small section of my car and found that it worked reasonably well. The main down side was that the dryer sheet became very slippery and was hard to work with when wet. I wouldn’t recommend using this method if you have lots of bugs over a large area of your car.
I hadn’t thought of using WD40 when cleaning my car but it should come as no surprise that the product claiming to have 2000+ uses has “Automotive -Removes bugs, road tar and tree sap” listed as one of them!
So I gave it a go using a soft cloth and again it did a pretty good job. I was a bit worried about using it on the paint work though so I only tried a small area. This method would be great if you had a large chrome grill on the front of your car.
A while ago, in anticipation of this job, I had bought a bug sponge but I had yet to try it out. I initially thought that the bug sponge alone would not be enough to remove the hundreds of very dry bug spots that were on my car.
After trying the other three methods on small sections, I dipped the bug sponge into my regular car wash solution and rubbed it over the front of the car. I was amazed at how easily the bugs came off with just the use of the bug sponge!
I have included a video below that shows how to use a bug sponge to clean insects off the front of your car. In the video they also sprayed the front of the car with bug off to help break down the bugs.
In summary the dryer sheet method and WD40 worked reasonably well but I don’t know if I could use them on large areas of paintwork, especially as they are not specifically designed for cleaning cars.
At the end of the day I would recommend that everyone gets themselves a bug sponge if they don’t have one already. I was able to clean a large number of bugs from the front of my car just using my regular wash ‘n wax car wash and the bug sponge!
The pictures below show close up views of my car before and after I cleaned the bugs off (mostly done with the bug sponge).