Few things can make a car look dirtier than unsightly bug splats. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve just returned from a long road trip or if you drove down the highway at dusk—bugs have a way of leaving their mark. While regular car washes will help keep the bug carcasses to a minimum, you typically have to do more than spray them off. If you want a quick and easy way to get rid of bugs, follow these easy steps.
- Act Fast: We know—it’s not ideal to stop by the car wash after work every day just to spray off the bugs, but the truth is that the longer the insects sit on your hood, windshield, and grill, the harder they’ll be to remove. For the fastest bug removal, take care of the bodies while they’re still metaphorically warm. Many people keep disposable wipes in their trunk for just such a situation. A quick wipe now will save you a lot of elbow grease later on. Specialty bug sponges (which have bug-catching mesh on the outside), WD-40, or even a dryer sheet and some water all work well to remove insects quickly and safely.
- Soak Well: If you can’t get to the bugs right away, then plan for some soaking the next time you visit the car wash. The pre-rinse and soak stages are always important, but they matter even more when there’s caked-on debris and bugs to attend to. By allowing yourself some time for the water and cleaning solution to work into the bugs, you’ll soften them up and make it much easier to wipe them away. (For the front grill of your car, where gravity makes soaking difficult, try putting a damp towel over the area and allowing the moisture to work in that way.)
- Apply Wax: Bugs on a well-waxed car won’t stick nearly as much as bugs on a car with little to no protection on the exterior. Always apply a liquid wax at the car wash, and consider taking things one step further with a professional wax applied during a detail or by hand. Not only will your entire car shine better and be protected longer, but you won’t have to deal with as many bugs later on.
If you do a lot of road travel, you can even install a bug shield to the front. Although you’ll still need to clean the bug shield, you won’t have to worry about the insect bodies eroding your paint and causing long-term damage to your car.