How to remove bugs from auto paint

Written by contributing writer
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Dead bugs sticking to the front of your car can be a big problem, especially in the South where "love bugs" can create quite a mess during just a short trip to the grocery store. Removing the bugs while they are still freshly killed is a lot easier than when they have had time to dry on your car. If you don't clean your car once a week during heavy bug seasons, the bugs' acidic juices can cause damage to your paint. But when you do get caked-on bugs stuck to the front of your car, you can remove them with a little work.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Water hose with spray attachment
  • Car wash soap
  • Car wash sponge
  • Car wash bucket
  • Detailing spray
  • 2 microfiber towels
  • WD-40
  • Detailing clay
  • Clay lubricant
  • Spray-on car wax

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    Removing Bugs from Car

  1. 1

    Fill the bucket with car wash soap and water.

  2. 2

    Use your hose and sprayer to wet the areas of your car where the bugs are stuck.

  3. 3

    Soak the sponge in the bucket of soap and water and scrub the areas where the bugs are stuck. Clean the sponge when it gets dirty by squeezing the dirty water out of the sponge and soaking up clean water in the bucket. Get as many of the bugs off as possible and then let those areas dry.

  4. 4

    Spray the bug matter still stuck on the car with WD-40 and let it sit for 3 minutes to allow the matter to soften and loosen from the paint.

  5. 5

    Use the soapy sponge to wash off the WD40 and bug matter.

  6. 6

    Spray off any remaining soap or bug matter from the areas with your hose and sprayer. Allow the areas to dry.

  7. 7

    If necessary, spray the clay bar lubricant on any remaining bug matter, then rub it with the clay bar. The clay will stick to the paint at first but once the bug matter and dirt are removed; stop when the bar glides across the surface.

  8. 8

    Mist the spray-on wax onto the areas where you have removed bugs, then use one of the microfiber towels to spread the wax across the area.

  9. 9

    Wait 5 minutes, then buff the area with a clean microfiber towel to remove any wax residue.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are hitting bugs on a daily basis during heavy bug seasons, it's a good idea to wipe them off with a soapy sponge every night. This will make cleaning easier and will protect your car's paint finish from pitting and scarring.
  • When using a clay bar, check the surface that is touching your car for dirt build-up. When the clay gets dirty fold and turn it to a clean side to avoid scratching the paint.

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