Banish Bug Gunk From Paint, Windows

Summer’s long days and sultry evenings provide ideal driving conditions.

Unfortunately, it’s also the time when clouds of insects hovering above the roadways collide with fast-moving vehicles.

“The clock starts running the minute insects explode against the glass,” said Thomas Kalagher, Prestone Performance’s product development manager. “Bug guts are organic materials like fats and proteins that basically bake into glue if they are left there.

Timing is crucial in preventing your windshield and fender from looking like a mass grave of pests.

“Heat accelerates the interaction of the bug remains with the paint finish,” said Michael Schultz, the vice president of product development at Turtle Wax. “The organic acids within them can result in paint etching that is hard to remove.”

Water alone won’t rinse away their desiccated remains. This job requires cleaners and elbow grease to wash away that insect graveyard, said Schultz.

Filling your reservoir with specially formulated cleaners helps wash away film while on the go, but you’ll still need to address the fender, hood and side mirrors.

Below are some tips for getting those dried out bug remnants off your vehicle:

  • Fill the window wash tank with fluid or additives designed for bug removal. A quality bug fluid helps remove gooey insect parts and prevent streaking when you use windshield wipers.
  • Look for soaps and cleaners designed to remove bugs from vehicle surfaces. Be sure it is intended for automobile surfaces and rinses easily.
  • Avoid harsh solvents such as detergents. Dish soap or household cleaners can permanently damage paint and rubber surfaces.
  • Sponges with soft netting trap insect parts. Gently wipe the surface but be sure to rinse the sponge frequently. Insect parts trapped in the netting acts like sandpaper.