> > > How To Remove Bugs and Tar

How To Remove Bugs and Tar

How To Remove Bugs and Tar

How To Remove Bugs and Tar

Remove bugs and tar quickly with our paint-safe bug and tar removers, bug sponges, and detailing clay bars. In this detailing guide to insect removal, we’ll tell you how to remove bugs, tar, and tree sap from your vehicle without scratching. We’ll even give you some tips on preventing bug stains and etching. Learn how to keep your vehicle bug-free!



What’s So Bad About Bugs?

Yes, bugs look awful dotted across your front bumper and hood, but they’re also very destructive. Maybe it’s revenge, but bugs can damage the paint long after they hit the car. As insect remains decompose, they produce enzymes intended to break down the carcass. These enzymes also break down automotive paint, resulting in etching. (Etching requires polishing, a topic you can read about in our Dual Action or Circular Polishing Guides.)


Here in Florida and across most of the Southeast, love bugs are the primary culprit. Love bugs in particular have very fatty bodies, which produce a lot of enzymes. Plus, their sheer number and affinity for busy roads make them unavoidable. And, since they are love bugs, they hit your vehicle two at a time.

Other Sticky Contaminants

Besides bugs, your vehicle regularly encounters tar, tree sap, and bird droppings. All of these things are detrimental to the paint and should be removed ASAP (no pun intended!).


Bug & Tar Removal

As soon as you notice bugs, tar, or anything foreign on your vehicle, take action. Here’s what you can do: 

Step 1:

If the spot is relatively fresh, you can use a microfiber towel and a quick detailer to wipe the paint clean. This is ideal because you’re not removing any existing wax.

Step 2:

If step 1 didn’t work, you need a stronger solution. BLACKFIRE Bug Remover is a step up from a quick detailer in terms of cleaning ability, but it is still very gentle on paintwork and glass. BLACKFIRE Bug Remover. softens bug remains to break their bond with the surface. It DOES NOT dissolve bugs, which is a more aggressive approach. If the bug is relatively fresh or you just don't want to use a bug-dissolving cleaner, BLACKFIRE Bug Remover is a good choice.

Pinnacle Advanced Insect Remover is another great option for tough insect remain removal. Pinnacle Advanced Insect Remover is a safe and effective alternative to the other harsh and risky insect cleaners that are on the market today. Instead of using solvents or acids, Pinnacle Advanced Insect Remover uses cleaners that are guaranteed safe for all paint, glass, chrome, and plastic surfaces.

For really stubborn isolated spots, you can use any number of bug and tar removers that are basically strong cleaners intended to dissolve bugs and tar. Examples are Stoner XENIT and Tarminator, Poorboy’s World Bug Squash, and Wurth Tar Remover. P21S Total Car Wash and Meguiars All Purpose Cleaner Plus are all-over exterior cleaners that work wonders on sticky grime. The drawback to bug and tar removers and cleaners is that you will have to reapply paint protection. However, spray waxes and sealants have made it very quick and easy to spot-wax your car. With most, you just spray, spread, and wipe.

Step 3:

Let’s say your vehicle is covered in bugs, which is the case for most cars in Florida during love bug season. Instead of tackling each spot, it's best to wash your vehicle. As you’re soaping down the front of your vehicle, use the Safe Scrub to gently wash the entire area in a back and forth motion. The honeycomb texture gets under the bug remains and lifts them off the paint.

  • Detailer’s Tip #1:
    To soften the Safe Scrub Bug Sponge, soak it in warm water for 3 minutes. The sponge will soften quite a bit, yet it’s still very effective.

Yet another bug and tar removal option is detailing clay. Clay was invented to remove paint overspray, but it’s proven very effective at removing tree sap, tar, and bugs. You’ll need a bar of detailing clay and a bottle of clay lubricant. Pinnacle Ultra Poly Clay is a fine grade clay designed for maintaining a slick finish. Wolfgang Elastic Poly Clay is perfect a removing old, baked-on contaminants.

Spray the desired area with clay lubricant and then rub the clay bar back and forth. It will grab the surface at first. As it removes contaminants, the clay will glide more easily. If you’re claying the whole vehicle or a large area, reshape the clay bar often to reveal clean clay. For more info on clay, see our Detailing Clay How-To.

  • Detailer’s Tip #2:
    Detailing Clay
    can be used on auto glass, too. Use it exactly the same way as described above. As long as you use plenty of lubricant, detailing clay is perfectly safe on glass and metal.


Prevention

After you’ve removed the bugs, tar, and sap, protect the vehicle with a quality wax or paint sealant. Look for a slick one, like Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant 3.0 or Pinnacle Signature Series II Wax.Insects will have a tough time sticking to a slippery bumper and, if they do manage to stick, their bond is often much weaker because there’re no surface tension. Therefore, the bugs are easier to remove.

Headed out on a road trip during love bug season? Armor up before you go! BLACKFIRE Bug Blocker is a uniquely formulated temporary shield that provides your paint enhanced protection from insect remains. BLACKFIRE Bug Blocker is formulated using thick and effective polymers that will stand strong in the face of even the heavy swarm of love bugs that come around every May. Because the remains are unable to penetrate the defensive barrier BLACKFIRE Bug Blocker creates, they never get the chance to pose a threat to your paint!

Spray Blackfire Bug Blocker onto the surface you want to protect,
Spray Blackfire Bug Blocker onto the
surface you want to protect
Spread it out evenly
Spread it out evenly, and let it dry to a haze!
 

Qty
BLACKFIRE Bug Remover
BLACKFIRE Bug Remover 32 oz. - BF-175
Our Price:  $19.99
Sale price:  $14.90
What bugs!? BLACKFIRE Bug Remover is a gentle cleaning formula that will safely and effectively remove insect ...more
Qty
BLACKFIRE Bug & Tar Eliminator Sponge
BLACKFIRE Bug & Tar Eliminator Sponge - BF-150
Our Price:  $7.99
Sale price:  $5.90
A product that does what it says! The BLACKFIRE Bug & Tar Eliminator Sponge safely removes stubborn bug splatter ...more
Qty
BLACKFIRE Bug Blocker
BLACKFIRE Bug Blocker 32 oz. - BF-135
Our Price:  $29.99
Sale price:  $22.40
Bugs can’t damage your paint, if they never touch it! BLACKFIRE Bug Blocker was developed as a temporary shield ...more
Qty
Pinnacle Advanced Insect Remover
Pinnacle Advanced Insect Remover - PIN-730
Our Price:  $19.99
Sale price:  $14.90
Don’t let insects bug you! Pinnacle Advanced Insect Remover is a safe and effective alternative to the other harsh ...more
Qty
Pinnacle Advanced Insect Remover Combo
Pinnacle Advanced Insect Remover Combo - PIN-730COMBO
Our Price:  $34.97
Sale price:  $26.20
Got bugs? Blast them away in no time! Pinnacle Advanced Insect Remover Combo puts the power of instant bug-removal ...more
Qty
BLACKFIRE Pro Ceramic Bug Removal Kit
BLACKFIRE Pro Ceramic Bug Removal Kit - BF-BUGCERA
Our Price:  $69.99
Sale price:  $52.40
Perfect to help your coating make it through love-bug season! The BLACKFIRE Pro Ceramic Bug Removal Kit designed ...more
Qty
Blackfire Bug Defense Essentials Kit
Blackfire Bug Defense Essentials Kit - BF-BDE-KIT
Our Price:  $39.99
Sale price:  $29.90
Protect your car then clean it up after! You, like many other detailing enthusiasts probably hate love bug season ...more
Qty
Blackfire Bug Blocker & Remover Kit
Blackfire Bug Blocker & Remover Kit - BF-BBR-KIT
Our Price:  $74.99
Sale price:  $56.20
Get those bugs off, then never worry about them again! The Blackfire Bug Blocker & Remover Kit was designed for ...more
Qty
Blackfire Bug Blocker Road Trip Kit
Blackfire Bug Blocker Road Trip Kit - BF-135-KIT
Our Price:  $69.99
Sale price:  $52.40
Don’t let bugs distract from your road trip! We all love a good road trip! The sights you see, the jams you listen ...more
Qty
Bug & Tar Remover Kit, remove bugs and tar, tar cleaner, bug cleaner, windshield bug remover, remove tree sap, remove tar
Bug & Tar Remover Kit - BUG-KIT
Our Price: $34.99
Eliminate bugs, tar, and sap FAST! Remove bugs, tar, tree sap, and sticky grime with our Bug and Tar Remover ...more
Qty
Stoner®  XENIT Natural Citrus Mold Cleaner
THE FASTEST WAY TO CLEAN DIFFICULT GRIME!
Intense orange cleaner, stoner cleaner, all purpose cleaner, citrus cleaner
Stoner XENIT Natural Citrus Cleaner & Remover - STO-94213
Our Price: $5.99, 3/$14.99
Clean it with XENIT! Stoner XENIT Natural Citrus Cleaner & Remover removes resins, carbon deposits, silicones, ...more
Qty
Sheepskin Wash Mitt<br>with Nylon Mesh Bug Sponge
2-in-1 Wash Mitt - SM-25-327
Our Price: $9.99, 2/$16.99
A superior wash at your fingertips! Super plush synthetic Sheep wool on one side, combined with a nylon mesh ...more
Qty
Safe Scrub Bug & Tar Pad can be used on glass, chrome, vinyl, fiberglass, paint and clearcoats—100% 
safe when used with soapy water.
Safe Scrub Bug & Tar Pad - PIN-900
Our Price:  $7.99
Sale price:  $5.50
If you cherish a spotless car, this is one car care accessory you can’t live without! The Safe Scrub Bug & ...more
Qty
Stoner  Tarminator removes bug residue, tar, tree sap, gum and more from automotive surfaces!
bug & tar remover, auto spot cleaner, car bug & tar remover, bug cleaner product, stoner bug remover
Stoner Tarminator Tar & Sap Remover - STO-91154
Our Price: $5.99, 3/$14.99
Get that turnpike tar off your car! No need to scrub, don't get out the abrasive tools, forget the soap.. You need ...more
Qty
Poorboy's Bug Squash: Removes bug remains, even Love Bugs, from car windshields and front bumpers.
bug remover, pooboys bug remover
Poorboy's World Bug Squash 16 oz. - PB-BS16
Our Price: $11.99
Remove bug splatter and more without scrubbing! Poorboy's Bug Squash doesn't squash the bug; it removes the bug ...more
Qty
Wolfgang Clay Lubricant is a non-abrasive 
detailing clay lubricant to enhance our surface-purifying clay!
Wolfgang Clay Lubricant - WG-1100
Our Price:  $14.99
Sale price:  $11.20
High performance clay lubricant. ...more
Qty
Wolfgang Elastic Poly Clay Bar, wolfgang car care,wolfgang clay lubricant,clay lube,clean water spots,remove water spots from car,compound car,clay bar,auto clay,auto rubbing clay,wolfgang elastic polyclay,poly clay bar,poly clay cleaner automotive
Wolfgang Elastic Poly Clay Bar - WG-9000
Our Price:  $19.99
Sale price:  $14.90
Deep clean with detailing clay! ...more
Qty
Wolfgang Bug Remover Spritz
Wolfgang Bug Remover Spritz - WG-4800
Our Price:  $19.99
Sale price:  $14.90
Remove the bugs, not the wax! Nobody likes to see bugs splattered all over the front of their vehicle, especially ...more
Qty
Wolfgang Das Bug Sponge, bug removing sponge, fast bug removal
Wolfgang Das Bug Sponge - WG-900
Our Price:  $9.99
Sale price:  $7.40
The easiest way to remove bugs safely! Wolfgang Das Bug Sponge is a specialized cleaning sponge with advanced bug ...more
Qty
Wolfgang Quick Bug Removal Combo
Wolfgang Quick Bug Removal Combo - WG-QBR-KIT
Retail Value: $29.99
Our Price: $22.40
Bugs will never stand a chance! Wolfgang Quick Bug Removal Combo brings two powerhouse bug removing products ...more
Qty
McKee's 37 Universal Clay Lubricant protects the paint while detailing clay removes embedded contaminants.
McKee's 37 Universal Clay Lubricant - MK37-365
Our Price: $14.99
Protect your paint as you perfect it! ...more
Qty
McKee's 37 Universal Detailing Clay lets you clay your way to a silky smooth finish with a bright glossy shimmer!
McKee's 37 Universal Detailing Clay 4 oz. - MK37-720
Our Price: $12.99
Safely remove overspray, bugs, tar, and pollution! ...more
Qty
Pinnacle Signature Series II Carnauba Paste Wax will give you a deep, wet finish will exceed your expectations. 
car wax, carnauba paste wax, pinnacle car wax, paint protection, auto wax, automotive wax, best car wax, shine, gloss
Pinnacle Signature Series II Carnauba Paste Wax - PIN-310
Our Price:  $59.99
Sale price:  $50.90
A rich, deep shine from nature’s finest ingredients! Pinnacle Signature Series II Carnauba Paste Wax creates a ...more
Qty
Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant delivers a deep, wet, liquid shimmer unlike anything you can imagine.
Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant - WG-5500
Our Price:  $39.99
Sale price:  $29.90
Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant 3.0 redefines the paint sealant. Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant 3.0 will ...more
Qty
Duragloss Bug Remover (BR) #471
Duragloss Bug Remover (BR) #471 - DG-471
Our Price: $7.99
Remove the bugs, not the wax. Duragloss Bug Remover dissolves and removes bugs, oil and tar with ease. Duragloss ...more
Qty
Lake Country Ultimate Bug Sponge, bug and tar sponge
Lake Country Ultimate Bug Sponge - LC-99-BUG
Our Price: $12.99
A bug sponge designed by men! The Lake Country Ultimate Bug Sponge is what happens when a group of manly detailing ...more
Qty
McKee's 37 Road Kill Bug Remover, best bug remover, love bug remover, how to remove bugs and tar
McKee's 37 Road Kill Bug Remover - MK37-100
Our Price: $16.99
Remove bug guts before they damage your paint McKee's 37 Road Kill Bug Remover is a fast-acting cleaner that ...more
Add Sprayer?
Qty
McKee's 37 Road Kill Bug Remover Combo, bug cleaner, bug remover
McKee's 37 Road Kill Bug Remover Combo - MK37-100950
Retail Value: $23.98
Our Price: $17.99
Remove bugs and tar without a struggle! The McKee's 37 Road Kill Bug Remover Combo combines the two best bug ...more