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how to remove bugs and tar from your car

HOW TO REMOVE TAR FROM YOUR CAR

With warm weather comes bug splatter all over your car’s windscreen, grille, bonnet, and front bumper. Tar and tree sap are also culprits at leaving behind sticky residue that can damage your car’s surfaces if you’re not careful when trying to remove them. Find out how to remove bugs and tar from car exteriors to get that shiny, polished look.

HOW CAN BUGS & TAR DAMAGE YOUR CAR?

Bugs cannot be avoided while driving, and some hit our windscreens with such force that we wonder how they didn’t break through the glass. Some insects even contain acidic substances that can eat away at the clear coat protecting your car’s paint. And if you don’t wipe them away soon after their demise, they dry out and become difficult to remove.

Other substances that are nearly impossible to avoid are tree sap, tar, and bird droppings. These also have the potential to damage your vehicle’s exterior surfaces, causing stains and tarnishing if not dealt with in a timely manner.

Remove these staining contaminants quickly by following this simple guide

how can bugs & tar damage the car

HOW TO REMOVE TAR FROM CAR PAINT WITHOUT DAMAGING IT

STEP 1: REMOVE THE TOP LAYER OF DIRT AND GRIME

  • Removing tar from a car and scraping bugs off of your car’s paint without first washing your car can cause damage.
  • Begin by washing your car with our MAX Power Wash, using two buckets — one for soapy water and one for rinsing.
  • Try using a specialised dual-action sponge, like our Power Sponge, to reach into the hard-to-clean crevices that collect bug, tar, and tree sap build-up.
remove the top level of dirt

STEP 2: TREAT THE AFFECTED AREA

  • A specialty bug remover, like our Insect Remover, may need to be used if you still have tar and bug remnants still stuck to your car’s surface after a thorough wash.
  • Spray a generous amount of product on the spots that won’t budge, and let it soak for about one minute.
  • The formula is powerful enough to lift up and dissolve the stuck-on substances without damaging the protective coating over your car’s paint.
treat the affected area

STEP 3: RESTORE YOUR CAR'S SHINE

  • Rinse off any remaining product, and dry the area with a clean microfibre cloth.
  • If needed, repeat the application if you still have stubborn stains. Allow the product to saturate the soiled area.
  • After all bug and tar stains have been successfully removed from your car’s surface, apply a layer of wax, such as our Carnauba Cleaner Wax Paste, to restore the shine and prevent further damage from bug stains.
restore your cars shine

HOW TO REMOVE BUGS FROM WINDSCREENS

STEP 1: SATURATE THE AFFECTED AREA

  • Bugs and sap stuck to your windscreen may be a little more difficult to remove, so we recommend soaking a cloth with our Insect Remover, placing the cloth over the stained area, and allowing it to sit and dissolve the stains.
  • Microfibre cloths leave behind less lint than regular cloths or towels.
  • You can safely add baking soda to water and let it soak on your windscreen, for the extra sticky spots.
soak the affected area

STEP 2: WASH AWAY THE DEBRIS

  • Use our MAX Power Wash to rinse off the Bug & Tar Remover and all the debris it lifted up off of your windscreen, then gently scrub the glass with a microfibre cloth.
  • Apply our Clearvue Rain Repellent to your windscreen, to protect the glass by repelling sticky residue for easier future cleaning.
  • Use a microfibre cloth to apply the product to the glass, using circular, overlapping motions. Allow it to dry to a light haze, sprinkle the surface with water, then wipe it dry with a paper towel.
waah away the debris

HOW TO REMOVE TREE SAP FROM YOUR CAR

STEP 1: ASSESS THE DAMAGE

  • Tree sap isn’t always easy to see on your car’s surfaces, so inspect closely to see how large of an area it has covered.
  • Thoroughly wash your car with our MAX Power Wash with two buckets and warm water. Use one bucket for soapy water and one bucket for rinsing. This is to loosen the residue.
assess the damage

STEP 2: SOAK THE SURFACE IN A SPECIALISED SOLUTION

  • Work one small section at a time. As with removing bugs, moisten a microfibre cloth with our Insect Remover, and lay on the soiled surface.
  • Allow it to sit for up to a minute, then gently massage the against to the surface to loosen the tree sap residue.
soak the surface in a specialized solution

STEP 3: TREAT THE PAINTWORK

  • Finally, you’ll want to treat the paint surface after you’ve successfully removed the tree sap. This will help to prevent future damage from other substances.
  • Wax with our Carnauba Car Wax Liquid on the paintwork, and Clearvue Rain Repellent on the glass surfaces that were affected.
treat the paintwork

CONCLUSION

Maintaining year round car care can help to prevent build-up from bugs, tree sap, and tar on your vehicle. You’ll benefit from checking your paintwork after long road trips and warm weather driving, to cut down on the amount of bugs that stay stuck to your bumper and grille.

Read through our other How-To guides on the best maintenance care for your cars.

prevention

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