Tips on Cleaning Love Bugs Off You Car

by Jenny Carver
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Kyle Goldie/Demand Media

Love bugs are seasonal and only appear for a few weeks twice per year. When they are active, they may cause a tremendous amount of damage to your vehicle’s paint if left on long enough. A simple washing or even a wash with a high pressure hose won’t remove Love bugs once they have dried on the surface of your car.


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There are several products that can be used to remove Love bugs from the hood, bumper, grill, windshield and mirrors of your vehicle.

Dryer sheets can be wetted and used to wipe the bugs away. They are made of polyester fibers which are great for removing even stuck-on bugs, but if rubbed too hard can cause surface scratches in the clear coat paint.

Liquid removers can be used along with a soft netted sponge to easily remove the dead bugs that are stuck on your vehicle. Liquids like bug and tar remover, Simple Green, WD-40 and dish liquid can all be found at your local automotive store.


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When removing the bugs, rinse the entire area so that all of the dried bugs are completely wet. This may loosen some of them and make it easier to remove them. If using dryer sheets, wet the dryer sheet and scrub the surface of the car using a small amount of pressure. Scrub until the bugs are gone, rinsing the surface and changing to a new sheet frequently.

If using a liquid, spray or wipe it on the surface of the car until it covers all of the bugs. Let the liquid sit for about five minutes and then scrub it using a netted sponge. Use small circular motions when scrubbing for best results. Rinse the surface often so you can see your progress.

Once you have removed the Love bugs, rinse any residue off of the car and wash the entire car using car wash soap. Rinse thoroughly.


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Once the car has been washed and has dried, you can apply a protectant so that the Love bugs don’t stick to the painted surface as easily as before.

For the bumper, windshield and mirrors, you can apply a heavy coat of wax. Wax your car like normal, using pure carnuba wax and allowing it to sit on the surface no longer than five minutes. On the front of the car, use a very heavy layer of wax, remove it and then re-wax that area again.

You can also coat the problem areas with Rain-X, which helps repel bugs. Rain-X should be applied to the windshield to keep the bugs from sticking to it. Some people use nonstick cooking spray on their vehicles, but this can cause severe damage to your car’s paint.

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