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Removing bugs and tar from your car is important. Not only do splattered bugs and tar residue make your car look dirty, but they can create damage to your vehicle if not removed in a timely manner. When remnants of flies, bees, and other bugs are on your car for too long they release acidic substances that are difficult to remove and cause damage to your car’s paint. Similar to bugs, unremoved tar can create damage to your paint job if not removed efficiently. Keep reading to learn about how to clean bugs and remove tar from your car without damage.

Steps for Removing Bugs:

When taking a road trip or driving through heavily wooded areas, bugs are likely to fly into the hood of your car. This is common and can happen when driving at any speed, but cleaning the bugs as soon as possible will help prevent damage.

Step 1 - Rinse your car

Before applying any products to your vehicle, you should first rinse off your car. While you may think that the bugs only splattered on your car’s hood, chances are, you will find bug remnants on the doors as well.

Step 2 - Wipe your car

After rinsing, use a microfiber cloth to wipe away all of the bugs. The Glosser® — a non-woven, microfiber cloth — is a great option for removing pesky bugs and bug stains from your car. Using a microfiber cloth rather than a terrycloth is imperative to preventing scratching and other damage to your vehicle’s paint.

Removing bugs without damaging the paint:

Removing bugs without damaging the paint is simple! It’s all about the type of cloth you use. Any type of scraping device will cause scratches and other damage to the paint and finish of your car. Make sure you are using a microfiber and durable cloth, like The Glosser®.


Steps for Removing Tar:

Tar can get stuck to the lower part of your car and your car’s wheels for a variety of reasons. When cruising over a recently asphalted street or driving over recently filled potholes, tar splashes onto the body of your vehicle. Because tar is oil-based, it requires a different removal process than bugs do.

Step 1 - Apply tar remover to a mitt

Start by applying a few sprays of tar remover onto a Wash Mitt. It’s important to make sure that you are using a mitt that isn’t too abrasive for your vehicle’s paint, such as CleanTools’ Premium Wash Mitt—a gentle and effective mitt for cleaning tar off your car.

Step 2 - Wipe off your car

Using your Premium Wash Mitt, wipe the outside of your car in a circular motion while applying light pressure. This will ensure that you are able to get all of the tar off your vehicle without creating any damage.

Step 3 - Wash and dry your vehicle

After removing all of the tar stains, thoroughly wash your car to make sure that all residue is off of the body. Once washed, use an absorbent cloth to dry your car. We recommend The Absorber®, as its unique PVA (Poly Vinyl Alcohol) material allows water to dry quickly without leaving any streaks.

Removing tar without damaging the paint:

Leaving tar on your car for too long without cleaning is a surefire way to damage your car’s finish. The number one way to remove tar without damaging the paint is to remove it as soon as possible. Having all of the tools on hand is a great way to make sure you’re ready to clean your car as soon as you notice any tar.

Let CleanTools Help!

Now that the weather is getting warmer and car trips are getting longer, it’s time to stock up on car cleaning essentials—CleanTools has you covered! It’s important when cleaning your car and removing unwanted grime (like bugs and tar) to use products that are effective, safe, and non-damaging to your vehicle’s finish.

  • The Glosser® is a great product to have on hand. Its 3-layer, microfiber cloth cleans the surface of your car without using any extra products. Keep a package of The Glosser® in your trunk at all times to be prepared in case of splattered bugs.
  • The Absorber® is another car must-have for those times when you need to dry your car quickly without causing scratches. After washing your car clean from tar and other grime, The Absorber® quickly dries any water so you can continue on your road trip.

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