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How to remove insects

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Everybody who has washed a car, has seen the remains of insects on the front of the car. These spots are difficult to remove and create a risk of making surface imperfections. Removing them safely is key to prevent long term damage to the surface.

Why remove bugs

When driving around, you will encounter insects (and some other animals). These insects can be thrown up by the vortex of the car in front of you, or are capable of flight. Some of these insect will be pushed away by the layer of air in front of your car, but some bugs will still impact on the surface of your vehicle. Unfortunately for the little insects, this impact is almost always deadly, and the impact is often hard enough for their bodies to get stuck on the surface. In other cases, the body might fall off but the blood will stay behind on the surface. The bodies itself don’t pose a direct threat, but the shell of an insect is very hard. When you try to remove the bodies, small bits might get caught between your washmitt and the paint. Causing the particles to be dragged over the paint and create marks in the process. The blood is just very sticky, and therefore difficult to remove. Trying to wipe these off while make you to rub it, which can cause marring from pressure and rubbing. Removing bugs can be more of a problem in certain periods of the year, or in certain areas.

The risk when removing bugs

Insectbodies are very hard and can disintegrate quickly. When you wipe the insectbody with your washmitt, it will remove the biggest parts of the body with less effort. The parts of the body that touch the surface are likely to stick to the surface. This means there is a little bit left behind. Trying to remove these might invite you to start to rub the area. Rubbing this spot can cause marring from rubbing the washmitt with pressure over the surface, but also create marks because small particles of the very hard insectbody are being rubbed over the surface. The marks are not always visible because of the angle, but can show up on a sunny day.
Not removing these bodies can cause the liquid from their body to stay on the surface longer then needed. Seeing as insectblood (hemolymph)contains a wide variety of substances, it is difficult to formulate one specific product that targets them all. However, insectblood is known to contain inorganic substances like salts and water, but also the organic carbohydrates, proteins and lipids. On average, it also contains very high levels of amino acids. Even small amounts of ammonia, allantoin, uric acid an urea can be found. This means that the insectblood can cause surface imperfections if not removed quickly enough.

Remove insects safely

There are a few different ways that are often considered a safe way to remove insects from the surface. However, using a strong and well performing protective product will make it much easier to remove and much more difficult for the insect remains to stick to the surface in the first place.
Although there are several different ways of removing insects, not all methods are safe for the protective product you have applied.

Soaking with towel and APC

A popular method is to put a towel on top, or over the affected area and soak the towel in APC. Leave it lying on the surface without letting it dry up. After an hour, remove the towel and wash like normal. This method is common, but does not always remove the more stubborn spots.

Specialized bug-remover product

There are a few commercially aviailable insect removers on the market, but they are not always as effective. Due to the difference between insects and their chemical make up, it is difficult to create 1 product that will target them all. Some perform better then others.

Tar and Glue remover

Tar and Glue removers work by using solvents (often similar to orange oil) to loosen up the stains left by insects. The area can be sprayed, or a towel left on top of the area, soaked in tar and glue remover. After a while you remove the towel and wash like normal.

Wash with TFR

A strong TFR can act as a type of APC, and remove certain particles that would normally not be moved. This means that you can remove the dead insect bodies and their spots by just washing. However, this is likely to strip the form of protection.

Claying

Some people just clay the area. This is not really recommended because the insect bodies can get stuck in the clay, and offer the risk of being dragged over the surface while using the clay. When only removing the bloodmarks, clay will prevent less of a risk.

Pressure washer

A pressure washer can be used to blast off the particles from the surface. Even though this can work, you run the risk of damaging the surface. The blast of water is capable of damaging the paint, just like it is capable of removing the dead insect bodies.

Preventing insect bodies

Although it is inevitable to run into insects when driving your car, the removal of these insects can be made much easier by using a strong form of protection. The bodies will not stick to the surface as much and the blood will be much easier to wipe off. It is one of the reasons why it is recommended to use a proper form of protection on your surface. Another method that will help is to wash the vehicle frequently. Washing regularly will prevent a dirty surface, and make it less easy for the insectbodies to stick to the surface. It will also aid in removing the bodies before to get stuck and require rough rubbing.

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