7 Best Bug & Tar Removers of 2020
Bug stains can be quite a nuisance, and especially so during the warm summer weather because the guts and splatter get baked into the car’s paint job, leaving an ugly mess. Adding tar stains into this mix only worsens the situation and makes cleaning such a big hassle.
However, with a bug and tar remover, this will not be such a big issue. Basically, these removers are solutions that can dissolve tar and the bug’s guts for easy wiping, all while leaving the waxing over the paint job untouched.
If you are looking for such a remover, here is a review of 7 of the best bug and tar removers that you can get in the market.
7 Best Bug & Tar Removers – Review
1. ProSol brg4oz8003-kit (Bug and Tar Remover Concentrate)
2. Turtle Wax T-520A (Best Bug and Tar Remover for the Money)
3. Griot's Garage 10982 (Good Bug and Tar Remover)
4. McKee's 37 MK37-100 (Easy-to-Use Bug and Tar Remover)
5. Mothers 16719 (Fast Acting Bug and Tar Remover)
6. Permatex 15717 (Bug and Tar Remover with an Orange Scent)
7. Chemical Guys CWS_104_16 (Bug and Tar Remover Shampoo)
1. ProSol brg4oz8003-kit
(Bug and Tar Remover Concentrate)
2. Turtle Wax T-520A
(Best Bug and Tar Remover for the Money)
3. Griot's Garage 10982
(Good Bug and Tar Remover)
4. McKee's 37 MK37-100
(Easy-to-Use Bug and Tar Remover)
5. Mothers 16719
(Fast Acting Bug and Tar Remover)
6. Permatex 15717
(Bug and Tar Remover with an Orange Scent)
7. Chemical Guys CWS_104_16
(Bug and Tar Remover Shampoo)
1. ProSol brg4oz8003-kit – Bug & Tar Remover Concentrate
This bug-and-tar remover is packed in a small 4-ounce container, but it actually gives you the largest quantity because the 4-ounce solution is a concentrate that can be diluted to make up to 2 quarts (64 ounces) of the cleaning solution.
Once diluted, an empty 1-quart (32-ounce) spray bottle is included in the pack for applying the solution to the car’s body surface, in which it can be used to clean out tar, brake dust, love bugs, mildew, bird droppings, food stains, grime, algae and many other types of stains.
The cleaner works by turning all these stains into mush in about a minute so that you can wipe them off but does not affect the underlying wax, paint, decals or clear coat.
With such an advanced cleaning power, you can use the remover on multiple vehicles such as pickups, motorcycles, RVs, heavy machinery, boats, and even airplanes, as well as multiple surfaces such as rubber, fiberglass and painted metal surfaces.
On the downside, this product is quite expensive, but you get a lot of quantity, and it is also environmentally-friendly, non-corrosive, non-flammable and non-abrasive.
2. Turtle Wax T-520A – Best Bug & Tar Remover for the Money
Turtle Wax’s T-520A is the most affordable bug and tar remover in this review but this does not mean it is a low-quality product. Coming in a 16-ounce spray bottle, the solution is designed to get rid of tree sap, bugs, and tar from any kind of automotive finish.
The remover actually adheres strongly to vertical surfaces and this helps keep the solution in place until it dissolves the whole stain so that you can wipe it off.
Even though no towel is included in the pack, no scrubbing is required and all you need to do is to spray then wipe off the residue. However, there is an option that comes with microfiber towels, but this comes at a slightly higher cost.
After cleaning, the remover leaves a protective layer over the paint job so that other bug and tar stains cannot stick strongly and this helps make cleaning much easier in the future.
On the downside, this product is combustible and therefore, might be a little bit dangerous to use and must not be kept within the reach of children.
3. Griot's Garage 10982 – Good Bug & Tar Remover
Coming in a 22-ounce spray bottle, this bug and tar remover solution is meant to soften and loosen any stubborn bug, smudge and other stains such as tar and rubber so that you can wipe them off easily to restore your car’s spotless paint finish.
Due to its rubber marks removal property, this product is actually a preferred choice for track days, making it a good addition to have for a race car. Additionally, it is safe to use on all exterior surfaces, which is a big plus for compatibility purposes.
On its actual use, the solution can be applied on its own or as a pre-wash, in which it treats the stained area before washing the surface using other chemicals or detergents. Once applied though, you only have to wait for 30 seconds, then wipe off the loosened smudge.
However, no towel is included in the pack and therefore, you need to have your own microfiber fabric to do the wiping after 30 seconds.
4. McKee's 37 MK37-100 – Easy-to-Use Bug & Tar Remover
If you are looking for an easy to use bug and tar remover, this MK37 is a good option to consider. This is because its application method requires you to only spray on, then wipe off the smudge with no rinsing being needed afterward.
The remover is actually formulated using clear-coat safe surfactants, making it safe to use on plastic trims, glass, and any painted surface.
Once applied, this solution breaks down and dissolves bug splatters and other stains such as tar, enabling you to wipe them off before they become permanent stains on your car’s paint job. However, this dissolving takes quite some time, requiring 1-2 minutes before wiping.
Apart from being used on its own, you can also add a small portion of the remover to your wash solution, thereby enhancing its cleaning power over the whole vehicle’s surface. However, cleaning towels are not included in the pack for the wiping or washing.
5. Mothers 16719 – Fast Acting Bug & Tar Remover
Mother’s 16719 is designed as a fast-acting bug and tar remover, in which it neutralizes acidic bug guts and other stains such as bird droppings immediately after making contact.
Instead of a spray bottle, the solution is packed in an aerosol can and the resulting cleaning solution is released as a foam, which is ideal for penetrating through vents, grills and other hard to reach areas without dripping.
Apart from bug guts and bird droppings, this product is also very effective at getting rid of grime, organic matter such as tree sap and tar, among many others, giving you an all rounded cleaning solution.
The spray can also be used as a pre-wash for loosening stubborn stains before a detergent wash, however, you get a relatively small quantity of 18.5 ounces and a wiping towel is not included in the pack.
6. Permatex 15717 – Bug & Tar Remover with an Orange Scent
Apart from providing stain removal properties, it wouldn’t hurt to leave behind a sweet scent and this 15717 from Permatex does just that. The solution has a fresh orange scent that is sure to leave the wiped surface smelling good and pleasant.
For the actual cleaning, this product is formulated using 25% d'limonene, which is a pure, powerful and very effective solvent that dissolves stubborn stains instantly, while also lifting away stubborn soil particles, bug splatter, and tar.
Though flammable, the solution contains no petroleum solvents in its formulation, and this makes it a bit safer to use and also better for the environment.
Other features include being packed in a 17.5-ounce aerosol can, which makes the application process slightly easier and better for hidden areas because the jet is released at high pressure. Combined, these features make it the top-rated bug and tar remover in this review.
7. Chemical Guys CWS_104_16 – Bug & Tar Remover Shampoo
Chemical Guys’ bug-and-tar remover is manufactured as a heavy-duty car wash shampoo that is highly concentrated and very effective for pre-washing so as to loosen bug splatter, tar, and grime, as well as prevent long term paint damage.
The shampoo is available in 4 different packages, which include the smallest 4-ounce bottle, 16, 64 and 128-ounce bottles, all coming at different prices.
That said since it is a concentrated shampoo remover, dilution is required in the ratio of one capful per gallon of water, and this means that you can use even the smallest 4-ounce pack to wash the whole exterior of your vehicle at least once.
As a trucker or fleet vehicle owner, this is, therefore, a good product to buy, and it can be used on multiple surfaces such as aluminum, glass, plastic, chrome and even single stage paints or clear coats.
Other than this, the product contains advanced lubricating polymers, which assist in guiding your towel smoothly over the car’s paint job so as to eliminate chances of swirl or scratch occurrence.
How to Buy the Best Bug & Tar Remover
1. Safe for Surface
This has to do with compatibility, in which some removers might contain abrasive formulations or harsh chemicals that might damage painted finishes, and especially the clear coat kind of finish.
Basically, before making any purchase, ensure you check whether the product is compatible with the surface you intend to use it on so that the result is a clean, stain-free car but not damaged paintwork that requires more money to repair.
In order for the remover to be effective, it must have the right ingredients for the job. Even though all the above products work, some of them have fast acting ingredients while others take some time to dissolve or loosen up the stains.
Additionally, some work only on a few kinds of stains such as tree sap, bug splatter, and tar while others cover the whole spectrum of stains. Others have harmful formulations while others will not do you any harm even when consumed accidentally.
Ideally, you should buy a tar remover that is non-toxic, especially if you have small kids around.
However, if you can keep the product very safely out of reach of the little ones, then the toxic removers are also a good option, and they might actually be better at removing tough and stubborn stains.
3. Ease of Use
Another important factor to consider is the ease-of-use. Generally, spray cans and spray-bottle removers are the easiest to use since you only need to spray the solution onto the stained surface, wait for the required time, then wipe off the smudge.
However, the concentrated solutions that require to be diluted before use require just a little bit of prep work, but the benefit you get is that the product enables you to cover a wider surface area since the dilution results in a large volume of remover.
The choice between the two should be based on personal preference, but concentrated solutions are cheaper for commercial use.
Concentrated bug and tar removers might be expensive to buy but if you consider the price per volume of bug and tar remover, then they are cheaper in the long run. This makes them ideal for commercial use as explained above.
On the other hand, spray bottled and aerosol canned removers are usually very affordable, but they get used up pretty quickly, and this makes them ideal for personal car use in eliminating these stains every once in a while.
However, this does not mean that you cannot buy an expensive solution for personal use. If you can afford it, then buy from any of the best bug and tar remover for cars options listed above.
How to Remove Bug & Tar from your Car
The best automotive bug and tar remover can only be effective if used properly. To do this, you must follow the required cleaning instructions and these can be summarized as follows.
- First and foremost, have the right gear. Apart from the remover, ensure you have a microfiber towel, sponge or cloth that will help you wipe off the smudge.
- Apply the remover solution to the stained area.
- Let the solution rest at that spot for the required amount of time. Each product usually has the stain removal reaction time specified on its label so check this. It will usually be between 30 seconds and 2 minutes.
- Once this time is up, use the microfiber cloth or sponge to wipe off the smudge and try to rub off any stubborn stains.
- If there are some stains left over, repeat the process above from the application stage until the section is spotless.
- Rinse with water then apply a waxing coat if you have any.
In conclusion, bug and tar removers are very essential in maintaining spotless and stainless car body surfaces. These solutions are especially important to have in the warm summer months because large groups of bugs tend to appear almost out of nowhere.
However, as you shop for such products, it is important to go for the high-quality and effective ones such as the ones listed in the bug and tar remover review above. After going through that list, pick the best bug and tar remover for your car’s paint job.
- 7 Best Bug & Tar Removers – Review
- 1. ProSol brg4oz8003-kit – Bug & Tar Remover Concentrate
- 2. Turtle Wax T-520A – Best Bug & Tar Remover for the Money
- 3. Griot's Garage 10982 – Good Bug & Tar Remover
- 4. McKee's 37 MK37-100 – Easy-to-Use Bug & Tar Remover
- 5. Mothers 16719 – Fast Acting Bug & Tar Remover
- 6. Permatex 15717 – Bug & Tar Remover with an Orange Scent
- 7. Chemical Guys CWS_104_16 – Bug & Tar Remover Shampoo
- How to Buy the Best Bug & Tar Remover
- How to Remove Bug & Tar from your Car