||1. Go heavy on the wax
Wax your vehicle until a rag or towel rolls off the hood like a drop of water. An extra coat of wax in bug-magnet areas such as the hood or bumper provides an added shield against future splats, and paying extra attention to the after-wash waxing makes it easier to get rid of caked-on bugs. Putting a layer of wax on your windshield also helps prevent sticky buildup in your line of sight.
2. Remove leaves and twigs to prevent staining -- and stinky air
Get rid of leaves, twigs, and other debris that gathers on the windshield and grille. Scrub the radiator with a brush and water to remove any built-up leaves. Not only will this help prevent future air conditioning problems, but your car won't smell so weird the first time you turn on the AC to cool down.
3. Change your windshield wipers
Changing wiper blades annually keeps your windshield cleaner by not spreading bug guts and dirt every time you flick the switch.
4. Peel off poop promptly
Remove bird poop as soon as possible after your car has been dive-bombed. Some bird droppings are highly acidic, which could eat through the paint if you allow them to sit and bake.
5. Buy a bug deflector
Seems simple, but it can reduce the amount of bugs ornamenting your car. You just slide, clip, or stick it to the front of the hood and it shields your vehicle from ominous chips, scratches, and stains while you're driving.
6. Use a cleaner/degreaser before washing your vehicle
Find the product that fits your needs, whether it's designed for bugs, tar, bird droppings, or tree sap. Pretreat your car with the removal solution to give it time to break down the gunk for easier removal when your car gets washed. Generally, citrus-based cleaners aren't as harsh on paint as petroleum-based cleaners. Both types will remove wax so you'll need to re-wax your car once it's clean and dry.
7. Try some home remedies
- Solvents, such as WD-40, lift tar stains and tree sap.
- Lighter fluid easily gets rid of tree sap. Just don't smoke while you're using it!
- Nail polish remover, applied with a cotton ball, targets tree-sapped areas. (Remove it quickly -- don't want to ruin your paint job!)
- Spray orange-based solvent on the car and rub with children's molding clay to remove sticky items.
- Baking soda and water gently cleans dirty areas without scratching.
- Bacon grease helps loosen hardened bug bits and other glued-on goop.
- Cooking oil cleans off caked-on intruders.
- Seltzer water (NOT club soda or tonic) loosens stuck-on bugs. Just watch it fizzle and then wipe away. This method works better (and is more fun) when done soon after an insect attack.
- Vinegar or soda poured on a windshield helps wipe away immobile offenders.