7 Best Bug & Tar Removers of 2021

Jerry Wilson
Written by
Last update:

As drivers, we’ve all had to clean bugs and tar off of our cars at some point. Even if you take precautions and try to avoid it, sometimes a bug or a piece of debris just happens to hit your car and leave a sticky mess behind.

Bug and tar removers still exist because the idea of driving down the highway with icky bugs stuck to the front of our cars is a bit too much to bear.

Nowadays there are too many options of bug and tar removers to choose from. Some are better suited for certain vehicles than others, so it is best to know which one works best for your needs.

I have reviewed 7 of the best bug and tar removers of 2021 for you. Check them out below.

NameCategoryProduct
Bugs N AllBest OverallBugs N All
Turtle Wax T-520A Bug and Tar RemoverBudget PickTurtle Wax T-520A Bug and Tar Remover
McKee's 37 MK37-100 Road Kill Bug RemoverUpgrade PickMcKee's 37 MK37-100 Road Kill Bug Remover

1. Bugs N All

Our rating: 9 / 10

Bugs N All

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Clean water-based formula is safe for paint, leather, rubber, plastic, vinyl and dashboards
  • Has multiple uses
  • Can be diluted in a 1:4 ratio for general cleaning
  • Perfect for removing tar and bugs
  • Great for travel
  • Eco-friendly

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work as an all-in-one. Gets the job done, but if you are looking for a stock-up solution, this isn’t for you.
  • The spray head is a little low-quality, so it might leak a bit of product out at first. But it’s not a long-term problem, and the product is so effective at what it does that it’s worth it.

2. Griot's Garage 10982 Bug and Smudge

Our rating: 8 / 10

Griot's Garage 10982 Bug and Smudge

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Produces a thick, rich, and thick layer of shine
  • Love the smell, good for a detailing novice
  • Good on plastic trim

Griot’s 10982 Bug and Smudge remover is the best product for removing hard-out impacts on the paint of your car. The hard debris are no match for the Griot’s Garage Bug and Smudge remover and will have it shined up in no time.

The 10982 is also worth checking out because it’s super easy to use. With a soft touch on the trigger, the product comes out in a rich and thick layer so it doesn’t have to be applied multiple times.

It’s an amber-colored liquid that smells like vanilla making it a nostalgic scent for the most seasoned of detailers. The smell is not overpowering and can easily be masked with other car smells if you’re just not into that smell.

3. McKee's 37 MK37-100 Road Kill Bug Remover

Our rating: 8 / 10

McKee's 37 MK37-100 Road Kill Bug Remover

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Works fast
  • Odorless

McKee's 37 MK37-100 Road Kill Bug Remover is perhaps the most popular tar and bug remover in the market. It is a creamy and tar dissolving cream. It is long lasting; you can use it several times a year with minimum to no damage on your vehicle. The remover has a odorless formula hence leaving you with a nice smell after removing the stain. It works on a wide range of surfaces that include roofs, windshields, decals, etc. The remover is biodegradable hence no harm to your vehicle.

The company has included a powerful product that offers a cost effective solution to your vehicle. It has been tested and verified efficient on different surfaces in different seasons. The product is among the best and is highly recommended.

4. Chemical Guys CWS_104_16 Bug & Tar Heavy Duty Car Wash Shampoo

Our rating: 8 / 10

Chemical Guys CWS_104_16 Bug & Tar Heavy Duty Car Wash Shampoo

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Gives your car perfect shine
  • Produces a lot of suds on contact
  • Ideal for dark colored cars
  • Contains wax, while not guaranteed to be carnauba

Cons:

  • The product smell a little bit irritating
  • It is sold in case of one only

Chemical Guys CWS_104_16 Bug & Tar Heavy Duty Car Wash Shampoo is a great way to clean your car and get the grime removed at the same time. This product is sold at the price of 8.5-ounce.

You will fall in love with the results can get with the help of this product. This product is very significant car shampoo that you will ever try. It is used for the purpose of providing your car with the protective coatings and optimum look.

This product is very recommended for your car. It is a car wash shampoo that perfect for your car. It is efficient way to remove undercarriage, engine bays, wheel wells, and moldings. You will be amazed with the results you are going to get with the use this product.

5. Permatex Spray Nine 15717 Citrus Blaster Bug and Tar Remover

Our rating: 8 / 10

Permatex Spray Nine 15717 Citrus Blaster Bug and Tar Remover

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Removes bugs and tar residue in minutes
  • Different solutions to remove different substances
  • Safe for use on painted surfaces
  • Cleans other parts of the car in a safe way
  • Sprays in foamy rings to coat the surface
  • Dries quickly, even when in direct sunlight
  • Removes tar build-up from old tires
  • It’s a multi-use product—can be used for other things

Permatex Spray Nine is the best choice for removing bugs and tar from your windshield. You can spray it on vertically to catch the bugs and tar as they land. Any bugs that are on the windshield can also be sprayed off easily. You can even save it for the next time you have a bug splat on the windshield.

It is very easy to use, and works very well for the price. It is compatible with glass, plastic, painted surfaces, aluminum, fiberglass, painted plastic, painted metal, masonry, concrete, rubber, stamped concrete, and vinyl.

Permatex claims that it can even be used on your bumper and tires!

6. Mothers 16719 Speed Foaming Bug & Tar Remover Aerosol

Our rating: 7 / 10

Mothers 16719 Speed Foaming Bug & Tar Remover Aerosol

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Effectively removes bugs, tar, and sap
  • Safe on wheels
  • Works by foaming
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Leaves the residue behind, which needs to be washed off
  • You might feel the burning sensation due to chemical ingredients
  • Works well only on clean surfaces

The Mothers Foaming Bug and Tar remover has been a much loved product among cleaning aficionados for a long time. This product is very easy to use and it cleans off bugs and tar very effectively.

There is a lot of stuff that gets stuck on your vehicle surfaces, which you would normally need a different product for removal. However, the Mothers Foaming Bug and Tar remover is very effective at cleaning both bugs and tar off your vehicle without leaving behind any residue.

This product comes in a non-aerosol container, which is very handy for a variety of reasons. It does not lead to any kind of mess on your surfaces and it is also easier to use. Cleaning your vehicle while you are outside is made easier with a non-aerosol container.

7. Turtle Wax T-520A Bug and Tar Remover

Our rating: 6 / 10

Turtle Wax T-520A Bug and Tar Remover

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Easy to apply
  • Removes bugs and tar
  • No swirls

Cons:

  • Some reviewers have reported it did not work on bugs
  • Some reviewers had an issue with the sprayer

When it comes to bug and tar removers, this one from Turtle Wax T-520A takes the cake.

We’ve just done some research and discovered that this sprayer from Turtle Wax gets the job done, and we’re not the only ones who think that. This product has over 2,250 positive reviews on Amazon proving that it’s a hit and consistently performs well.

The 16-ounce bottle comes with a sprayer lid that’s pretty basic but does the job. It features a trigger to spray after each application. The bottle also has a deep well that makes sure you have plenty of product at your disposal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best Bug and tar remover?

There are more than only one type of substance that may cause damage to your windshield so it's not practical to purchase one magic wax that will remove all of them. However, there are some products that have been especially designed to serve the purpose of removing bug splats, which tends to be the most common of the things that splats onto the windshield.

To remove bug splats and tar you can try buff-ing the effected area with a micro-fiber cloth. For tougher tar a stronger cleaner is required. If the tar splat has obviously adhered to a larger portion of the windshield, then a bug & tar remover will serve you better. You can find more information below.

Does tar and bug remover damage paint?

Most of the products on our list are safe for most surfaces, except the paint on your car. If you don't have any plastic trim (the black molding around your windows, for example) you should be OK. But if you have any plastic parts on the exterior of your car, then you will want to steer clear of a product that contains acetone. If you have a part made out of vinyl (the black and white checkered part of your doors, for example) then you'll want to avoid a product containing MEK, lacquer thinner, or toluene.

Just remember, it is always a good idea to test a small area before you toss the tar remover on the full car!

How do you get tar and bugs off your car?

You’ll likely find bugs immediately after you clean your car. They just like to be around your car and like to land where you just cleaned. If you see a stray bug or two, just continue to clean. They won’t ding your car, and you know that they won’t stick to the paint long-term.

However, if you have a big clump of bugs and tar, then you’ll want to leave them there for a few minutes and then clean it off. You might even want to spray your bugs and tar remover onto the area you want to clean.

Don’t forget to check out our article that has specific cleaning product reviews.

Does Turtle Wax Bug and Tar Remover remove wax?

You might be wondering if Turtle Wax bug and tar remover can remove wax if you’ve seen the name written as Turtle Wax Bug & Tar Remover. The answer is yes, it can remove wax but it might not be ideal for your vehicle. If you have a vehicle with factory-made wax on it and you blast it with Turtle Wax Bug and Tar Remover, then you’ll be shocked to find out how quickly it removes that wax. It’ll look like it’s working but it’s actually just stripping off the wax that the factory has already applied.

Conclusion

We reviewed hundreds of products to find the best option on the market for cleaning bugs and tar from your vehicles paint. After extensive research we believe there is a perfect option for everyone. It is important to remember that Bug it tar removers are significantly different from normal car wash products.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Bugs N AllBest OverallBugs N All
Turtle Wax T-520A Bug and Tar RemoverBudget PickTurtle Wax T-520A Bug and Tar Remover
McKee's 37 MK37-100 Road Kill Bug RemoverUpgrade PickMcKee's 37 MK37-100 Road Kill Bug Remover