Insects not only pollute your vehicle, but you should know that their residues, given their high acidity, can also irreparably attack and dirty the paintwork, so it is important to clean them quickly.
Prevent in order not to have to cure
Based on the principle that prevention is better than cure, to keep insect carcasses from turning into strong glue, it’s best to finish off the pressure wash with a good coat of wax or polish, which will serve as a protective undercoat and eliminate future “residue” with a simple beam.
For purists, there is an option to wrap the front bumper and radiator grille with a transparent body wrap. Designed to protect vehicles in transit, this film, which you can buy at aftermarket stores, has impact resistant properties. Alternatively, you can use kitchen stretch wrap, which is easier to find and cheaper. Disadvantage: one like the other takes time to attach them to the desired places.
However, be careful when protecting your rear-view mirrors and make sure to pack “only” the hull. Otherwise you risk a fine.
Cleanable soiling with elbow grease
After 300 or 800 km your vehicle will look like a fly trap from the bumper to the windscreen! Problem, how do you remove all stubborn bugs that have often dried almost instantly from exposure to UV and air friction without having to scratch or damage the paintwork?
Before starting a full body wash, it is better to remove more or less dry or greasy stains with a sponge and an ad hoc product. There are insect cleaners specially adapted for this purpose and so-called “mosquito remover” sprays on the market, which make it possible to soften the insects. Although often expensive when the residue has been present for several days or even weeks or a high pressure wash has not removed it, they are still a good solution. Sprayed on the surfaces to be treated before pre-washing, this type of product dissolves most insect residues.
In the absence of specialized cleaning products, glass products or white vinegar are generally very suitable. Simply spray onto the covered areas, leave for a few minutes and gently rub in with a damp sponge or microfiber cloth.
Baking soda is also a valuable ally that will help you remove bugs from your bodywork. It is best to dissolve in a little warm water and apply with a sponge in circular movements. Baking soda is non-abrasive, so you don’t risk scratching the surface if you apply it dry too, using a sponge if necessary.
And the windshield?
Those of us who have driven our vehicle through a swarm know from experience that within seconds the entire windshield is covered in a thick, greasy mass of crushed insects. In an emergency, it is imperative to warn yourself and run the windshield washer for as long as possible in the hope of seeing the road again before risking an accident. Hence the interest in using a windscreen washer with “mosquito remover” in the summer, specifically adapted to this type of incident. If this happens to you, it’s best to stop at a rest area as soon as possible to clean the windshield to get a better view again. Especially since the heat given off by the glass surface literally “cooks” the insects on the spot and the longer you wait, the harder it will be for you to get rid of them.
When the bodywork needs cleaning, the glass that makes up the windshield and headlights is much stronger, necessitating the use of scouring pads (such as a handle) to gently scrape the entire surface. It’s still best to use a glass product broadly spray, leave to soak and scrape at an angle of 45º, but be careful not to use sharp tools because if the glass is tough, it will scratch it!