Will Vinegar Remove Bugs from Car?

Will vinegar remove bugs from car? Your bumper doesn’t take long before it collects gunk, such as dead bug splatters. Well, you can eliminate bugs yourself with the right solutions and tips.

As such, this publication provides professional tips and DIY ideas to make your car rid of bugs. Better still, you likely already have some of the commonly required bug elimination ingredients.

Will vinegar remove bugs from car?

Vinegar will remove bugs from cars but it can also attract some insects while repelling others. Wiping or spraying diluted vinegar on your vehicle surfaces will also repel spiders and ants, but placing a container of vinegar close to a fruit fly infestation will attract and drown the little flies in the liquid.

Regular household vinegar doesn’t harm humans, and you could use it to get rid of not just bugs but spiders, ants, aphids, and fruit flies from your car.

Other pests vinegar can expel

a. Ants

Vinegar destroys the scent trails ants use to search for food sources. Ants move around by following the scent trails of other ants. Wiping a surface where ants cross with a vinegar solution cleans away the trail to prevent ants from crossing the surface.

Dilute 1/4 cup white vinegar in 2 cups of water, then add 10 drops of peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil. Wipe the entire surface with a clean cloth dipped in the solution. Don’t rinse the surface with clean water; allow the solution to dry. Using vinegar to repel away ants is a temporary solution. Wipe down the surfaces again if the ants start returning.

b. Spider

Spiders react to the odor and sour taste of vinegar. To rid your vehicle, shed, or greenhouse of spiders, mix a 50/50 solution of water vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray entrances through which spiders may enter from outside and surfaces where they regularly cross.

If you don’t like the odor of vinegar, soak 3-4 orange peel pieces in 1 cup of vinegar overnight before you mix the solution and spray. As an alternative, dilute a half cup of vinegar in 1 quart of water and mix with 2 tablespoons of chili powder or hot chili sauce and use as a repellant.

c. Fruit flies and aphids

Aphids and fruit flies can’t resist the smell of vinegar. If they’ve infested your car, half fill a small bowl with apple cider vinegar and tightly cover it with plastic wrap. Punch two or three holes in the wrap about the size of a pencil lead, and put the bowl close to the fruit flies or aphid infestation. They will find their way through the holes to reach the vinegar and won’t be able to leave anymore. They eventually drown. Wash out the bowl when the vinegar starts filling up with dead insects and repeat the procedure.

How to remove dead bugs and stains from your car

Bugs and bug stains aren’t only gross but also the acidic fluids they leave calcify and can damage your car’s interior or exterior surfaces. Working to get rid of dried-on bug splats without the right cleaning solution often scratches the paint.

Fortunately, you can make a DIY bug remover to remove dead bugs from your car without damaging the expensive paint job.

1. Get a bug sponge

To eliminate bugs from your car, you need the additional scrubbing power—a handy bug sponge supplies. A bug sponge is super dense and thick and can hold much more water and cleaning solution than a conventional sponge.

Moreover, a bug sponge is made of microfiber and mesh, making it abrasive enough to eliminate bugs from your car, but gentle enough to avoid any damage.

A microfiber towel, a soft cloth, old cotton fabric, and some elbow grease can also come in handy to eliminate bugs from the car. However, avoid using terry cloth, because it could be too abrasive and leave behind lint.

2. Get baby shampoo

Tough on gunk, and gentle on paint, baby shampoo mixed with vinegar is a good solution for removing bugs and dead bugs from your car. It leaves no dull patches or stripes off your car wax.


  • Vinegar
  • Baby shampoo
  • Warm water
  • Spray bottle
  • Microfiber cloth

How to prepare

Mix vinegar and warm water with baby shampoo in a bucket or spray bottle. If you’re using a spray bottle, shake well to mix the ingredients. Spray the solution on stains. Gently scrub the bug residue with a sponge or rag, using light pressure. Wipe to dry.

3. Dryer sheets

Dryer sheets used during laundry are effective at eliminating dead bug stains. They’re gentle on surfaces, yet highly effective.


  • Dryer sheets
  • Warm water
  • Spray bottle

How to use

Place the dryer sheets inside a spray bottle and fill the bottle with warm water. Allow it to sit for 10 to 20 minutes.

Spray the solution on your vehicle surfaces with bug stains and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Wipe off your car interior gently with a dryer sheet. Vinegar will also be useful here.

4. Baby oil

Baby oil works effectively in removing dead bug stains from your car. Other kinds of oil can also remove dead bug stains from your car, such as cooking oil or spray.


  • Baby oil
  • Clean microfiber cloth

How to use

Pour two tablespoons of baby oil into a rag and wipe over the car’s surface. Allow it to sit for some minutes.

Wipe the surface clean with a rag to dry. Clean any residue of the baby oil using baby shampoo and water.

5. WD-40

WD-40 is also useful in eliminating dead bugs from your car. It won’t damage your car’s painting, and many households have them handy.


  • WD-40
  • Microfiber cloth

How to use

Spray WD-40 against the bug stain. Wipe the surface clean with a clean rag.

6. Glass cleaner

A glass cleaner might be too abrasive for use on car paint, but it’s effective in removing window gunk. Mix glass cleaner with a bit of baby shampoo to eliminate dead bugs from your windshield. A glass cleaner safe for the window-tint film will not harm the plastic and vinyl surfaces of your car—Autopia Car Care.


  • Glass cleaner
  • Dish soap or baby shampoo
  • Cotton rag or microfiber cloth
  • Spray bottle

How to use

Mix glass cleaner with a bit of dish soap or baby shampoo. Shake well. Spray on bug stains and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Wipe away with a rag gently.

Remove bug stains to protect your car

Remember: the longer time you spend before you remove bugs from the car, the more difficult it becomes to remove them. Take the active steps earlier.

Wash your car and apply a few car wax coats so it’s easier to remove future stains, especially ahead of a major road trip or the summer bug season. Also, applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the hood, bumper, and other car surfaces is helpful. The jelly creates a transparent shield that makes it easy to wipe away dead bugs and other stains that stick to the surfaces.

What not to use for dead bugs removal in car

The following are products you should not use to remove bugs from a car:

  • Dish soap/dishwashing detergent
  • Hand soap
  • Harsh glass cleaner. This can damage your car paint.

The household items above can damage your car’s paint by stripping off the protective wax and leaving behind a dull patch on the car. While car wax can eliminate dull patches, these items are abrasive and not made for your car paint.

Read Also: A quick solution for sudden fly infestation

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