Best insect removers 2023

With warmer weather comes an array of winged critters to make a mess of your car. Don’t let this bug you, though; a good insect remover will have them gone in a flash...

Best insect removers compilation image

Driving along in the blazing sunshine may sound like bliss to many, but with rising temperatures come a rising swam of bugs – which can end up smearing the glass and paintwork of your car.

Having your car covered in bug carcasses isn't just unsightly, either – the acid present in the blood of many insects can damage your car's paintwork, so you'll want to get them cleared away rather than letting them build up.

Fortunately, there are a vast array of dedicated insect removers to choose from. Most come in the form of a liquid which you spray on to the affected area and then wipe away, taking bug residue with it. Some insect removers, however, come as tougher foams which require less agitation. Speaking of which, it's usually a good idea to have a microfibre cloth handy when using an insect remover to help wipe any remnants away and restore your car to its clean state.

A word of warning, too. Don't be tempted to use your regular car shampoo and scrub your car's paintwork with extra vigour to get rid of bugs, because doing so could do more harm than good for your car's paintwork. Indeed, applying too much abrasion could leave a permanent mark on your car. 

1. BEST BUY: Liqui Moly Insect Remover

Liqui Moly insect remover

Volume 500ml

This versatile insect remover can be used on glass, plastic, paint and chrome; simply spray it on and leave it for a few minutes to take effect, while not allowing it to dry on paintwork. We found it very effective at easily lifting splattered insects and other grime from our test car, but what really seals the win here is value for money. For the volume of cleaner you get in a bottle, the price is an absolute bargain. There’s no need for a separate value award this time, because this product takes the win on both counts.

What Car? rating Five stars out of five

How we found the best car insect removers

To find the best insect removers, we applied each product gently to the windscreen and bodywork of our test car. We followed manufacturer instructions where they were given, testing each product with the assistance of a pressure washer and also with a soft cloth. We evaluated how good each product was at eliminating pesky bug splatters, as well as other grime, including bird droppings and tree sap. As always, cost was also considered in our final rankings.

Other car glass cleaners to consider

2. Sonax Insect Remover

Sonax insect remover

Volume 500ml

The Sonax product is safe for use on glass, chrome, paint and plastic components alike. After spraying it on and waiting for a few minutes, we found we didn’t need to apply any serious elbow grease to get the formula working, and all the insect residue was swiftly dealt with. Although it’s just as effective as our winner, the Sonax gets second place here due to its relatively high price.

What Car? rating Five stars out of five

3. GTechniq W8 Bug Remover

GTechniq insect remover

Volume 500ml

Anyone who details their car regularly will find this of interest, because it’s been designed not to harm protective wax coatings. Like the top two, it’s an easy-to-apply spray, and residue is removed with a hose or damp cloth. It did a great job on our car’s windscreen, but more effort was needed to clear large spatters from other areas than with our top picks.

What Car? rating Four stars out of five

4. CarPlan No.1 Super Bug Spray

CarPlan insect remover

Volume 600ml

Although the CarPlan formula is a lot thicker than the other products here, the application process is much the same. It’s well priced, considering the quantity you get and it cleaned our glass and paintwork effectively. The spray comes out in a narrow stream, though, so you’ll be working your trigger finger pretty hard if you have a large area to cover.

What Car? rating Four stars out of five

5. Meguiar’s Heavy Duty Foaming Bug Remover

Meguiar's insect remover

Volume 444ml

This is different from most other insect removers here, in that it’s a foam rather than a spray. As a result, it was less inclined to run off the car when we applied it. Nor did it require any extra rubbing to get rid of insects, grime and tar. Although it’s powerful, you can use it safely on paint, chrome, trim and plastics, but its lofty price stops it from ranking any higher.

What Car? rating Three stars out of five

6. AutoGlym Active Insect Remover

AutoGlym insect remover

Volume 500ml

As a foam similar to the Meguiar’s product above, this formula from AutoGlym stays put on your car’s surface and gets to work, rather than running off. You only need to leave the product on for 30 seconds before wiping it off, according to the instructions – but despite that short time, it worked effectively in our tests, easily removing nearly all bugs and insects. However, some particularly well-stuck ones required a second spritz and a little more time.

What Car? rating Three stars out of five

7. TurtleWax Insect Remover

Turtle Wax insect remover

Volume 500ml

You can use this insect remover on glass, plastic or metal, and it’s mostly effective. Spritz onto any insect remains or bird grime on your car, leave for one minute and wipe away. The product did a good job, but we did find it left a few smears on our windscreen despite claims of a streak-free finish. A couple of persistent bugs needed a second go-over, too. At least, with a low price, the TurtleWax formula represents decent value for money.

What Car? rating Three stars out of five

8. CarGods Bug & Sap remover

CarGods insect remover

Volume 500ml

This product removes bugs and tree sap from windscreens, headlights and painted surfaces. To use, apply it liberally and give the product a couple of minutes to get to work. You can then remove everything with a cloth or soft detailing brush. We found this to be an effective product on insects, but we had to apply a bit of extra elbow grease to remove some very baked-on tree sap.

What Car? rating Three stars out of five

9. Gyeon Q²M Bug & Grime

Gyeon Q2M insect remover

Volume 400ml

Gyeon’s Q²M Bug & Grime can be used on all exterior surfaces, including bare aluminium and chrome, plus ceramic coatings. To use, Gyeon suggests you spray it on, wait a couple of minutes and use a pressure washer to blast the bugs and grime away, without needing to agitate or rub. Even with a pressure washer, however, we found a few stubborn bugs had stayed behind. Combined with a high price relative to the amount of formula in each bottle, and this insect remover is hard to recommend over the others in our test.

What Car? rating Two stars out of five

And the insect remover to avoid...

10. Dodo Juice Flies Undone

Dodo Juice insect remover

Volume 500ml

Dodo Juice recommends using this product on all bodywork and panels. However, it’s not recommended for use on glass/your windscreen in case of smears, which is naturally where lots of insects end up aggregating. If using this product on glass, you need to use a dedicated glass cleaner afterwards, which adds to the overall cleaning time and number of products required. On paintwork however, it was highly effective at eliminating bugs and bird grime. Simply apply, leave for a few minutes and wipe off.

What Car? rating Two stars out of five

The products or services referenced in this story have been reviewed independently by our experts. When you buy using the links on our site, we may earn a commission, but this will never influence our opinion or ratings.

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