Bug and tar removers for cars are simple, but effective solutions for removing extremely tough exterior messes that a standard wash would not be able to remove effectively. Although they are mainly labelled as tar and bug removers, they are also designed to remove other contaminants and build-ups such as tree sap, bird droppings and even glue.
Splatters, droppings and markings not only make a temporary mess of your car, but they can do some serious long-term damage, especially when left on the paintwork for extended periods. To help loosen them from paintwork, windows, wing-mirrors or even bumpers pre-wash effectively, use one of our recommended top bug and tar removers for cars solutions below.
Best Car Tar and Bug Removers in the UK Reviews
Tar, Adhesive Residue, Oil Stains, Ink, Bugs, Gum
Bird Droppings, Tree Sap, Tar, Bugs
Tar, Adhesive Glues
Tar, Adhesive Glues
#1. Autoglym Intensive Tar Remover
When you’re looking for the best products for car care and detailing, Autoglym is consistently on review lists as a fantastic product. This is true no matter which of their products you’re looking at, and there are a plethora of reasons for that. In the case of their intensive tar remover, there is no shortage of reasons.
First off, this product is unique as it can be used both externally on your vehicle as well as inside it on the upholstery and carpets. It will remove tar, grease spots, bird droppings, gum, ink, bugs, and more. It might take a little extra elbow grease to work some tougher stains and contaminates off your vehicle, but it’s worth it for a pristine-looking car.
It’s safe to use on rubber, vinyl, metal, synthetic carpet, plastic, interior upholstery, and over a car’s exterior paint. Just make sure that you use this product, and any other strong chemicals, in a well-ventilated area.
- Safe, fast-acting solution
- Years of reliability in a brand name you trust
- Can be used internally and externally on your vehicle
- Can be used on multiple surface types
- Removes a wide range of contaminates
- Takes some extra work to get rid of tougher, solidified, and waxed-over tar spots
#2. Turtle Wax 51778 Bug & Tar Remover
It’s hard to stroll down the detailing aisle of any parts store without seeing a Turtle Wax product. They’re budget-friendly, reliable, and consistently display great quality. With that in mind, and with the way this product works to clean off even the most stubborn blemishes from your vehicle, it had to make our list.
This tar remover will clean bird droppings, tar, grease, and bugs from the exterior of your vehicle. It also claims to remove tree sap, but there are mixed reviews about that. With that said, it may be a problem of locality with certain tree sap types, so keep that factor in mind.
The non-drip formula of this product allows it to cling to your car no matter what angle it’s sprayed from, giving a more effective clean. Additionally, there’s no elbow grease necessary to make this product work - just spray and wipe, and you’re good to go! Once the solution has been wiped away, it leaves behind a protective barrier that helps reduce future staining.
- Non-drip formula
- Removes several unsightly blemishes
- Safe for glass, metal, painted plastic, and vinyl
- No need to buff; simple spray on, wipe off formula
- Mixed reviews on the removal of tree sap may indicate that it works better on some saps but not others
- Flammable and toxic due to petroleum distillates
#3. Power Maxed PMTO500P1
This product is aptly named - it is impressively powerful and absolutely removes tar and glue blemishes on your vehicle. It’s so powerful and effective, in fact, that you can watch it melt away tar and glue adhesives in its short setting time. You’ll want to wipe it off after a minute of it setting, though in warmer weather you may want to do so sooner before it dries.
You also may want to wear a face mask and gloves, even when working outdoors. Yes, it’s that potent an odour and irritating to the skin if you happen to come in direct contact with it. It’s truly a situation of better safe than sorry.
This is another great spray and wipe product, which makes the job of getting tar and glue off of your car extremely simple.
- Extremely strong tar and glue remover
- Fast-acting formula
- Covers a lot of areas with each pump of the sprayer
- Removes tar, adhesive glues from decals, rubber residues, and more without damaging your vehicle
- Great value, very budget-friendly
- Extremely potent, unpleasant smell
- Seals of the sprayer may not be as secure as thought, you may want to simply decant the contents into a screw-lid sprayer
#4. Gtechniq W7
This tar and glue remover from Gtechniq is a full-strength formula that will get the job done beyond a doubt. With a budget-friendly cost and plenty of positive reviews, you simply can’t go wrong choosing this remover for your tar and glue removal needs.
The solution was specifically designed to soften and ultimately dissolve road tar and glue. Just spray it on the affected areas and let it settle for one or two minutes. You’ll be able to watch it work, and after the time is up, just rinse it clean and wipe dry.
It should be noted that this product is not suitable for use on wrapped vehicles or those with PPF or smart repairs. It will work on any surface other than rubber, vinyl, and plastic without damaging the coatings, waxes, or sealants.
- Works great and works fast
- Will not damage coatings, waxes, or sealants
- Easy to apply
- Compatible with Gtechniq coatings
- Cannot use this product on rubber, plastic, or vinyl
- Not suitable for use on PPF, smart repairs, or wrapped vehicles
#5. Meguiar’s G180515EU
Meguiar’s products constantly find their way onto the best car care lists, and their heavy-duty bug and tar remover is no exception.
This is a unique but impressive foam tar and bug remover. It hydrates the bug splatters and tar stains and gently but effectively lifts them off your car, or at the very least makes them easy to simply rinse or wipe away after application.
The suggested five-minute development time may seem a little long, but the formula actually seems to begin drying long before that time is up. It’s no less effective when being cleaned off sooner, but just keep in mind that you shouldn’t walk away very far while applying.
- Clearcoat safe formula
- Powerful, effective foam
- Rehydrates bugs and tar for easy removal
- Safe for all exterior surfaces
- Xtreme Cling foaming technology
- Dries much quicker than anticipated, and will need to be cleaned off ahead of the suggested development time
- Does not always cling well to vertical surfaces
Bug and Tar Remover for Cars Buying Considerations
Surface Safety and Ingredients
Two of the most prominent factors in determining whether a tar and bug removal product will work for you are the ingredients and the surfaces the solution is safe to be used on.
The best bug and tar removers have to have the right ingredients for the job at hand, but all removers are not created equal. Some prefer a fast-acting formula, some prefer foam. Additionally, some formulas will only cover bug and tar removal, while others will cover a wide variety of blemish and contaminate types, such as tree sap and inks.
Besides not covering all the same spectrum of blemishes, not every removal solution can work safely on all of the same surfaces. Some removers contain abrasive formulas or harsh chemicals. These could potentially damage painted finishes or clear coats. Before you commit to a particular tar and bug remover, make sure it’s safe to use on the surfaces you intend to clean.
Ease of Use
The third most important factor actually goes along with one of the first. The ingredients of your remover’s formula will help to determine how easy it is to use that particular remover. Sprays tend to be easier to use, just spritz, wait, and wipe or rinse. You could also go for a more concentrated formula, which will require a little bit of prep work, but the dilution will result in a larger volume of the formula for use. The choice really boils down to personal preference more than anything.
The Final Word
These remover solutions are safe, but effective at removing a whole host of unwanted nasty stuff on your car such as bugs, flies, grime, sap, glue and tar. If you're a detailer or just generally want to look after your motor on a regular basis, then the exterior needs to be spotless. Instead of trying to wash and polish over any build-up or even worse, leaving it untouched, use one of our recommended best car tar and bug removers reviewed above.
Last Updated On: April 10, 2021.