We’ve all been there. You diligently follow your car maintenance checklist, read up on how to wash your car, spent hours cleaning, polishing and waxing your car’s exterior to perfection - then a bird had other ideas.
On top of ruining the hard work you (or the car wash) put in, bird poop can be a nuisance to get off, and if left for too long, can even damage your paintwork.
In this exciting article, we’ll discuss how to get bird poop off your car, how long you can leave it on for, and how to remove any nasty stains left after the cleaning process.
How long can you leave bird poop on your car?
Where possible, it’s always best to remove any bird droppings as soon as possible. The longer you leave bird poop sitting, the more damage it’s likely to cause your car.
Bird poo contains uric acid, which is corrosive, and unfortunately your paintwork’s worst enemy. This acidity can leave unsightly marks on the paint surface, so unless you’re happy to endure the bird poop stains, it’s best to rinse off the affected area as soon as you can.
When bird poop has dried in, car owners are also more likely to scrub or scrape at the excrements. This can cause almost as much damage as leaving the droppings if not done properly, as your paint job is going to suffer the consequences.
How do I clean bird poop off my car paintwork?
The safest way to get your car clean is to ensure the droppings are not dry when you’re trying to remove them.
- A basin of warm water
- A microfibre cloth
- A spray bottle
And follow these steps:
- Any kind of droppings can be pretty messy to clean up, so it’s best to wear some rubber gloves. If you’ve got a large area to cover, a spray bottle with some hot water will come in handy to help get the droppings soft.
- You don’t want to scratch or scrub at your paintwork, so with your basin of warm water, dampen your microfibre towel or cloth, and leave to sit over the affected area until it becomes easy to wipe.
- If the droppings still don’t come away, add some car cleaner or repeat the steps with your damp cloth until everything has come off.
- Rinse your car clean of any remaining residue, and consider a full car wash if they really went to town on your car.
How to remove bird poop from my car windows?
If the bird poo is on your windows or windscreen, it should be relatively simple to remove. We’ve covered how to clean your car windows, and how to clean your windscreen, but in most cases it won’t cause you much hassle.
Glass sprays will break down the droppings so that you can easily wipe it clean, and a rubber restorer can fix up any stains on the window rubber.
How can I remove bird poo stains?
If the bird droppings on your car have been there long enough to leave bird poop damage on your vehicle’s paint, you’ll have to put in a bit more work than just cleaning off your car.
If the stains aren’t too stubborn, you can first try some household items:
- Club Soda - This carbonated drink can help break down surface stains in just a few minutes. Pour club soda or some seltzer water (most unflavoured, unsweetened sparkling waters will do) onto your bird poop stain, soak a cloth with it, and leave to sit on the stain for around 5 minutes. Simply wipe away with your microfibre cloth.
- Baking soda - A popular ingredient in various homemade car cleaning remedies, baking soda (also referred to as bicarbonate of soda) can help remove any tricky lingering stains. You can mix up your own solution with just a few tablespoons of baking soda, some hot water, and a drop of dish soap. Apply to your stain, allow to sit, and then clean off.
- WD-40 - An all-purpose product with so many uses, WD-40 can loosen off remaining droppings and help tackle tough marks. Just spray directly onto the offending area and wipe away.
For more difficult marks that have caused real paint damage, it’s best to have a professional to hand for some more serious car detailing. However, if you’re only dealing with a mark or two, you can try to fix it yourself.
With some high grit sandpaper, wet the stained area with your chosen polish or car detailer spray, and gently sand for a few seconds. You don’t want to go overboard with sanding, as you risk making your paint thinner and causing damage to the clear coat. When you’re happy the mark has evened out, use a polisher over a slightly larger area to blend it in. If in any doubt, leave it to the professionals.
And of course, prevention is better than cure. One of the best ways to help protect your car from the potential damage bird poop causes is to keep it clean and waxed regularly. Check out our post on how often you should wash your car, and how to wax a car if you’ve never done it before.
Does bird poop mean good luck?
Getting your car or yourself pooped on by a bird has often been said to be a sign of good luck, bringing wealth, happiness and fortune your way. Though we can’t attest to this, if it makes you feel better about your unfortunate situation, believe away!
If you believe it’s a good fortune symbol, then you should get a red car, since birds love pooping all over these brightly coloured cars the most.
Just be sure to have it cleaned off ASAP to save the car’s paint from any lasting damage, or consider investing in a car cover for vehicles often kept outdoors.