How to Remove Bird Poop from Your Car
Cleaning up bird poop on your car may not be a pleasant task, but it’s a problem that many car owners have to face. Despite being unpleasant, there isn’t much you can do to prevent birds from leaving their droppings on your car. However, if you don’t take steps to clean it up quickly, the situation can become even more unsightly and potentially damaging to your vehicle.
But just why is it so bad? Apart from the whole “poop” thing, of course.
According to experts, bird droppings can damage the paint on your car due to the high acidity of the poop, which falls in the range of 3-4.5 on the pH scale. The uric acid contained in the droppings is what causes the damage, as it can erode the surface of your vehicle’s paint just as any acid would. This makes logical sense, as acidic substances are known to corrode various materials.
Autoglym, a leading brand in automotive aftercare, has conducted scientific testing and has proposed an alternative theory about the effects of bird droppings on car paint.
If a bird leaves droppings on your car, they will eventually dry and harden. As the sun warms the lacquer on your car’s paint, it becomes softer and expands. When the lacquer cools back down, it can mold around the hardened droppings.
This leaves a visible mark or ripple on the surface even after you have cleaned off the actual poop. This process can occur because the heat from the sun causes the lacquer to change its physical state.
Both factors – the acidity of the droppings and the softening of the lacquer – may contribute to the damage caused by bird droppings on your car’s paint. When the lacquer becomes softer due to heat, it may be more susceptible to the corrosive effects of the acidic droppings.
Regardless of the exact cause, it is important to act quickly to minimize the damage by cleaning the droppings off your car as soon as possible.
Preventing Bird Droppings
It would be convenient if there was a foolproof way to prevent bird droppings from ruining your vehicle’s paint. The only certain method is to keep your car in a covered location where birds cannot reach it.
While you can take steps to reduce the risk, such as avoiding parking under trees, there is still no guarantee that a bird won’t leave droppings on your car. Therefore, the best course of action is to protect your paint by applying a sealant or other protective treatment before damage occurs.
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To properly protect your car’s paint from future damage caused by bird droppings, it is recommended to apply a full paint sealant and then top it off with a high-quality wax.
The sealant sits on top of the lacquer or topcoat and helps to preserve the paint, while the wax provides an additional layer of protection. Using both a sealant and wax can help keep your car’s paint in pristine condition.
Treating Bird Poop Stains
As previously mentioned, the sooner you can remove bird droppings from your car’s paint, the less likely it is to cause lasting damage. However, once the droppings have dried, you should be careful not to rub, press, or scrape them off, as this can further damage the paint. Instead, use a gentle cleaning method to remove the droppings with care.
Remember to always test any cleaning product on a small, inconspicuous area of your car before using it on the affected area to ensure it won’t damage the paint.
You should soak a cloth in water and place that on the poop for at least ten minutes. The idea is to soften it so that you can almost just wipe it off. If after ten minutes there’s no discernible difference, then re-wet the cloth and go for part two.
If you’re lucky, the poop will come off and there will be no need for anything more than a quick spritz with some detailing fluid and a wipe with a quality microfiber towel. However, if the paintwork has been marked, then you need to get a little more heavy-duty.
Depending on just how much damage has been caused, you may get away with a little light buffing. You may also need to cut the paintwork with a compound. If you’re unsure of how bad it is, try a few simple steps first. If they fail, maybe get some professional advice on reparation.
Tips for Removing Bird Poop Stains from Car Paint
Here are a few tips for cleaning bird droppings off your car’s paint:
- Start by using a hose or a bucket of water to moisten the droppings. This will help to soften them and make them easier to remove.
- Use a mild soap or a car-specific cleaning product to create a sudsy solution. Apply the solution to the droppings and allow it to sit for a few minutes.
- Use a soft, damp cloth or a sponge to gently wipe away the droppings. Avoid using a rough or abrasive material, as this can scratch the paint.
- Rinse the area thoroughly with water to remove any remaining soap or cleaning solution.
- Dry the area with a soft, clean towel to prevent water spots from forming.
- If the droppings have caused damage to the paint, you may need to use a specific product designed to remove acid etching or to buff out scratches. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to prevent birds from leaving droppings on your car. However, you can clean bird poop off and restore the paint to its original condition with a little effort. Remember to take precautions when cleaning bird droppings off your car, such as wearing disposable gloves and protective eyewear.
Although it may seem excessive, bird droppings can contain harmful bacteria that can cause illness, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Taking a few extra precautions to protect yourself is a small price to pay for the sake of cleanliness and health.