Have you ever experienced the feeling of driving all the way over to a car wash during a busy day, getting your vehicle looking spiffy with a proper washing, only to have your windshield become the next public potty for a bird to poop on? Having your car become a bird’s toilet is a common occurrence at shopping malls, grocery store parking lots, and outside of restaurants, and while you can’t control the birds above you, you can take some steps to keep your car safe from the aftereffects of what’s in those droppings.
So, let’s talk about what can be done to keep our cars away from these bird bombs, and how we should be removing bird droppings to prevent damage to our car’s paint.
Bird droppings are corrosive, and the longer they are on your car paint, the worse the damage can be. Bird poop is actually in a similar problematic category as dead insects and honeydew when it comes to cars parked under lime trees in spring, producing an acidic substance that can burn into the paint, especially when it sits stuck to bake under direct sunlight.
Keep the precious paint job protected on your vehicle by knowing how to remove bird poop from your car!
Bird Dropping Issues
Before you start to full-on panic when thinking about your new expensive car sitting in a parking lot outside open to attack, know that most of this potential damage can be avoided if you respond quickly and efficiently, and even better if you take preventative measures.
Bird poop is hard to wash off because the longer the droppings remain, the harder they get, causing paint discoloration and a substance that’s essentially been baked onto your vehicle.
Also, keep in mind that dried bird poop is too abrasive to scrub and could leave your car with scratches if you don’t soften it first to make removal smoother.
If you are able, clean off bird poop the exact same day it gets on your vehicle. It is a much simpler process to remove droppings when it is still fresh with the help of simple automotive soap and some water, if not even just wiping it off while it’s wet with a paper towel. Otherwise, it may be helpful to let the soapy water sit on the poop for a few minutes if it’s already dried and crusted.
Act fast because the chemicals in the feces can actually wear away small areas of paint:
Special wipes are available that have been designed to remove bird poop from cars, containing a special blend of chemicals that will neutralize the bird excrement and stop it from damaging your paint. These are helpful to carry around so you can quickly use it on the affected surface, following the instructions on the packaging, and then dispose of it.
Club soda can also get rid of bird poop from car paint or windshields in a pinch when the stain is relatively new. Spraying some in the exact area, leaving it for several minutes, and then rinse it away with cool water or use the windshield wipers.
Dried Bird Poop on Windshields
While dried dropping are require a bit of a tougher solution to the problem, it’s far from mission impossible as long as you still make the effort to clean it off as soon as you can.
Ignore your first impulse to start scraping away at the hardened bird poop because you don’t want to accidentally scratch the surface of your car. Follow the process below to get bird poop off cars after it has already dried up:
Soften the bird poop with liquid. You can dampen a cloth with the automotive soap/water mix we mentioned earlier to soften the unwelcomed dropping on your car by placing this cloth over the stain for about 5 minutes, or just pouring some of the mixture directly on it.
Remove the stain gently. Take off the damp cloth from the stain and spray some more soapy water directly onto the stain and leave it for several seconds. Wipe the area with a clean cloth, and gently scrub and wipe away the droppings, making sure not to apply too much pressure.
Thoroughly rinse the previously stained area. You don’t want to leave behind any residue, so make sure to use clean water to rinse the area. Wipe again with another clean cloth to get rid of any streaks or watermarks.
These steps walk you through the right way to remove bird poop from the exteriors of cars, trucks, and SUVs, but this method generally works anywhere else you have to deal with these annoying droppings. Additionally, consider having some of those bird poop specific wipes we mentioned on hand everywhere you go so you can address the mess as soon as it happens (or at least a lot sooner!).
Why Bird Poop is Bad for Your Vehicle
Why does bird poop stick to a windshield so much anyway? For one, birds don’t urinate, so when they get rid of waste from their bodies, it isn’t in a liquid form that some simple swipes of windshield wiper fluid could get rid of. Birds excrete what looks like a white paste, which is actually nitrogenous waste that is a form of uric acid, that, unfortunately, doesn’t dissolve in water alone that easily.
Secondly, birds have a cloaca, which allows them to urinate liquids and solids all in the same dropping. This causes bird poop to be corrosive enough to start eating away at the paint job on your vehicle, even more so when exposed to the sun.
Bird-Proofing Your Vehicle
In a lot of cases, birds drop their droppings while they are flying, which can lead you to believe that it is hopeless to be able to prevent them from tagging your car with their waste. But, there are a few ways to discourage them from messing up your car, and ways to increase the odds in your favor that you will return to your vehicle the way that you left it:
- Avoid parking your car near light posts, lamp poles, telephone wires, or any other common or apparent perching places.
- The edge of buildings is also a bad place to park because birds will often poop just after they take flight.
- If you see birds roosting, this is also a clear signal that you should stay away from parking under trees where the birds are congregating.
It may have come to a surprise that bird droppings don’t just reek in odor, but they can wreak havoc on your vehicle's pristine paint job!
Now that you have a better understanding of just how corrosive and acidic bird poop is, it will serve as an instant reminder to not waste any time getting rid of bird waste. It will be a lot more expensive trying to fix a paint discoloration than it will be to get your hands on the few minor things that it takes to clean off bird poop from your car properly.
Keeping your car away from obvious bird hang-outs is the best way to limit the likelihood that they will leave nasty presents all over your ride, and if they do, keep these instructions in mind to get your car clean as soon as you can!