Being splattered by bird poop is considered to be lucky for some. But perhaps not so much for your car’s paintwork if it falls victim to a flying attack. And with birds migrating home for the spring, it doesn’t take a BBC expert to predict an increase in this problem.
Of course, bird poop isn’t simply a comedy problem. The chemicals in the poop have the power to erode small areas of the paint, leaving stains on your bodywork or even causing permanent damage to your glowing and shiny paint job.
Acting quickly is key when it comes to preventing the damage caused by bird poop. It’s easier to remove when wet, and most of the problems are caused when this fowl material is left to linger on the bodywork.
However, fortune is on your side when it comes to removing the poop. Because you are already looking at our handy guide that gives you everything you need to combat these awful droppings.
Getting the poop off your car windows is nothing short of a doddle. If it’s still wet then you can wipe it straight off the glass with a damp cloth, a baby wipe, or even specialised bird poop wipers that are available these days. Or alternatively a regular window glass cleaner with vinegar will dissolve and neutralise the poop.
Pay attention to window rubbers as these can suffer from creamy grey stains from poop, but even if these do get damaged a black plastic and rubber restorer can bring back the darkness.
Preserving the Paintwork
There are two cases to consider when it comes to stopping poop from causing long term damage to the paintwork. These are as follows:
- Whilst the poop is still moist
If you manage to somehow catch a bird pooping on your car and the mess is still wet then you can use specialised wipes, that contain a blend of chemicals designed to neutralise the bird excrement. Use it on the affected surface, follow the instructions on the packaging and dispose of it. What could be easier?
Soda water, which is sometimes called club soda, is also your friend when it comes to getting poop off car paint or windshields whilst the stain is still fresh. Spray a small amount on the affected area, leave for a few minutes and then rinse away with a little warm water. Also good for getting partially dried poop off windows and the wipers.
- When the poop has dried on
You may of course be disappointed to discover that the poop has gone rock hard by the time you discover it sitting on your vehicle’s bodywork. Place a damp cloth or car cleaning wipe over the poop for a few minutes. It should come away easy afterwards.
Always avoid using too much pressure, using a rubbing or scraping motion to dislodge the droppings. Be too harsh and you may damage or scratch the paint. If you cannot get rid of all the mess the first time, simply place another damp cloth or cleaning wipe over the remains offensive matter and repeat until everything has gone completely.
Rinse the area thoroughly. Ensure there are no chemicals left behind on the bodywork by dousing with clean water. To get the perfect finish you may want to wipe the area with another clean cloth to help prevent streaks or watermarks.
Remember that both bird poop and cleaning products are not the best for your skin and wear disposable gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
What If the Bird Poop Causes Damage?
If the paintwork has little dull spots caused by the acidic nature of bird mess, this can generally be resolved with a little care and attention. In extreme cases you are probably looking at a visit to a car detailing company or a paint restoration expert.
Correcting the paint at home starts with washing the car to ensure its clean. Once the bodywork has dried, lightly apply an abrasive car polish to the affected area, following the manufacturer’s instructions. This should remove the outermost layer of paintwork, exposing the lower, fresher layers of colour, giving you back that full colour look.
Following this procedure, apply the affected area with a wax or sealant to protect it from the sunshine and wet weather. If you are still concerned about the damage and condition of the paint, an expert will be able to use professional products and an orbital polisher to get your car looking good once again.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
There are a few tricks you should keep in your arsenal to protect against the onslaught of bird poop. Some of our favourites include:
- Car shampoo – has ingredients that protect against the acid nature of bird poop.
- Waxing your car – adds that additional protective layer that stops poop from penetrating all the way through to the paint.
- Check your car – regularly if you don’t drive it every day to stop damage from setting in from dried on poop.
- Watch where you park – as putting your car under regular bird haunts is only going to increase the propensity of an attack.
- Red and blue cars – are especially vulnerable as the birds seem to love these colours for target practice. According to a survey by Halfords, red cars are birds favourite, making up 18% of all incidents, followed by blue cars at 14% of all attacks.
- Cover your mirrors – birds can see the reflections of themselves and assume that this is a rival competing for their territory. And you know how they will mark out their space.
- Get an awning – if you live in the country or your driveway is located under some big trees then put up a physical barrier that stops the rot.
Don’t be too hard on the birds. It’s great to live in a country where we still have a good quality and quantity of indigenous fauna and there’s nothing like being woken by the gentle refrains of the birds… Until you see your car, of course.