Removing bird poop from car paint
We've all had it happen - leaving our car in a nice park in the shade, only to come back and find a feathered friend, (not a friend anymore) has unceremoniously left a nice white deposit or two on your pride and joys' paint. Funny how this always happens just after you've washed the car as well?
As many people have unfortunately found; if the bird poo is not removed quickly, it can damage and etch into your paint, sometimes leaving serious damage in the most extreme cases.
The reason this happens is that a major part of the poop is uric acid (the white stuff), which depending on what the bird has eaten, can etch right into the paint, sometimes within minutes.
Prevention is best
Prevention is the best cure for this one. Firstly, before you park your car, check the ground; if you see signs of birds resting above (bird poo on the ground) - park elsewhere. Sometimes though, it's not from parking under a tree, but a dive-bomb attack in the middle of nowhere. So for these, it really pays to be prepared by having a good barrier on your paint. Make sure your car is waxed often as this will slow the acid moving into the paint, but as we have found, hardcore poop (like that from bats) can go through waxes, sealants, and even nano based coatings with ease. So an extra layer will just give you more time, it's still the most critical thing to remove it as fast as you can from your cars' paint.
This is why we recommend people have a microfibre cloth and bottle of the Clean Detail in their cars at all times. If you can get to it quickly enough, you will be in luck and there should be no damage to the paints' surface. If you have access to water or a hose, get that on it ASAP, but for many, it happens when we are far away from home so the Clean Detail becomes your best bet.
First off, if the bird poo has dried out, you need to get it liquid again.
Make sure you flood the area with Clean Detail spray, applying about three times the amount you would if just using it as a detailing spray.
Leave to sit
Leave to sit for 30 seconds to a minute, spraying a little extra if it looks like it is drying.
Fold the microfibre cloth in 4 ways and try to lift the poop off, DO NOT WIPE OR SCRUB. This is because most birds will eat small stones to help grind up their food. These stones do not get digested, becoming a part of the poop on your car, so a wiping motion will create scratching. Each time you pull the cloth off, you will see the poop remnants in the cloth - don't wipe this back into the paint.
Always fold and use a clean section of cloth on your paint to minimise the chance of any more damage occurring.
Keep re-applying Clean Detail if the poop mark persists on top of the paint, or if the paint has no liquid on it.
Once the residue is all gone, spray the area with a mist of Clean Detail and wipe it dry with a clean section of the microfibre cloth. Remember to not wipe the areas you have not sprayed, as there is a chance of creating scratches as you rub dirt or grime into the paint.
If the bird poop has left a mark in the paint, which generally is a speckled, dull finish in comparison to the rest of the paint, you can try and remove it with the Auto Body Cleanser. This will work to further clean up and remove the mark as long as it's not too deep. Wash and dry the car, then apply the cleanser to an applicator pad as per its instructions, apply in a circular motion on the marks and surrounding area, leave to dry and then buff off and inspect. Apply a second time if required. Always remember to protect the paint after cleansing with Auto Body Wax, Lazy Wax or Fully Slick.
If the mark is still there after this, it will potentially need to be removed mechanically by a machine, which is usually best left for a professional detailer who has experience in the field with this sort of thing.
If there is cracking in the paint surface, which can happen if the poop has been left on for too long and penetrated deeply into the paint, there is nothing any product or service can do to fix this, other than going to see your local panel shop and look at respraying the area. This could have been avoided if you removed the poop earlier.
So always keep a bottle of Clean Detail with a microfibre cloth in your car at all times!
I hope this short article has helped you with knowing more about getting the bird poo off your cars' paint.
You can find the products we used at numerous supporting retailers across Australia. The closest one to you can be found in the link at the bottom of this page.
If you have any questions or feedback about this article please contact me by email - [email protected] or call our office on 1800 351 308.
Love your car,