A car is one of the more expensive purchases that most of us will make in life, typically second only to a house. And to keep a car running smoothly, it requires regular maintenance and care. This can save you thousands in repair costs over the life of the car.
There is also a desire to keep it looking smooth too. This is especially true for more expensive vehicles. When putting that much money into the car, it is only natural that the owner would want to keep it looking the best that it possibly can.
One of the most aggravating things that can happen to a car owner looking to keep his or her vehicle looking fresh is bird poop. We have all been there before: we are admiring a freshly washed car when the specter of doom appears in the sky.
The next thing we know, the bird has left its droppings on the car, ruining all of the work previously done.
Not only is bird poop on the car an annoying thing to deal with but it also means that you have to get it off. No one wants to drive around with dried bird poop on his or her vehicle. This takes away from the rest of the car and acts as a constant, nagging reminder of the deed that was done.
But once the anger subsides, the question becomes more about how to remove that annoying mess than anything else. What methods are there for cleaning bird poop from a car?
Here are a few helpful methods that will have your car looking good as new once again.
1 – A Wet Cloth
While it is great to have some kind of fancy new spray or cleaning tool at your disposal, that isn’t a reality for everyone. And when you think about it, bird poop on cars has been around for decades and those people didn’t have the tools we do now.
If you want to get bird poop off of your car, all you really need is a wet cloth to get the job done. There are plenty of vehicle-safe cleaning solutions out there that you can use.
If you have any doubts about your choice, do a cursory Internet search or even call a local body shop for recommendations.
When the cloth has been properly soaked, leave it on top of the stain for around 15 minutes or so. This will allow the cleaning solution to soak into the bird poop spot and break it down. Remove the cloth and then gently rub to remove the last remnants of the poop spot.
For the more durable and stubborn bird poop stains, you may have to do this a time or two to fully break down the stain and get it removed. When you have successfully removed the bird poop stain, you should smooth out the spot.
Use a little bit of polish or a clay bar. The idea here is to buff the paint to make it match the rest of your vehicle.
It cannot be stated enough that you should do your research prior to using a cleaning solution. There are some that will do serious damage to the finish of your car and can result in some major spots of damage that can’t be fixed without a complete repaint.
2 – Use a Detailing Spray
Using a quick detailing spray as well as a soft microfiber towel is one of the most convenient ways to get that nasty bird poop off of your car. Not only are they cheap, but detailing sprays can make short work of those bird poop spots.
Even better, detailing spray can actually handle a lot of other things. This includes water spots, bugs, grease, fingerprints, and any other contaminants that could potentially damage the finish of the car. That finish is what keeps your car looking shiny and new for a long time to come.
Best of all, you only have to use the detailing spray sparingly. If applied in proper quantities, quick detailing spray should be able to last for years at a time.
That is a great tool to have in a pinch or when a bird leaves a present on your car.
3 – WD-40
WD-40 is something of a do-it-all spray in the do-it-yourself world. Most commonly used to oil rusty or squeaky hinges, it can double as a tough stain remover as well. As a matter of fact, there are studies that have shown an amazing 259 automotive uses alone for WD-40.
One of those uses is in being able to clean bird poop off of your car. If water and soap can’t get that nasty little spot out, spritz some of your WD-40 on the area. Give it about a minute to sit and eat away at the spot, then rinse it or wipe it away with a soft, clean cloth.
The bird poop spot should be gone for good with just one application but the thicker spots can take a time or two. Either way, WD-40 is a cheap and versatile way to get bird poop off of your car and about a thousand other things that can pop up in your life.
If you don’t have WD-40 in your home or garage already, invest a couple of bucks to ensure that you have it. There is no doubt that WD-40 will come in handy more than a time or two so make sure that you have a can on hand.
It is one of the most versatile tools that any home handyperson can have at their disposal.
4 – Car Wipes for Bird Poop
This is a common issue for car owners and has been for the longest time. So it only makes sense that someone would develop wipes that are meant to remove bird poop from the finish of your car.
This is a special product and it is specifically designed to get rid of any dry poop spots that may be hovering around on your car.
These wipes are made of ultra-soft, biodegradable bamboo. Not only that, but they have an all-natural liquid formula that will get rid of that unsightly bird poop spot in short order. It does this by destabilizing and then neutralizing the uric acid that can be found in the bird’s droppings.
Having a pack of these on hand can be incredibly handy. Any time that a bird decides to turn your car into a bullseye, you just have to break these bad boys out, wipe away the poop, and toss them in the garbage. It is really that simple.
You should be able to get them at a local automotive store or even a large chain retailer that has their own automotive department. Keeping a pack on hand could be a wise decision, especially if you want your car to be shining at all times.
5 – Baking Soda and Water
Not all of us have WD-40 or bird poop wipes available in our homes. That’s okay, though, because there is another simple solution that can be implemented in the form of baking soda and a little bit of hot water.
Baking soda has many different cleaning applications, making it a versatile tool in the battle against stains. All you need is a spray bottle, hot or warm water, and baking soda.
Start with a quart of the water and mix in four tablespoons of the baking soda to create your cleaning mixture.
Shake the mixture thoroughly before using it and then squirt your solution onto the dried bird poop stain. Give it time to soak into the stain; this will be somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes.
When the mixture has had a chance to do its work, rinse it away with your hose.
Depending on the age, size, and thickness of the poop stain, it might take a time or two for your baking soda and water mixture to fully break down the stain. Best of all, you won’t need to go to the store for any extra bird poop removal tools.
6 – Seltzer Water
Important note here: you should absolutely not use this as a method to clean bird poop off of your windows or paint. Seltzer water is actually very corrosive when it comes to automotive paint, rubber, and wax and can do serious damage to your vehicle.
If you have bird poop on your windshield, however, seltzer water can make a great tool for removing it. Club soda also might work.
All you have to do is pour it over the affected spot and let it sit for a few minutes. When the time has passed, spray it clean with your hose or turn the windshield wipers on to get rid of it.
As with the other methods, it might take a time or two depending on just how large the spot is or how many there are. If the seltzer water doesn’t get rid of the stain within a couple of tries, it might be time to move on to another method.
7 – Laundry Detergent for the Upholstery
For those of us with sunroofs or convertibles, there is an added danger of contamination. And there will likely come a time for all of us where the sunroof or top gets left open and we forget about it.
When this happens, it is an open target for overhead fowl. Whether it is a single stain or a gaggle of them, you can be left wondering what to do about the stain or stains that are now covering your seat.
Thankfully, there is a relatively easy fix even if you have a fabric convertible top.
The first step is to let the bird poop dry. This might seem to go against the idea of removing it but it is easier to clean the poop stain when it is dry. Wet bird poop can smear when wiped, spreading it all over the car instead of removing it.
When it has dried, try to pick off the bird poop with something such as a nail file, a scraper, or anything that will remove it without ripping the fabric of the top. There should be a white residue or stain that remains left over.
Treat these stains using just a drop or two of your unscented laundry detergent (liquid form) and then pat the area gently with a damp cloth. Rinse your cloth and then use it to slowly scrub the area until the stain and the detergent are both gone.
Lastly, let it air dry and do so in an area where birds can’t show up to ruin the day once again.
8 – Call a Detailer
For the truly tough stains, there may not be anything that removes them completely from the exterior or upholstery of your vehicle. Instead of being frustrated and simply living with those stains, you should call in a professional car detailer instead.
A service such as this specializes in getting a car truly clean no matter what the situation or scenario. Not only will they remove the stain from your car but they will also wash, wax, polish, and vacuum out the vehicle.
That is the kind of thorough cleaning that will leave your car looking as if it just rolled off the lot.
Keep in mind that this will likely be a far more costly endeavor than using one of the methods above. But if a stain won’t come up, it sometimes requires bringing in the big guns to get the job done.
If you can’t stand the sight of those bird poop stains, no matter how faded they may be, a detailer may be your path to sanity.
Bird poop is a natural nemesis for the aesthetic of cars everywhere. It will continue to be this way so long as birds and cars continue to exist. But the bird doesn’t have to get the last laugh any more when there are so many ways to get those spots out.
I have a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies…I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.