Don’t Let Bird Poop Ruin Your Car’s Paint!

Cherryl Anne Cruz

It’s the bane of every driver who owns a car: bird poop after a freshly-cleaned vehicle.

And it’s something you might have encountered at one point in time. This is especially true if you live in places where there are a lot of  trees or bodies of water, such as rivers or lakes.

Bird poop on the car

The problem with bird poop

We really don’t have any issues with our feathered friends. However, their droppings do wreak a lot of havoc in car paint, which in some cases, require expensive repair.

Bird poop is very acidic. It contains uric acid, which falls in the range of about 3.5 to 4.5 pH. Once these white stuff fall on your car, then they start to burn on your paint’s surface, eating them out and etching their way through it. And the damage it causes becomes more serious the longer it stays there.

To make things worse, some overzealous owners would inadvertently clean the droppings to the point of scratching the car’s paint underneath. So that small patch suddenly becomes deeper and much harder to get rid of.

Bird poop drying on a car

Another reason for that “etching effect” is that the top layer of lacquer paint softens and expands as it warms up during the day. Meanwhile, bird poop dries up and hardens. Once the lacquer cools down at night, it forms a mold over the hardened bird droppings, leaving those unsightly small bumps on the car’s paint.

Over time, that paint will start to chip away and erode the paint, leaving it to look like this:

Eroded car paint

How to safely remove bird poop

Remember: the earlier you remove the bird droppings, the lesser the damage on your car’s paint.

This is especially true if the weather is hot or very sunny, since they can soften lacquer more easily–and harden bird poop much faster.

The best way to remove them is to put some water on the bird poop. You can also place a damp cloth over it and leave it for a few minutes. Repeat this process until you see an almost liquid glue consistency.

Get a non-abrasive, dry cloth or some facial tissues, and gently wipe it off in an upward to downward stroke (or vice versa). Avoid wiping it off using circular strokes.

Cleaning bird poop

Make sure not to press hard when doing this. It’s also important not to scrape or rub the droppings when they’re dry, since paint can easily transfer with them once they’re removed.

And don’t forget to wash your hands after you’re finished.

How to prevent birds from pooping on your car

Birds will more likely poop in places they often hang out in. And they usually do “their thing” before or while they take off. Therefore, avoiding these places can significantly lessen chances of bird droppings on your car.

What are some of these places? They include:

  • Telephone wires
  • Trees
  • Lakes, rivers
  • Electric posts
  • Light posts
  • Garbage dumps
  • Building’s edges (especially near parking lots)
Pigeons chilling out

But what if you live in an area with a lot of birds? Then the best thing to do is to put a cover on your car. That way, it’s protected all throughout the day.

Some people also suggest placing a huge picture of a bird predator (like an eagle) killing a prey on your car window. Another alternative is to hang small, black plastic bags or even some reflective tape on your car’s windows and windshield.

In the end, our goal is to live peacefully with our feathered friends without them messing up our car in the process. And there are many safe, and easy ways to do this. All it takes is a bit of your creativity and patience to try them out. Soon, you’ll find the one that works best for you (and the birds as well).

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