How to remove bird poo
Written by: Vinnie van Rooij
Bird poo can be a big problem with paintwork and needs to be removed as soon as possible. Bird droppings have several aggressive chemicals in them that can severely damage paintwork. Not removing these can cause paint defects that might not be removable. In some cases a respray is needed to repair the surface.
Why remove bird poo
Bird droppings contain several types of chemicals that can negatively affect paintwork. Although wax, sealants and coating offer a strong barrier against these types of chemicals, the levels of resistance is limited. If left too long, and/or too often, the bird dropping can still have a severe impact on the paintwork. The chemicals in bird droppings will stain the surface and can eventually etch the surface, leaving deep marks in the paintwork that need polishing to remove.
Bird droppings consists out of (among other things); ammonium oxalate (with high nitrogen levels), posphates, salt, minerals, organic material, uric acid, phosphoric acid and potash.
Bird poo removal
The speed with which you should remove bird droppings isn’t fixed. If the weather is wet and cold, the bird droppings will not dry up as quickly. In fact, when it rains a part of the bird dropping would run off with the rain water. Decreasing the speed with which the droppings need to be removed. In the summer, bird dropping will dry up much quicker, making them more difficult to remove and increasing the speed of the damage caused by the chemicals. In general it is recommended to remove the bird poo within days at the most.
If bird poo is very fresh, it can be removed by simply washing with shampoo. The shampoo is strong enough to remove the bird dropping. However, rinse out the washmitt carefully after cleaning.
Soak with APC
If the bird dropping is a little bit older and has started to dry. Either spray the area with APC, or soak a microfiber cloth in APC and cover the area. After a while it should be soft enough to simply wipe off. After this, clean the area by washing the panel with shampoo.
Wipe after with IPA
Some of the stronger chemicals in bird droppings won’t be deactivated once washed away. To neutralize these spray some IPA over the area, or wipe down the area with a similar product. This will neutralize some of the chemicals and remove any left-behind residue.
When using snowfoam it is possible that the snowfoam has loosened up the bird dropping enough to not show it. But don’t forget that some dirt doesn’t always show. The chemicals can still be there even when the dropping itself isn’t visible anymore.
In pretty much all cases it is recommended to re-apply a layer of protection. The bird dropping will almost always have affected your protective product.
Why birds poo on washed/polished cars
The exact reason hasn’t been proven by science. but the general consensus is that birds poo more often when above water. The glossy and shiny surface of a washed and/or polished car can give the bird the impression that they are flying/sitting above water. Droppings that are done while flying would be pure coincidence according to some. There are several theories why birds seem to poop more often on clean cars, but none have been proven.
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