The sun is out and the birds are in the sky feasting on the swarms of bugs and insects that the warm weather also brings out. Unfortunately along with this feasting comes the inevitable fallout – the downpour of bird muck, droppings, lime, mess, poop or whatever you want to call it. Straight onto to our car’s newly polished shiny paintwork. In this article I aim to guide your through the process of how to remove bird muck etching, stains and marks from your cars paintwork.
Firstly we will look at the fresh stuff and how to clean bird poop off car paintwork. Then I will also guide you through the steps to remove dried bird poop on car paint in a way that best prevents scratching from pips, seeds and other hard bits within it.
First – How To Clean Fresh Bird Poo Off Your Car
As you will know it is vital that as soon as you spot any bird mess on your paintwork you must remove it as quickly as possible.
As depending on what the particular bird has had for its lunch the chemicals in the resultant muck can very quickly etch into and mark your cars’ paintwork.
Bird Dropping Wipes
To remove the bird muck we would recommend you always carry either some bird muck wipes with you in your car.
Two popular and effective bird poop wipes are Autoglym Bird Dropping Wipes.
Unlike general purpose wipes these specialist products contain the right blend of chemicals within them to immediately start to neutralise the bird poop.
If the bird droppings appear when you are closer to home you can also use milk to immediately pour onto the mess to help neutralise some of the acids which the bird muck can contain and which do the majority of the damage.
A couple of other effective products designed to act fast in neutralising the harmful chemicals in the bird poop and removing the fresh muck from your paintwork include STAR BRITE Spider & Bird Stain Remover Spray and Bugz Out
If you have access to any of these then the next best thing is to carry a bottle of detailing spray and microfibre cloths in your trunk.
Removing Dried On Bird Poop
If the bird muck has already dried onto your paintwork as it can contain pips, seeds and other harder materials you do not want to be trying to wipe it off without first ensuring it is fully softened.
To do this you can simply spray a good amount of your bird muck remover or detailing spray or quick wax onto a folded soft microfibre cloth, the plusher the fibres, the better.
Next place the wetted side of the cloth onto the dried bird muck and gently pour some water onto the cloth, just enough thoroughly soak into the cloth but not so much that it streams down your paintwork.
Leave it on the dried bird muck for at least 10-15 minutes so that it soaks deep into the mess. After this time pinch the cloth around the droppings with your fingers and pull up and away from your paintwork to lift the muck away from your car, rather than wiping the muck across the paint.
For really dried on muck, you may have to leave longer and for seriously hardened bird poop it may be even worth leaving it to soak through overnight.
Finally spray the area where the bird muck had been, with your detailing spray and using a clean microfibre gently wipe the affected area until thoroughly clean.
Hopefully, you will have caught the mess in time to avoid any serious damage or etching.
The Secret To Removing Bird Dropping Stains & Etching
In the unfortunate situation that you do see some resultant bird muck stains and etching then fortunately there are products available that can help reduce and remove the marks in your car’s paint.
Firstly you need to understand a little of what has happened to your paintwork and what action these products will make to correct the unsightly marks.
The etching process from bird muck is essentially the chemicals from the birds’ digestive system and those from whatever it has eaten combining to form some very fast-acting and corrosive acids.
When these land on your car they immediately begin to “eat” into the paint making the surface uneven and causing the marks you can see and associate the bird much etching.
To “remove” the etch marks you essentially need to bring down the level of the paint immediately around the etching to the same level and the newly etched paint. Now in most cases, we are only talking in microns or thousandths of millimeters and not enough to eat or abrade all the way through the clear coat.
What Products To Use To Remove Bird Muck Marks
The secret is to use a product that is known as a diminishing abrasive – that is the more your work it in, the finer its abrasiveness becomes, so it does not marr or leave behind scratch marks which you would then have to try and remove separately.
We tend to use the Ultimate Compound on light etch marks and the ScratchX on the heavier marks.
Using a foam or microfibre applicator pad, work small amounts of these products in and around the etched area, and then when the product has disappeared apply another small amount and work that through.
I tend to prefer working in small back and forth motions but you can also work in a circular motion if preferred. Repeat until the etching has either disappeared or is vastly reduced.
In some extreme cases you may need to either call on a professional detailer or use a machine polisher to remove the etching completely, but in 95% of cases, the above method should help resolve the issue.
Don’t forget to always finish off the area that has been worked on with a new coat of your favourite wax or sealant to re-protect your paintwork from the elements.
And finally when dealing with bird muck wherever possible remember to use a pair of latex or nitrile gloves or immediately wash your hands in warm water or use a germ-killing wipe or hand wash.
Bird muck can actually contain some very nasty diseases an needs to be treated with caution, avoiding contact with skin and eyes etc whenever possible.
Have you got your own favourite tips or products for removing bird droppings, etching, marks or stains from your cars paintwork. We would love to hear about them – please share them with our other readers in a comment below. Also if you found this article useful please feel free to share it with others via your favourite social media channels and don’t forget to request my Free Detailing Guides packed full of even more useful and interesting motorcare hints tips and how to’s.