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Seagull pooping on parking lot sign.

You do a lot to protect your vehicle. You keep insurance up to date. You make sure your tires and brakes are in good shape. You get your oil changes done religiously. But what about birds? You may not even realize the threat that birds can be to your vehicle. If you truly want to protect your vehicle and keep its value high, you have to think about the birds. Specifically, bird poop. Keep reading to learn more about the threat bird poop can pose to your vehicle. 

Bird Poop and How It Can Ruin Your Car’s Finish

We all know that a birds mess, often referred to as bird crap or shit, on cars is unattractive, but few people realize that these droppings actually pose a real threat to your vehicle’s paint job and the car's overall value. Trying to keep a vehicle’s value high is a priority for many people. They want to know that they will be able to resell or trade the vehicle in at a later date and get a good deal. Protecting your car’s paint job is vital to retaining your vehicle’s value. 

Bird Poop Is Highly Acidic

Bird poop can damage the finish on your car in several ways. Firstly, bird droppings are highly acidic. The acidity can eat away at the car's paint job, causing it to fade or even peel. This is particularly true if the droppings are left on the car for an extended period of time.

Although bird waste may look harmless at first, there is really more than meets the eye. Bird waste contains a chemical called uric acid. This acid is created in a bird’s body because they do not have a bladder or a stomach to separate solids and liquids. Mammals have both a bladder and a stomach to perform this important function. Because a bird does not have this, they instead have an organ called a cloaca. Within this organ, waste will mix with uric acid. This turns the waste into a semi-solid which we know as bird waste. 

The acidity level can be between 3-4.5. This is definitely high enough to eat through the average paint job.  

There’s More Than Just Poop In Bird Poop!

Secondly, bird poop often contains small bits of grit or gravel, which can scratch the surface of your car. These scratches can become more pronounced over time, especially if they are repeatedly exposed to the elements.

Weather Can Make Bird Droppings Even More Damaging To Paint

Thirdly, the heat of the sun can exacerbate the damage caused by bird poop. When the droppings dry under the sun, they can adhere more firmly to the paint. This makes it harder to remove them without causing further damage.

Lack Of Proper Cleaning Can Lead To Long Term Bird Poop Damage

Finally, if bird droppings are not cleaned off promptly, they can lead to staining. The longer the droppings stay on the car, the more likely they are to leave a permanent mark.

In conclusion, bird poop can cause significant damage to your car's finish if not dealt with promptly. It's best to clean off any droppings as soon as you notice them to minimize potential harm.

How To Prevent Birds From Pooping On Your Car

Now that we’ve had a quick reminder on exactly how bird poop can damage your car, it’s time to circle back and look for ways to help mitigate the problem in the first place. Luckily, for most of us this can be a relatively easily solution - simply use a car cover or park in a garage or car port.

Use a car cover Protects the entire car, easy to use May be cumbersome to put on and take off, may not be practical for frequent use Finding a cover that fits your car perfectly
Install bird deterrents Can be effective, wide variety available Some birds may not be deterred, could be seen as unattractive Choosing the right deterrent, installing it properly
Park in a garage or under cover Provides complete protection, no need for additional measures Not always available or practical Access to a garage or covered area
Use a bird repellent spray Easy to apply, relatively inexpensive Effectiveness can vary, may need frequent reapplication Finding a safe and effective product, regular application
Regular cleaning Keeps car looking nice, can discourage birds from returning Time-consuming, may not prevent birds from pooping initially Regular maintenance, access to cleaning facilities

Bird poop is inevitable if you park outside and realistically, even if your garage - bird droppings can still make their way to your paint while driving and potentially even from birds that are trapped in the garage or flying through the parking structure.

Bird Deterrents

Bird deterrents have been used for thousands of years by farmers to prevent damage to their crops but now you’re looking for something to do a similar role at home. These bird deterrents will generally fall into four different categories: chemical sprays, noise, movement and light reflections, and predator replicas.

Here are ways to ensure that birds avoid your car. When selecting a way to birdproof your car, have in mind to protect the environment. Ensure that you use eco-friendly means to get rid of the birds. You can opt to have a fake owl on a rotating pillar. Owls are stealthy birds of prey and are feared by all other birds. When setting the decoy, you can decide to place the owl on top of the car so that birds will fear to nest on it.

There is another alternative that you can use, and that is using a fake snake. When you put a fake snake in the vicinity of the car, it can deter the birds from swarming on your car. On the other hand, you need to find out what kind of birds mess with your car. In that, some birds feed on snakes.

To avoid expensive exorbitant carwash bills, you need to know how to protect your car from bird poop before it even becomes an issue of having to clean it. Most birds poop when flying; there are ways that you can use to ensure birds do not poop on your car.

Car Covers

It does not matter what type of deterrent you might have - bird crap will find a way to strike your car. As such, the best and final layer of defense is to find a cover to protect your car from birds' droppings. You need to ensure that you have purchased a high-quality car cover that will last for long to ensure that you do not buy multiple car covers over time. Car covers are easy to order online at companies like CarCoverUsa, and can have a long-lasting impact on preserving your vehicle’s paint job and value.

Besides protecting your car from bird poop, a car cover helps reduce the effect of UV rays. When the vehicle is well covered, you reduce the damage to the car due to harsh weather conditions.

How To Protect Your Car From Bird Poop Once They Do!

Bird poop can be a real nuisance, especially when it hits your car's paint. Not only does it look unsightly, but it can also cause damage if not properly dealt with. Here's how to protect your car from bird poop once it lands on your paint:

  1. Act Fast: The faster you remove bird poop from your car, the less likely it is to cause damage. Bird droppings are acidic and can eat into your car's paint if left unattended.
  2. Use a Car Cleaning Product: There are plenty of car cleaning products on the market that are designed to safely remove bird poop. Look for one that is pH neutral to ensure it won't harm your car's paint.
  3. Soft Cloth and Water: If you don't have a car cleaning product on hand, you can use a soft cloth and warm water. Gently wipe the area until the bird poop is removed.
  4. Wax Your Car: Regularly waxing your car can provide a protective layer between the paint and any bird droppings that might land on it. The wax will make it easier to remove the poop and reduce the chance of it causing damage.
  5. Use a Car Cover: If your car is often parked in an area where birds congregate, consider using a car cover. This can provide an extra layer of protection and prevent bird poop from landing on your car in the first place.
  6. Park Strategically: Try to avoid parking under trees or near bodies of water where birds are likely to gather. If you can't avoid these areas, be vigilant about checking your car for bird poop and removing it promptly.

By following these steps, you can protect your car from the potential damage caused by bird poop. It may require a bit of extra effort, but it's worth it to maintain the look and integrity of your car's paint.

Wax vs Ceramic Coatings - Which Is A Better Solution To Protecting Your Paint?

Two of the more advanced methods for giving your car longer-lasting protection from bird droppings is adding a layer of high-quality carnauba wax or a ceramic coating. Both of these techniques work on a similar principle - fill in the microscopic imperfections in your car’s paint and sealant so that bird poop can slide right off with a quick wash.

 How Bird Poop Damages Your CarWax CoatingsCeramic Coatings
Durability Less durable, needs reapplication every few months Extremely durable, can last up to several years
Protection Provides basic protection against UV rays, minor scratches Offers superior protection against UV rays, scratches, chemicals, heat
Appearance Gives a deep, glossy finish to the paint Provides a high-gloss finish, maintains the original paint color
Cost Generally cheaper More expensive due to its long-lasting nature
Application Process Easier to apply, can be done at home Requires professional application for best results
Maintenance Requires regular maintenance and reapplication Requires less maintenance, rarely needs reapplication

Each of those two solutions has it’s own unique advantages and disadvantages though and realistically it’s going to come down to time and money. If you are buying a brand new vehicle and protecting it bird poop then it might be best to invest in getting a professional ceramic coating. Otherwise, there are “at home’ waxes and ceramic coatings treatments that you can do that will give you go results - though will need to be re-applied every year or two.

What Is the Best Way To Clean Bird Poop From Your Car?

No matter what you do - bird shit is going to happen. It’s a crappy feeling to come back to your car and realize that no matter how diligent you were with parking it away from trees and making sure to have protection like a good wax job … shit happens.

The key here is to be able to clean all of the poop from your car, without further damaging the paint. This means you must use very basic detergents as well as other methods such as using baking soda paste.

Use Baking Soda

Baking soda helps in cleaning various types of cleaning. One of the major stains that you can clean using baking soda is when birds poop on your car. When you mix warm water and baking soda, you can clean the bird poop

Use of unscented laundry soap

When you have that perfect car, and bird poop is stuck on the hood. You need to ensure that you use unscented laundry soap to scrub it off. There are steps that you need to make sure you follow to get the birds poop away.

  1. You need to ensure that you let the bird poop dry since cleaning wet bird poop is hard on the upholstery
  2. You need to scrape the bird poop using a plastic scraper not to scratch the car
  3. You need to make sure that you remove the white residue on the car with drops of laundry detergent
  4. You need to put on a glove before you clean the surface of the car.
  5. After you have rinsed the car, ensure you allow it to dry naturally, or you can opt to dry the car with a cloth.

Use Seltzer water

Seltzer water has carbonation that breaks dry bird droppings. The water is perfect for cleaning windshields and windows. When you need to clean the birds dropping, pour the seltzer water or club soda on the droppings. After using the carbonated water, ensure that you hose down the car,

Go For Car Detailing

When you take your car to detail, they have the perfect cleaning products to clean your car. Bird poop will be easily removed by professional cleaners in that they are trained on how to remove the bird poop.

A Final Word On Bird Poop And Your Car!

You need to make sure that you know how to rid your car of any bird poop if you follow the above guidelines. You will have a perfect car when you ensure that you have rid your car of birds.

Written by:
#MenWhoBlog MemberBlogging GuruThought Leader

James' passion for exploration and sense of duty to his community extends beyond himself. This means he is dedicated to providing a positive role model for other men and especially younger guys that need support so that they can thrive and be future positive contributors to society. This includes sharing wisdom, ideas, tips, and advice on subjects that all men should be familiar with, including: family travel, men's health, relationships, DIY advice for home and yard, car care, food, drinks, and technology. Additionally, he's a travel advisor and a leading men's travel influencer who has been featured in media ranging from New York Times to the Chicago Tribune, and LA Times. He's also been cited by LA Weekly "Top Travel Bloggers To Watch 2023" and featured by Muck Rack: "Top 10 Outdoor Journalists for 2022".

He and his wife Heather live in St Joseph, Michigan - across the lake from Chicago.