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Does Bird Poop Ruin Car Paint?

White birds above the car.

Nothing inspires road rage more than birds “going” on your car after you’ve just washed it. Not only that, but my experience has been that it can’t be wiped off or scraped off. You have to go through the car wash again.

So here’s a question for you: if you leave it on there (you might not have time to do the car wash thing,) will bird poo ruin your car’s paint?

Okay, Class, Let’s Begin With The Composition of Bird Poop. Then We’ll Know How It Can Damage Our Cars

White bird flying with poop.

It’s important to know that different birds eat different things. Ducks and geese eat fish in ponds and rivers. Carrion birds eat the meat of dead animals. The smaller birds you and I see every day eat seeds, fruits, insects, flower buds, some kinds of nuts, and grains, to name a few. 

This is important to know because when birds digest their food, it’s processed in the cloaca and then excreted. Birds have no stomach for processing like mammals do, so the process is simpler. Birds don’t drink a lot of water due to the weight of carrying it around as they fly. Water’s a little heavy. 

So you basically have a kind of goop made of digested grains, flower petals, and such mixed with a tiny bit of water. Urine is mixed in there, too.

Bird poo is made up of (a) the green portion or the actual feces, (b) the white portion or the urates located in the kidneys, and (c) the liquid portion or the urine that also comes from the kidneys.

What Is It About Bird Poo That Ruins A Car’s Paint?

Red car with bird poop.

If nothing stuck to a car’s paint, then drivers wouldn’t have anything about which to complain or joke. Bird poo, as opposed to animal poo, contains uric acid, also called guanine. Animals pee it out, but birds poop theirs. It’s a sticky white mess that glues itself to a car. 

Grab a coffee, because we’re going back to chemistry class for a minute. Nature prefers its creations to be pH neutral or from 0 to 7. Uric acid isn’t neutral, because its hydrogen ions outnumber its hydroxide ions.

Thus, the hydrogen ions declare war on the hydroxide ions in order to neutralize the pH. So, they attack the ones on your car paint. The scary part is that it only takes 48 hours for the acidic poo to eat through your car’s paint. Get to the car wash immediately, if not sooner.

What Happens If A Driver Leaves The Bird Poo On His Vehicle For Longer Than Two Days?

An old car full of poop.

That’s a good question, so let’s talk about damage. Refill your coffee, because it’s off to physics class now. Parking your car in the sun causes the heat to make the paint expand. Bird poo gets into the now wide-open paint.

Parking your car at home at night means the cool of the night closes up the open pores of the paint. Unfortunately, it also seals in the damaging bird poo. The only solution is to use a car cover or park in a parking garage. 

Not only is the car’s paint involved in a damaging relationship with bird poo. Once the poo does its terrible thing, the car’s body is no longer protected. Rain will begin getting into the damaged places, causing the vehicle to rust.

That Sounds Pretty Bad And Also A Little Expensive. What’s The Answer?

Man repainting the car.

A car that sits in the backyard or is parked under trees for any length of time will have unwelcome spots on it. The driver can wash it as best he can and live with the faded spots. The alternate solution is to have the car or the panels involved repaired and repainted. 

Would You Believe There Are Tips And Hacks For Removing Bird Poo From A Car?

Is There A Way To Clean Bird Poo Off My Car Without A Visit To The Carwash?

Absolutely. Did you know that a product called Drop Wipes (available on Amazon) uses natural ingredients on bamboo cloth to remove bird poo? The solution won’t harm your car nor the bamboo cloth scratch the paint.

Are There Any Home Recipes For Bird Poo Remover?

WD-40® Specialist® Water Resistant Silicone Lubricant with SMART STRAW® SPRAYS 2 WAYS 11 OZ

Yup. Everyone uses WD-40 for squeaky door hinges, but are you aware that it removes bird poo, too? Just spray it on, let it sit for one minute, then wipe off the mess.

Get a bottle of club soda and only club soda. The sugars and acids in clear soda and brown cola will damage the paint on a car. Pour the club soda on the bird poo and let it sit for a few minutes. Then take a water hose and wash off the whole thing.

Everyone is aware of the multitude of cleaning miracles of which baking soda is capable. Bird poo is no different. Get a spray bottle and place in it three tablespoons of baking soda, and two drops of dishwashing soap, and fill the rest with hot water.

Spray the mixture on the poo (the mixture won’t harm the paint.) Let it sit for a few minutes and then hose it off. Do. Not. Wipe. It. Off.  It will scratch your paint.

Note: Thou shalt wash thy car after poo removal. This removes any possible left behind acid and the formula you used to remove it.

How Can Drivers Prevent Birds From Pooing On Their Cars?

An SUV parked under the tree.

That’s a question with a two-part answer. The first part of the answer is where to park a car to avoid birds targeting it:

    • Stay away from areas where birds congregate, like trees and the gutters of buildings.

    • Don’t park anywhere around power or phone lines.

    • Birds take a breather atop power poles.

    • If they can get their feet around or on it, park somewhere else.

The second part of the answer is how to bird-proof a car:

    • Collect some old CDs you don’t listen to or DVDs you don’t watch. 

    • With the reflective side up, make a pyramid out of the CDs.

    • Use a piece of cloth and hot glue a magnet to the cloth. Now hot glue the magnet to the bottom of the pyramid. The cloth will prevent the magnet from scratching the paint.

    • The magnet has to be strong enough to withstand the high winds of driving.

When you get out of the car, attach this contraption to the roof and possibly the hood of the car as well. The shifting light of the sun hitting the CDs prevents the birds from doing their thing on your car.