Cleaning Guides

How to Remove Bird Poop off Your Car Without Scratching the Paint

The idea that birds sit and wait for you to clean and wax the car before messing on is probably a myth, but there are a few things about bird poop and cars that are undeniably true.

Bird poop and car paint make an unhappy mix, the longer you leave it on the car the more likely it is to damage the paintwork. Dried bird poop on a car is more difficult to remove than fresh droppings and, if you’re not careful, you can scratch the paint in your efforts to remove bird poop stains from the car.

This post is for you if:

  • You want to keep your car looking immaculate;
  • You live in an area with lots of birds and can’t keep your car undercover;
  • You want to know how to remove bird poop off a car without damaging the paint.

Why is bird poop damaging to car paint?

Why does bird poop damage car paint? Mainly because it’s acidic. On the pH scale where pure water is a neutral pH7, bird droppings come in at around 3.5 to 4.5. That’s nearly as strong as lemon juice and about the same as acid rain.

Over time any acidic substance will eat through the clear coat which is applied to protect the colour paint on your car. At the very least this will dull the finish and since the clear coat is thin, once the poop has eaten through it, it will also attack the colour layers creating bird poop paint damage that’s more difficult to correct.

Bird poop damage to car paint is made even more likely by the fact that bird droppings are incredibly sticky. Once deposited they bond to the clear coat surface and just sit there, quietly burning through the protective coating on the paint, working through to the colour coat and over time could even reach the primer coat and the metal beneath it.

So, does bird poop ruin car paint? If left on the surface it will, but it doesn’t need to. The droppings are sticky, they won’t fall off on their own and the uric acid in the poop will continue to cause damage even after it’s dried, but the solution is really quite simple.

Since the bird poop won’t go away on its own you have to remove it yourself. Ideally, you’ll do this while the droppings are still fresh and soft but even if they aren’t it’s perfectly possible to remove them without scratching the paint and causing more damage to your car.

Tools and products that you will need

While some car paintwork maintenance jobs require lots of specialist products, removing bird poop from paint doesn’t. The method described below is simple and safe. You won’t need to head to the shops as you probably have everything you need at home.

Note: Some birds carry diseases that can be transmitted by their droppings so be sure to put your gloves on before you come into contact with the droppings.

You will need:

  • Rubber gloves
  • A spray bottle
  • 2 microfibre or chamois leather cloths
  • A basin or bottle of warm water

If you’re removing dried bird poop from a car at home the easiest way to soften it before starting work is to use your garden hose on low pressure. Resist the impulse to blast away at high pressure as while this might remove the droppings they might be hard enough it cause minor scratches on the car paintwork.

How to get bird poop off your car paint

The very best way to remove bird poop from your car is to do it when it’s still soft. Put a damp cloth over the fresh droppings, leave it for a minute or so, and you should find that cleaning bird poop off the car just requires a wipe over.

How to clean bird poop off your car

When you’re considering how to remove old bird poop stains from the car in the UK, lots of water and a little bit of patience are the key ingredients.

  1. Put on your gloves

    At best bird droppings are a bit smelly and just not nice, at worst they could harbour viruses or bacteria.

  2. Spray the bird droppings

    To clean the bird poop off the car without damaging it you need to soften the droppings. So spray down the affected areas, wait for a minute or two then spray again.

  3. Dampen the microfiber cloth

    Put the cloth in a basin of water or spray it with the bottle, lay the cloth over the droppings for a few minutes. Once the mess is soft removing bird poop from the car shouldn’t require that you scrub and risk scratching the paint.

  4. Wipe off

    Use a fresh damp cloth to wipe off the deposit, if it’s still not lifting repeat the spraying and laying of a damp cloth and wait just a little longer before wiping again.

  5. If there’s a bird poop stain on the car

    If the droppings have been on the car a long time they may leave stains after they’ve been removed. You can often lift these using club soda or any unflavoured and unsweetened sparkling water. Soak a cloth in the water, leave it to sit on the stain for a few minutes then wipe away. You can try the same trick with a solution of baking powder or use shop-bought abrasive car polish to lift light stains.

If the problem has gone beyond stains and you need to remove bird poop etching from the car it’s time to decide if you have the necessary tools, skills and time to do it yourself or if it’s better to consult a car care professional.

Using WD40 to remove bird poop

It’s possible to use WD40 or a similar product to remove bird poop from car paint. If you’re wondering if you can use WD40 on car paint or if it’s safe to use WD40 on car paint the answer is yes, it should be fine.

All you need to do is spray the bird poop with the WD40, wait for a minute, wash it off with water and then wipe the paintwork dry. WD40 won’t damage the paint and will lift the bird poop but if you can clean the poop off the car with just water that’s better.

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How to protect your car from bird poop damage

The best way to protect your car from bird poop damage is to find a way to stop the birds from pooping on it in the first place. However, it’s not always possible to keep your car undercover. A more practical option is to get a ceramic coating paint protection applied over the paintwork.

The ceramic coating works in two ways, firstly it acts as a protective coating that prevents the poop from penetrating the clear coat preventing oxidation, secondly, it prevents the sticky droppings from adhering to the paintwork making them much easier to wash off.

You may also like:
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What is Ceramic Coating Paint Protection?

Do you need a car care specialist to take care of your vehicle?

If you don’t have time to keep your car looking the way you’d like it to, get the pros to do it for you. Fantastic Services offer a range of mobile car wash, car valet and mobile car detailing services completed by trained car care experts at the time and location you specify. Expect outstanding results on anything from simple car washing up to full professional detailing which could include the application of a ceramic coating.

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  • Bird poop is acidic and will damage your car paint if not removed promptly
  • It’s easiest to remove droppings when they’re fresh, if dried they must be softened to avoid scratching
  • A ceramic coating will protect car paintwork from the corrosive effects of bird poop and makes it easier to remove


Have you had a ceramic coating applied to protect your vehicle from corrosive damage from bird poop?

Tell us about your experiences below.

Img Source: Shutterstock/czitrox

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