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Regardless of where you live, we all experience the same issue with car ownership. Birds love to poop on your car, whether it’s while driving or parked. For most people, it’s just another day. However, could the bird bombs be doing more harm than you expected? You should clean bird poop off your car immediately or as soon as possible to avoid required maintenance.

Bird poop will damage car paint

Bird poop on a car
Bird poop on a car in Miami Beach, Florida | Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

According to The Drive, birds do not have separate locations to evacuate their solids and liquids on their body. Instead, birds use their cloaca to drop both in a single shot. As a result, we see a green or black substance, which is bird poop, while the white part is uric acid. Moreover, uric acid, or the bird’s urine, is dangerous to a car’s paint.

Furthermore, the acid in bird poop is more concentrated than in humans or other mammals. The Drive says human urine is around 6.0-7.5 on the pH scale, while a bird’s excrement ranges from 3.0-4.5. That’s why a bird’s mess is sticky and thick instead of pure liquid like a mammal’s. It often can’t easily be washed away with a hose or water, as it will grip onto the car for its life. With all the acidity and resilience to staying on a car’s paint, bird poop will eat away and do some damage over time.

What damage will bird poop do to a car?

First, a bird’s poop will eat away the clear coat from a vehicle’s paint. Once that layer is eaten away, the paint will lose its shine. Moreover, it will become very noticeable at all distances and look like an ugly, blotchy blemish on the car’s exterior. Sometimes, damage like this is repairable, but it’s always a little different. If left on the surface long enough, it will eat down to the base layer. The result is that the body panel will need paint work instead of just some polishing. That’s why it’s crucial to remove bird poop from paint as soon as possible.

Easiest ways to clean bird poop from your car

Bird poop sits on a car's paint. It can be damaging, and should be removed as soon as possible or immediately.
Bird poop on a car’s paint | Sebastian Gollnow/picture alliance via Getty Images

Cleaning poop off as soon as possible after impact is essential and can make cleaning easier. The longer it sits, the more likely it is to damage the paint job. In addition, hot weather will speed up the damaging process. If your car is indoors or in cool/damp weather, the paint will hold on for much longer than in the scorching heat. The acid will bake into the paint much faster in sunlight, and removing it will be very challenging.

Luckily, cleaning most bird poop off your car should not be challenging. Use water, a microfiber towel, and car-safe soap. Whatever you’d use to wash your car’s exterior. Be sure to try to move the poop away gently. The key is to wipe and rinse gently, don’t scrub. Scrubbing the poop into the car could worsen things depending on how long it’s been there. Lift the towel away after contact with the bird poop, and fold the towel over so you’re not wiping it back on more of the vehicle. Bird poop that hasn’t been there long should come off fairly quickly.

Can I repair the paint damage?

A vehicle’s paint job has many layers, and bird poop takes a long time to penetrate every layer. Usually, your car will have primer, a base coat, and a clear coat on top. Most of the time, you’ll be able to catch it before it gets through the clear coat. A quick polish will do the trick if the acid hasn’t eaten through to the base coat. However, once the clear coat is compromised, you will need to do some extra work.

According to The Drive, you should talk to a body shop once the bird poop hits the base coat. Moreover, professionals will have tools for deeper repairs requiring new paint and blending together. It shouldn’t be too difficult or expensive to fix in small instances. However, the longer it’s left alone, the more damage it will do.