It is a scene we are all used to. You just finished a wash or detail and your car is parked in your driveway for everyone to see. You are proud of the way it turned out and I mean why not, the paint looks incredibly clear and glossy. But … you come out to the vehicle the next morning and a flock of birds decided that beautiful paint is a great spot for them to leave a few bombs. All of that hard work down the drain. Do you complete a full wash process again or simply spot treat the bombed area? There are many options that will work well and I will cover a few of the best ways to remove the bird droppings below.
1. Quick Detailer & Microfiber Towel
This is my first step in the removal process and will work as long as you catch the bird bombs if they are still fresh. I will spray some quick detailer to a towel and then some directly onto the dropping. Gently wipe the surface with the microfiber towel and minimal pressure. Flip the towel to a new clean side, spray the area again and wipe. Everything will be removed from the paint safely and no other steps will be needed.
2. Rinseless Shampoo & Wash Mitt
While a quick detailer works great, a rinseless shampoo and a wash mitt will provide you with a boost in cleaning power. Rinseless washes increase lubricity and polymers will encapsulate more dirt and grime (bird bombs) to aid in quick and safe removal from the paint. Just dilute your rinseless shampoo in a bucket and reach for your favorite wash mitt. Dunk the mitt into the bucket and place the mitt over the bird dropping. I like to let the mitt sit for a minute to allow the shampoo to soak into the dropping and loosen it from the paint. With minimal pressure, wipe the bird dropping away. If needed, dunk the mitt in the bucket and repeat the wipes as necessary or to target more bird droppings on the surface.
If the bird droppings are dried onto the surface or you find there is a lot of resistance, jump to the third removal process below.
3. Degreaser & Microfiber Towel
What if you perform #1 or #2 but upon your first wipe you notice that the bird dropping is sticky or dried onto the surface. If this is the case, I reach for a degreaser to help break down the dropping for easy removal.
Make sure the panel is cool and you are working out of the sun. Just spray directly onto the bird bomb and let degreaser dwell. During this time the degreaser will help breakdown and loosen the bird bomb from the surface. Just as with a quick detailer, I perform a wipe with a microfiber towel with minimal to no pressure. If the bird bomb comes off with no resistance, I follow up with a rinseless wash or full wash process to remove not only the remaining bird droppings, but the degreaser residue as well.
Since the dropping was dried or stuck to the paint, check to make sure it has not etched into the surface. If it has, you will need to follow up with a polishing step to remove the etchings.
Important: Due to the acidic nature of bird droppings, it is extremely important to remove this contamination as soon as possible. If you do not, they can etch into the paint causing ugly imperfections. Once the droppings have begun to etch, no cleaner will remove the etching and polishing will be needed to remove these marks. Simply put, remove as fast as possible to avoid any unnecessary polishing.
On top of protecting against swirls, scratches, etc. protective layers will protect from bird bomb etchings. A nice layer of wax, sealant, or coating can make the cleaning steps above easier, while protecting from etchings or imperfections from bird bombs if they have sat on the paint longer than desired.
How do you remove bird droppings? Any specific products that you always reach for? Share it below!