At some point, most car owners will have had the unfortunate and annoying incident of having their car come into contact with bird droppings. Most people know that if bird droppings are not removed and are left so sit and dry onto a vehicles surface that they can cause damage and leave unsightly etching marks behind. Yet even though people know this many will still not remove them because they either don’t know how, they haven’t got access to the tools to do so, or they simply cannot be bothered.
As soon as bird droppings are noticed on your car they should be cleaned off straight away. If, for whatever reason it is not possible to remove them straight away it is advisable to cover the affected area with a wet towel to help prevent the droppings from drying onto the surface, until the area can be properly cleaned.
Ideally, bird droppings should be cleaned off your car in a shaded area to prevent any cleaning product residues from drying onto the surface. The most effective way to initially loosen and lift off bird droppings is to pre foam the area, this will safely and effectively soak into the droppings and make them much easier to remove. If you do not have access to a designated foaming lance or hosepipe attachment then the area can be pre sprayed with a diluted all purpose cleaner which will also help to loosen and break down the droppings prior to cleaning.
After the foam or pre spray has been left to dwell, the area should be thoroughly rinsed off to remove all cleaning product and bird dropping residue. Once rinsed off, the area should be washed using a normal shampoo solution and wash mitt, then again thoroughly rinsed off and dried with a micro fibre towel.
After the area has been properly cleaned and dried it should be inspected for any damage. For paintwork, an all in one polish product can usually be used to successfully remove light to medium etching marks. The product should be thoroughly worked in with a micro fibre or sponge applicator pad using both circular and linear motions then buffed off. The process may need to be repeated a number of times in order to fully restore the area.
If an all in one polish product is unsuccessful at removing the damage then you should step up to using a designated abrasive polish product. Ideally, this should be applied and worked in with a dual action polishing machine to allow the abrasives to be thoroughly worked in but if you do not have access to a machine you can work the area by hand, although it will require a little more time and effort in order to properly break down the abrasives. Again this process may need to be repeated in order to fully restore the area.
If the bird droppings have been dried onto the surface for a considerable amount of time then even an abrasive polish product may be unable to remove it. The final step to remove severe etching marks would be to wet sand the affected area. A 3000 grit grade paper should be used in conjunction with plenty of water or a detailing spray to provide adequate lubrication. You should only wet sand the area if you have access to a polishing machine as without one you will be unable to properly remove the sanding marks by hand afterwards.
If the bird droppings contaminated plastics then the same cleaning method should be used and then a designated exterior dressing product should be applied to restore and protect the area.For glass, a glass polish product should be used to remove any staining after cleaning and for metals & chrome a designated metal or chrome polish should be used in the same manner. This is another reason why you car should be kept regularly cleaned, polished and protected as this would vastly decrease the likelihood of bird droppings inflicting any damage because they would be sitting on the smooth protective coating and would be unable to bond to and damage the surface underneath.