The Paint A Part Blog

The Unwanted Polka Dots: Effects of Bird Poop on Painted Auto Body Parts

Closeup of pidgeon plotting

Bird Droppings Are Not Just Unsightly, They Are Acidic and Will Damage Your Paint

Bird poop on your car paint may seem like a minor inconvenience, but if left unattended, it can lead to significant damage. Painted auto body parts are particularly vulnerable to the corrosive effects of bird droppings, and understanding why this happens and how to properly clean it is crucial to maintaining your car's appearance. In this blog post, we'll explore the reasons behind the damage caused by bird poop, the consequences it can have on your car's paint, and effective methods for cleaning and preventing such damage.

Can Bird Poop Damage Car Paint?

Bird poop on Ford truck hood

Yes, bird poop can indeed damage car paint, and the extent of the damage depends on various factors such as the acidity of the droppings, how long it remains on the paint, and the condition of the paint itself. While it might seem harmless, bird droppings are far from benign. The pH level of bird droppings ranges from 3.5 to 4.5 which can burn paint and clear coating on a vehicle.

Why Does Bird Poop Damage Car Paint?

  • Acidity: Bird droppings are naturally acidic due to the high uric acid content in their waste. When this acidic substance comes into contact with your car's paint, it can react with the clear coat and paint, leading to damage over time.
  • Heat and Sunlight: Exposure to heat and sunlight can exacerbate the effects of bird poop on car paint. The combination of heat and UV rays can cause the acidic components in bird droppings to become more concentrated, accelerating the corrosion process.
  • Paint Porosity: The paint on your car isn't a solid, impenetrable surface. It contains tiny pores and imperfections that can trap bird droppings. As the droppings dry and harden, they can penetrate these pores, making them more challenging to remove and causing damage beneath the surface.
  • Time: The longer bird droppings remain on your car's paint, the more damage they can cause. Over time, the acidic components can eat away at the clear coat and paint, leaving behind unsightly marks and even permanent etching.

The Consequences of Neglecting Bird Droppings

Old bird droppings on dirty white car

Ignoring bird droppings on your painted auto body parts can have a range of consequences:

  • Paint Damage: As mentioned earlier, prolonged exposure to bird poop can lead to paint damage. This damage may start as surface blemishes but can progress to the point where you may need to repaint the affected areas.
  • Aesthetic Issues: Bird droppings can ruin your car's appearance. The stains left behind can be unsightly and reduce the resale value of your vehicle.
  • Reduced Clear Coat Protection: The clear coat on your car's paint serves as a protective barrier against various environmental elements. When it's compromised by bird droppings, your auto body parts become more susceptible to damage from UV rays, pollutants, and harsh weather conditions.
  • Corrosion: In extreme cases, the damage caused by bird droppings can lead to corrosion of the metal underneath the paint. This can be costly to repair and may compromise your car's structural integrity.

How to Clean Bird Poop Off Car Paint

Bird poop on black car mirror

To prevent the damage caused by bird poop, it's essential to clean it off your car promptly and effectively. Here's how to do it:

  1. Gather Supplies:
    • Clean, soft microfiber cloths
    • Car wash soap
    • A bucket of water
    • Gently scrubbing sponge
    • Wax or sealant (optional)
  2. Remove the Droppings:
    • Use a microfiber cloth or sponge to gently remove as much of the bird droppings as possible. Avoid rubbing too hard, as this may cause further damage.
    • Wet the affected area with a cloth soaked in soapy water to soften the residue.
  3. Soak and Dab:
    • Place a wet cloth or paper towel over the softened bird droppings and let it sit for a few minutes. This helps loosen the residue for easier removal.
    • Gently dab the soaked area to lift the remaining droppings without scraping the paint.
  4. Wash the Area:
    • Wash the entire affected area with car wash soap and water to ensure you remove any remaining residue.
    • Rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean, soft cloth.
  5. Apply Wax or Sealant (Optional):
    • To provide an extra layer of protection, consider applying a high-quality automotive wax or sealant to the cleaned area. This can help prevent future damage and maintain your car's shine.

Preventing Future Damage

A bunch of birds on wires

Prevention is key when it comes to protecting your painted auto body parts from bird poop damage:

  • Park in Covered Areas: Whenever possible, park your car in a covered or shaded area to reduce exposure to bird droppings and UV rays.
  • Regularly Wash and Wax: Keeping your car clean and applying wax or sealant regularly can create a protective barrier against contaminants, making it easier to remove bird droppings without causing damage.
  • Invest in a Car Cover: If you don't have access to covered parking, consider using a car cover to shield your vehicle from bird droppings and other environmental hazards.


Bird poop may seem harmless, but it can inflict significant damage on painted auto body parts if not addressed promptly and properly. The acidic nature of bird droppings, coupled with exposure to heat and sunlight, can lead to paint damage, reduced clear coat protection, and even corrosion. To maintain your car's appearance and resale value, it's crucial to clean bird droppings promptly and implement preventative measures. Regular cleaning, protective coatings, and thoughtful parking choices can go a long way in preserving your car's paint and keeping it looking its best.

For severely damaged painted auto body parts, it might be easiest to replace. Paint A Part sells pre-painted replacement parts that are affordable and come in factory-accurate color options.

Statue covered in bird poo