The Sunday Times has a motoring section called In Gear and one of the recent questions asked in its readers' Q&As was on how to deal with bird poo on a car. Russell Meadows, founder and owner of one of the UK's leading mobile car valeting operations, below gives a detailed step-by-step solution to bird poo on cars, why bird poo is a problem, and the way his company best deals with the issue.
Firstly, if the bird poo has been a recent deposit and is still fresh' then it would be possible to simply wipe it off with a damp cloth or by using one of Autoglym's Bird Dropping Wipes. Alternatively, if the offending deposit has been on your car for some time or if the weather is hot and the bird poo has become encrusted onto the bonnet, then other actions need to be taken.
Bird droppings have an acidity and content that can be both corrosive and, when wiped off, small particles can leave tiny though noticeable scratches on the surface of the vehicle's layered paintwork. If the bird dropping is not cleaned off quickly then it is likely to cause a bleaching and scratching of the top surface of the paintwork. The longer it is not dealt, the more corrosive and damaging the offending deposit can become.
In truth it is not the paintwork which is initially damaged, but rather the lacquer (a clear or coloured varnish which forms the final layer in the curing process of car paint finishes and which dries to form a hard and durable finish). To an extent, this lacquer layer is flexible, and this is where long term damage can be caused. During the heating and cooling that a car goes through in its daily use, this lacquer layer expands and then cools. As this cooling takes place and the lacquer contracts, fragments of bird poo get trapped, and particles of the offending deposit harden within the lacquer. The longer the period and greater the extent of this heating and cooling, the worse the damage can become. Eventually this damage can be visible as a dull area or opaqueness on the paintwork and the surface is likely to appear etched.
www.carvalet.co.uk, one of the UK's leading mobile car valet operations for prestige vehicles, believes that the best way for customers to rid a car of corrosive bird poo is to:
1. Act quickly the longer the bird poo is sitting on the surface of a car the worse the damage will eventually be
2. If still damp, remove carefully with a wet, soft cloth or Autoglym Bird Dropping Wipe
3. If the bird dropping is dried, cover the offending deposit with a wet cloth and leave for half an hour
4. If you have one, use a pressure washer to blast away the bird poo and then use a wet cloth to wipe away any remains and buff with a soft, dry cloth
5. If a pressure washer is unavailable then wipe away the bird poo with a wet cloth and then dry with a soft, dry cloth
6. Dispose of any dirty cloths and wash your hands as bird droppings, apart from being corrosive to cars, can also harbour disease
Russell Meadows, who is founder and MD of www.carvalet.co.uk, says Bird droppings is a common problem for our customers, and it is one that we are knowledgeable in dealing with. As many of our customers have prestige cars they do not wish the paintwork damaged so we ensure that these corrosive deposits are dealt with in the right manner so that the paintwork is as little disturbed as possible. We recommend that customers safely remove bird droppings as soon as practicably possible. As part of my company's car valeting services we use only quality cleaning products and cloths to ensure a pristine finish each time. Additionally our valeting services includes inspecting paint and lacquer blemishes and, where necessary, maintenance through paint correction. In this way, combined with our knowledge of both how to maintain a vehicle to its pristine condition and also the problem areas to take care on, including bird droppings, we are able to work as efficiently and effectively on a vintage Rolls Royce as on a brand new Maserati.