FILED - Ouch. This bird dropping was given too long to settle into the paintwork. The best thing to do is to wipe off as soon as you see it. Photo: Till Simon Nagel/dpa
FILED - Ouch. This bird dropping was given too long to settle into the paintwork. The best thing to do is to wipe off as soon as you see it. Photo: Till Simon Nagel/dpa

(dpa) – A friendly pigeon has given your ride its blessing?

The proverbial happens. No big deal, right? It’ll come out in the car wash. Sadly, this isn’t the case. In fact, if you value a spotless exterior, then alarm bells should be ringing.

Bird droppings need to be removed from the paintwork as quickly as possible – every hour counts, as there’s a risk of irreparable damage.

After just a few hours, a darker spot will be left on the paintwork. And if the bird droppings are left for a longer period of time, really deep stains will be the result.

Depending on how long you left it, experts can sometimes fix the damage by sanding and polishing, which may not come cheap. If that doesn’t work, your local workshop will likely tell you an expensive new paint job is your only option.

Stains that are still fresh and soft can be rinsed off with running water, for example from a watering can at the petrol station. Often, however, you’ll find a stubborn, chalky white edge remains.

This is because bird droppings usually dry more quickly on the edge. A soaked soft cloth will soften the spot a little. If the residue is already hard, give it more time to soak. Then carefully wipe up the residue with a soft microfibre cloth.

If this doesn’t help, don’t be tempted to scrub harder. There might be a hidden grain of sand or bit of dirt that will only make things worse by scratching off paint.

It’s also better not to wipe away bird droppings without moistening them first. This can cause scratches that will not disappear with a bit of polishing.

All this advice doesn’t just go for paint: The covers of your car’s headlights and rear lights are also often sensitive to scratches.

If you frequently have to deal with bird poo on your car, you can prepare yourself with a spray bottle of water and some soap in the boot, as well as a few soft microfibre cloths to wipe it off.

If you’re fed up with constantly removing such blemishes from your car, try coating the paint with hard wax after washing, which will make it more resistant to environmental wear and tear.

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