Image credit: Tony Alter/Flickr

Oh, man, when a bird poops on my car, I see red. Here I am, working so hard to keep it clean and shiny, and the little feathered bastard thinks it’s alright to just swoop by overhead and drop a missile. Luckily, there are some things that you can do to clean the crap off easily.

I will preamble this by saying that you should not let bird poop sit on your car for extended periods of time, if you can help it. Especially not baking under the sun. Bird poop has uric acid in it, which can corrode your paint, leaving you with a very expensive trip to the body shop.

If you catch the bird in the act and the poop is fresh, you can simply mop it up with some seltzer water and a microfiber towel, reports Audubon, as carbonation helps break down the chemicals. Don’t use a paper towel or a regular bath towel because those don’t pick up dirt as well as a microfiber towel does. They can also scratch your paint or leave fibers on your car as well.

You can also buy bird poop removal wipes, though I have never tried these myself and don’t know if they work well or not.

Now, if the crap has dried onto your car, Audubon recommends that you leave a microfiber cloth soaked with car-safe cleaner (like spray detailer) over the offending splatter for about 10 minutes. After, you can simply wipe it away, but gently: if you rub too hard, minerals and other solids in the droppings can scratch as well.

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If you park in a spot that’s under a tree or awning that birds like to hang out in, then you might want to consider buying a car cover. But keep in mind that repeatedly putting on and taking off a car cover can scratch your car, too.

It’s a hard life out there for people like us. But think about how much that shine of a clean car is worth it.