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During the day I park my car in a surface lot, which makes it vulnerable to the seagulls' refuse attacks. After baking under the Sun all day, their droppings becomes harder than cement and impossible to remove without damaging the paint finish. Even taking the vehicle through the car-wash multiple times doesn't completely remove the stuff! How can I remove seagull droppings from my car without damaging the paint finish? Thanks.

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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

This is a very nice summary of a straight-forward procedure:

  • Take a clean microfiber polishing cloth, fold it four ways to create a thick, plush wiping cloth.
  • Next, spray one side with your favorite spray detailer, the idea is to hyper-lubricate the entire face of one side.
  • Next place it onto the dried bird dropping.
  • Wet the cloth with water until the entire cloth is saturated but not to the point where water is running down the hood. The idea is to have plenty of water present to soak into the dried bird dropping.
  • Let the wet cloth stand on the dried bird dropping for 5-10 minutes.
  • Now, carefully enclose the wet-microfiber around the bird dropping using your hand and fingers , you're trying to carefully bunch-up the microfiber and then LIFT the bird dropping off the paint. Don't simply wipe the bird dropping over the paint.
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I do that, but replace "microfiber polishing cloth" with "paper towel" and remove the lubrication step. Just plain water soaking for a half hour has always done the trick for me (and big droppings are a major problem around here with all the Seagulls (not sure why they're called "Sea"gulls, should be "Lake"gulls :-) )). –  Brian Knoblauch Feb 22 '12 at 19:36
    
@BrianKnoblauch, sure, the paper towel variant is fine if the rest of your car is pristine. I've had whole minutes when my car was clean from top to bottom. The lubricant plus cloth approach will reduce the probability that you'll end up grinding some nearby grit into the paint when you're picking up the accursed bird leavings. –  Bob Cross Feb 22 '12 at 19:49
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Bird droppings will etch your clear coat. Once they've hit the clock is running. Layers of wax will buy you time, but not all day. Assuming paying someone to hover over your car is not an option, it's probably time to invest in a car cover.

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In conjunction with @Bob's answer, for next time, prevention is even better than cure:

If you can't park undercover, our use a cover on your car, invest some time and money in applying a good polish and wax when you wash your car. Turtle wax will help mess slide off, even after baking in the sun.

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I agree but I would use something nicer than Turtle wax. I learned a good trick along these lines a while back: when washing your car, put a little wax in the bucket - not too much or you'll lose the bubbles. You'll end up with a thin layer of wax over the whole car. Not as good as a lovely afternoon of polishing and waxing the car but definitely better than nothing. –  Bob Cross Feb 22 '12 at 18:50
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