Friday, April 08, 2011

Birds Droppings from Hell and the Antidote

The place where I work (a school) is but mere minutes away from a cute fishing village on the water, and also immediately beside a giant field. Translation: birds. Seagulls and other feathery fowl that like to lurk near the water or graze on the field or fly back and forth in an attempt to avoid winter cold - *those* birds - also like to fly overhead, above our crowded staff parking lot.

And birds, as you can guess, really like to defecate. They do not discriminate by make or model, colour or age; they just let their poop bombs fly and land as they may. Unsuspecting vehicles in our lot often fall victim to these sh*t bombs.

During the winter, the droppings usually stayed relatively moist, and could quickly and easily be removed with a wet wipe. However, now that it's spring, and we've been blessed with some very warm temperatures and hours of sunshine, a wet wipe will no longer suffice.

Such was the case the other afternoon, when I discovered (much to my great dismay) that my rear driver door had been tagged with a giant brown bird bomb. In my panic, I grabbed a wet wipe and started to wipe, only to find that as I was running the paper towel back and forth I was also scratching my paint.

I quickly ditched Plan A and opted for Plan B: Google it. This is when I learned that these nasty diseased birds like to chew on gravel to help them digest their food, resulting in waste products that are not only acidic and toxic to car paint, but also grainy like sandpaper when wiped across a painted surface. The droppings on *my* beautiful car were also baked on from the heat of the day, so there was no way that water alone would be able to do the job.

Thank God for Google and iPhones! As I frantically searched for an effective solution, I came across several sites that recommended I use salt-free seltzer (or club soda) to dissolve the nastiness. Immediately I raced over to a 7-Eleven and stocked up on two litres of the good stuff.

When I got home, I shook my first bottle furiously (to build pressure), then opened it enough for the carbonated beverage to come shooting out like a fire hose aimed directly at the poop. Immediately the bird poop turned white (from its brown colour) and began to fizzle. I then soaked a towel in club soda and let it rest on the spot to soften the poop further. After covering up the droppings for a few minutes, I was able to sufficiently "soften" the stool so that I could remove the bulk of it without further destroying my paint job.

Moral to the story: keep some club soda handy. Birds are merciless poop monsters, and you can't sue them for damaging your car's paint job.


Vanilla Con said...

Wow, who knew bird poop could scratch the paint on your car?? Good tip :)