The Best Way To Remove Bird Poop From Your Clothes

Whoever said getting pooped on by a bird is good luck clearly didn't have it happen while wearing a white ball gown on their wedding day. The situation is no better when you decide to air-dry your laundry, and your freshly washed garments become a dumping ground for liquidy pigeon poo. Excrement happens. Still, dealing with the aftermath scarcely feels like a fortuitous event, especially if you're trying to avoid spreading the droppings all over your outfit. Resist the urge to rub off the stains. Turns out the best way to remove bird poop from your clothes is to let it dry and then blot out any residual marks.

When birds relieve themselves, their waste matter exits from a single opening. In other words, those sticky white blobs with dark centers that indiscriminately fall from the sky onto your favorite shirt are a mix of urine and feces. This combination of nitrogenous matter — or uric acid — doesn't easily dissolve in water. You may have learned this the hard way the last time you tried to remove birds' pasty poop from your car's windshield. However, when the target is made of fabric, clean-up gets even trickier. Bird droppings can be high in acid, and, consequently, discolor clothing if ignored. In addition, discharge from wild birds often contains more bacteria and stain-inducing enzymes than pet birds. This means you don't want to shrug off getting hit by bird guano; rather, it pays to tackle your tainted clothes as soon as possible.

Let it dry, then resist rubbing and embrace blotting

Seeing splotches of goopy bird poop on a shirt sleeve would trigger most people to immediately begin wiping off the nasty spatters. However, doing so may create an even bigger laundry problem, as furiously scrubbing slimy bird droppings will force the viscid sludge deeper into clothing fibers. Instead, allow the bird poop to dry a bit before removing it from the fabric. This will make it easier to lift the excrement from the fabric. Once the bird's waste hardens from a pudding-like consistency to a stiffer texture, use a dull knife or spoon to carefully scrape off as much of the poop from your clothing without forcing it deeper into the material. If circumstances prevent you from letting the poop dry completely, simply use the side of a credit card or the tip of a plastic knife to gently shave the surface of the fabric.

As soon as you've removed the bulk of the bird poop, dampen a clean cloth or paper towel with plain water. Next, gingerly blot at any discoloration or areas of poop that remain on the garment. Each time the cloth absorbs remnants of the bird's waste, rinse it off before continuing the blotting technique. Doing so will prevent stain transfer. In addition, if you are treating a large blotch, begin blotting from the outer edges and methodically work toward the center to avoid contaminating other parts of your clothing. When you're done, let the piece air-dry.

How to treat stubborn bird poop stains on clothes

Typically, the bigger the bird, the bigger the poop. If you're dealing with droppings that have splattered across the shoulder of your shirt, dripping down your sleeve, and splashed across the collar, you may have to execute a few extra steps to get your garment fresh and clean. Start by turning the garment inside out. Then, turn the faucet on full blast and hold the poop-stained area under it, allowing the force of the water to flush away any residual gunk.

Immediately following the rinse, treat the poop marks with a solution of warm water and mild dish soap. Alternatively, you can mix powder or liquid laundry detergent with water and apply it to the soiled areas by gently rubbing with a clean toothbrush or cloth. Once the stain lifts, launder the garment following the instructions on its care label. However, if you still see signs of bird poop after using the soap solution, combine equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Next, liberally spritz the mixture on the stool streaks and allow it to sit for a few minutes before running it in the washing machine. Another option is to create a paste by blending baking soda and water together. Simply coat the stains with the mixture and leave it untouched for 15 to 20 minutes. Finish by wiping off the paste with a damp cloth, rinsing with cold water, and laundering the item as usual.