Many enjoy the sounds of birds around their house, but you have to deal with the nuisance of bird poop and stains on your concrete walkways, patios, and driveways. If left uncleaned for long, they become more challenging to remove. Therefore it’s best to clean the stains before they dry up. The ideal approach is not to let the bird droppings build-up or solidify.
Bird poop on concrete may seem difficult to remove, especially if it has dried up, but using the suitable cleaning method will effectively remove bird poop without damaging the underlying surface.
The article below has discussed why cleaning bird poop is essential and the best ways to clean bird poop off concrete to ensure they remain stain-free and disinfected.
Why do you need to clean bird droppings?
Although bird droppings make a place look undesirable, there are more serious reasons why you should clean bird droppings from your concrete as soon as possible.
A major concern with bird poop is its high acidity which erodes your concrete. The uric acid in bird droppings can penetrate the concrete surface through the pores, thus disintegrating construction materials and leaving cracks and stains. In addition, it may cause brick roofs to start leaking due to erosion.
Just like other animals, bird droppings contain what the bird eats. This includes worms, fruits, berries, and nuts, which give the bird poop their staining effect. The color from the fruits and berries soaks ad stains into the porous concrete surface.
Also, cleaning the bird poop is essential because of the harmful health hazards they cause. According to the Health and Safety Executive and medicalnewstoday.com, bird droppings can carry over 60 diseases. However, bird poop isn’t specifically dangerous on its own. But if left over a long time in large quantity, it can grow bacteria and fungi.
Among the most common is a yeast-like fungus called Cryptococcus, which causes Cryptococcosis, which affects the central nervous system. Ingesting and inhaling the fungus is also very dangerous for vulnerable people with already weakened immunity.
Breathing dust or drinking water containing bird droppings causes several diseases such as psittacosis.
Bird droppings can also cause Salmonella, a bacterial infection with significant diarrhea.
What is the best way to clean bird poop from concrete?
The following method works for both fresh and old bird poop stains since you’ll use ammonia and hydrogen peroxide.
Things you’ll need
- Protective gear( gloves, mask, and work overalls)
- Dishwashing detergent
- Natural fiber scrubbing brush
- Garden hose
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Hose away any loose droppings from the concrete first. Then, cover parts of the hose faucet with one finger to create a more powerful spray. You can also clean with a pressure washer in place of the hose. The high pressure will help break down the poop in the concrete pores and cracks.
- Pour your liquid dishwashing soap over the bird poop stains, making sure to use enough soap.
- Take the bristled brush and scrub the soap into the concrete while lifting and removing as many bird poop stains as possible.
- Pour sawdust over the foamy stains, ensuring it covers the entire area. Using sawdust is an environmentally-friendly way of removing the soap instead of rinsing it into the grass. Allow the sawdust to absorb the soap for about 20-30 minutes, then sweep with a broom and dustpan.
- Treat the remaining bird poop stains and discoloration with a mixture of one tablespoon of 12% hydrogen peroxide and three drops of ammonia. This solution acts as a mild industrial cleaner.
- Use the brush to scrub the solution over the stain and work it into the concrete.
- Allow it to soak on the bird droppings stain for as long as necessary.
- Finally, rinse off the concrete with the hose.
- Spray some bactericide to sanitize the area and also remove bird poop odor.
- After cleaning the bird droppings, wash your hands thoroughly with soap to avoid cross-contamination.
What is the best cleaner for bird poop?
There is no single best cleaner bird poop off. The product you use depends on the severity of the bird droppings and the surface type. Wet bird droppings are easier to clean off, while dried bird dropping may require more abrasive cleaners to deal with the stains and how much bird poop the concrete has absorbed. Below is a list of our best commercial bird poop cleaners and DIY cleaners you can make with household items that work on most surfaces.
Commercial bird droppings cleaners
There are several commercial bird poop cleaners in the market at your disposal. These cleaners contain non-toxic enzymes formulated to clean, digest and deodorize bird droppings. Our favorite brand Poop-Off Bird Poop Remover Sprayer, has excellent reviews on effectively removing bird droppings from most surfaces, including concrete. It cleans out wet bird droppings and lifts and dissolves bird poop stains. It is non-toxic and biodegradable, therefore safe to use around plants.
Commercial organic concrete cleaners
If you are dealing with dried bird poop, the best cleaner is organic concrete cleaner. Organic cleaners consist of enzymes and bacteria that break down the bird poop stain. The best concrete cleaner should contain a bleaching ingredient or ammonia. Granular concrete cleaners are better since they provide additional friction when scrubbing the surface.
However, concrete cleaners are for unsealed concrete only. Do not use concrete cleaners on painted concrete surfaces as they can break down the paint and cause lifting. Some good concrete cleaners include:
- Simple Green Oxy Solve Concrete and Driveway Cleaner: This environmentally-friendly concrete cleaner uses hydrogen peroxide to lift stains from concrete. You do not have to worry about this cleaner running off into your lawn and poisoning your vegetation with this product.
- Zep Neutral pH Floor Cleaner Concentrate: This concrete cleaner is ideal for both sealed and unsealed concrete floors, as well as asphalt, brick, and stone. It lifts all kinds of stains, including bird poop and oil stains.
Baking soda is an excellent cleaner for small and mild bird poop stains.
Mix two tablespoons of baking soda, hot water, and a drop of liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. Allow the baking soda to sit on the stain for a few minutes, scrub it with a brush, and rinse it with clean water.
Baking soda also has abrasive particles that will help scour the stains off the concrete. Additionally, it is a natural deodorant that will leave your concrete free from bird poop odor.
WD-40 is great at loosening dried stains on most surfaces, including concrete.
First, spray the cleaner on the bird poop stain and allow it to sit for a while. Then, use a brush to gently scrub off any remaining residue and rinse the residue with a hose. WD-40 is very effective at removing bird poop on painted concrete as it is not abrasive.
Club soda/ Seltzer
Carbonated club water or seltzer water is ideal for removing bird poop from most surfaces. The carbonation degrades the uric acid in bird droppings, allowing you to wipe the mess away easily.
Pour the club soda on the bird poop stain and let it sit for 60 seconds. Do not let it sit for too long on concrete. Then rinse it off with clean water.
Do not use sugary sodas like cola.
Another effective way to remove bird droppings stains from hard outdoor surfaces is to use chlorine bleach.
Mix 3/4 cup of chlorine bleach, one gallon of warm water, and one tablespoon laundry detergent, then pour the solution on the dropping stains and let it sit for 15 minutes. The bleach solution will lift the stains and also disinfect the area. Then scrub the area with a nylon-bristled brush.
Alternatively, apply the solution at low pressure and allow it to soak for about five minutes before pressure washing the stained concrete. If the bird poop stains are major, use the solution in a pressure washer at low pressure.
Laundry or hand dishwashing detergent
Laundry detergent will help disinfect and clean the bird poop off your patio without damaging the concrete. Laundry detergent is great for painted concrete and wet bird droppings. It also helps settle suspended air-born particles that you could inhale and cause respiratory issues.
First, soak the area with the detergent for 15 minutes, then scrub or scrape the droppings area. Then wipe the area with absorbent wipes and table cloths.
Does vinegar clean bird poop?
White vinegar effectively cleans off bird poop, especially on smooth surfaces such as glass or painted metal surfaces. In addition, its acidity can break down the stains, making it easier to scrub off the stains.
Mix equal parts of white vinegar and warm water, then add one tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent in a spray bottle and spray this solution over the stained area. Allow the stain to soak the solution for a few minutes, and then use a nylon-bristled brush to scrub off the droppings.
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If the surface is wood, do not let it soak for a long time since moisture can damage the wood.
Another thing you should note is white vinegar can ruin paint because of its composition. Therefore, please do not use white vinegar to remove bird droppings from any painted surface, including painted concrete and cars.
How to clean bird poop off painted concrete
The secret to removing bird poop off painted concrete is using a suitable commercial bird poop cleaner. A good bird poop remover will get rid of the stain and also protect the paint without leaving scratch marks or stains.
It would be best to avoid any abrasive cleaning tools and chemical cleaners. It is best to go to pH-neutral cleaners formulated for mild cleaning and sealed concrete surfaces. Try following the guide below to clean bird poop off painted concrete.
Things you’ll need
- Wet cloth
- pH neutral concrete cleaner
- Natural-bristled brush
- Pressure water or garden hose
- Take a wet cloth and dampen the stained area. When the bird poop softens, scrub the top layer using the same damp cloth.
- Read the package instructions of the bird poop remover on how to prepare and use the cleaner. Some cleaners will need dilution with water, while some do not require dilution.
- Apply your cleaning solution generously over the stained area and allow it to sit for at least 5-10 minutes.
- Use a natural bristled brush and work the cleaner onto the bird droppings stain.
- Then rinse the area with a pressure washer or garden hose to remove any cleaner residue.
How to clean dried bird poop off concrete
Dried bird poop can be very difficult to remove as the poop has seeped through the concrete. Fortunately, you can clean it off using a commercial concrete cleaner to remove the bird poop successfully. Concrete cleaners help tackle dirt, stains, discoloration, and mildew n your concrete floors without affecting the integrity of your concrete. Here’s the best way to clean bird poop from concrete.
Things you’ll need
- Protective gear (disposable dust respirator, rubber gloves, booties, and overalls)
- Hose with a spray attachment or power-washer
- Concrete cleaner or Muriatic acid
- Push brush
- Sawdust or cat litter
- Broom and dustpan
- Wear your protective gear.
- Scrape up the bird poop with a putty knife to avoid spreading the poop or stain to the surrounding concrete. Also, avoid scraping up the droppings on windy days or going too quickly; you don’t want to spread the dust from dried-out bird droppings, which can harden like cement.
- Use your power washer or spray attachment to rinse the bird poop-stained area well.
- Pour your concrete cleaner over the stains and allow the concrete to soak in the cleaner.
- Alternatively, if you’re using Muriatic acid, carefully mix clean water with the acid in the ratio of 4:1. Please do not add water to the Muriatic acid as it will cause a chemical reaction; the water will bubble up and possibly splash over you. Instead, pour the acid into the container with water.
- When you see the stains lifting or peeling off, use the push brush to scrub off the bird poop and try to get off as much as you can. Do not leave the acid on for too long, and it can damage the concrete surface.
- Sprinkle sawdust or cat litter over the area and allow the sawdust to absorb the cleaner.
- Use the broom and dustpan to collect as much sawdust or cat litter as possible.
- Rinse the area thoroughly to remove any cleaner or acid residue.
- Repeat the steps if necessary.
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Our article above explains all the best ways to clean bird droppings on concrete, depending on the quantity of bird droppings in the area. The severity of the stains will help you select the best product and tools to use.
For example, small bird poop requires less abrasive solutions such as detergents and white vinegar, whereas large bird droppings require specialized cleaning chemicals and a pressure washer.
After cleaning up all bird droppings, try to eliminate the chance of it happening again but using bird deterrents to keep birds away from your concrete surfaces.