How to Remove Bird Droppings and Tree Sap

Removing bird droppings and tree sap from your car is essential for maintaining its appearance and protecting the paintwork. Skilled removal is crucial to preventing any damage to your vehicle. 

In this article, we will discuss effective strategies and techniques for removing bird droppings and tree sap from your car.

Straight to the point. Let’s go.

Can Bird Droppings and Tree Sap Damage a Car?

The answer is a big Yes.

Specifically, the car’s paint is at risk.

Tree sap and bird droppings contain acidic substances that can eat away at the clear coat and cause permanent damage if not removed quickly.

It can also lead to the formation of etching on the surface, leaving behind marks and stains. When on your car for an extended period of time, they can also penetrate the paintwork, causing discoloration and further deterioration of the surface. This can lead to costly repairs and repainting work.

Now, the acidic substances present in tree sap and bird droppings can corrode the paint and expose the underlying metal, making your car more susceptible to rust and corrosion.

When your car rusts too much, it becomes a safety concern. 

Let’s avoid this. Follow the next steps on how to properly take care of this issue.

What Supplies You'll Need

Before you touch anything, it is essential to gather all the necessary supplies and cleaning tools. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Bucket of water and mild car wash soap.
  2. Soft microfiber cloth or sponge for cleaning.
  3. Soft-bristle brush or toothbrush for scrubbing.
  4. Hose or water source for rinsing.

Additionally, consider using specific cleaners or solvents designed for bird dropping and tree sap removal.

Now that you have everything you need (which should not cost you more than $50), it’s time to get to work.

Steps to Remove Bird Droppings

1. Rinse and Soak Method

The rinse and soak method is a simple yet effective way to remove bird droppings. 

Start by rinsing off the affected area with water. This will help loosen the droppings and reduce the risk of scratching the paint. 

Next, soak a microfiber cloth or sponge in a mixture of mild soap and water. Gently dab the cloth onto the droppings, allowing the soap to loosen them further. 

Finally, rinse the area again with water and dry it thoroughly.

2. Scrubbing With a Brush

If the rinse and soak method doesn’t completely remove all bird droppings, you can try the gentle scrubbing technique. 

Start by rinsing the affected area with water again. 

Then, using a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush, gently scrub the droppings in a circular motion. 

Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as this can damage the paint. After scrubbing, rinse and dry again.

3. Detailing Spray Assistance

A detailing spray can be helpful too. Choose a high-quality detailing spray that is safe for your car’s paint. 

Spray the affected area and let the product sit for a few minutes. The detailing spray will help break down the droppings, making them easier to remove. 

After letting it sit, use a microfiber cloth to gently wipe away the droppings.

Then you can rinse again and dry it out and you’re done.

Steps to Remove Tree Saps

1. Ice Method

The ice method is a simple and effective way to remove tree sap from your car. Begin by placing an ice pack or ice cubes wrapped in a cloth directly on the sap. 

Let the ice sit on the sap for a few minutes to harden it. Once the sap has hardened, gently scrape it off using a plastic scraper or credit card. 

Avoid using metal tools, as they can scratch the paint.

2. Alcohol Technique

Moisten a cloth or cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and dab it onto the sap. Let the rubbing alcohol sit on the sap for a few minutes to break it down. 

Once the sap has softened, gently wipe it away using the cloth. Repeat the process, if necessary, until all the sap is removed. 

Afterward, clean the area with soap and water to remove any leftovers.

3. Clay Bar Treatment

The clay bar treatment is a professional-grade technique for removing stubborn tree sap. 

Start by lubricating the affected area with a quick detailer spray or a clay bar lubricant. 

Then, knead the clay bar until it becomes pliable and flatten it into a small disc. Gently glide the clay bar over the tree sap in a back-and-forth motion, applying light pressure. 

The clay bar will pick up the sap as it glides across the surface.

Once the sap is removed, wipe away with a clean microfiber cloth and apply wax or sealant to protect the paint.

What to Do if There Are Swirl Marks or Scratches?

After the car is dry, you may notice some minor swirl marks or light scratches.

To address these, consider applying a high-quality polish or wax. Polishing the surface will help remove any minor blemishes, while waxing will provide an additional layer of protection. 

Bigger problems will likely require professional paint correction. For that, you can reach out to us.

Consider applying a paint sealant or ceramic coating to have better protection against bird droppings, tree sap, UV rays, and other stuff in the future.

These create a barrier that prevents anything from sticking to the surface, making any cleaning much easier and minimizing the risk of paint damage.


And there you go! A complete guide to removing bird drops and tree saps. Hopefully, it was enough for you to completely take care of your problem.

If you need a professional car detailer to take care of all the spots, scratches, and blemishes on the surface of your car, consider contacting River Islands Car Salon!

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