Stepping out into your yard and being greeted by the chirps of nearby birds often feels a little magical. That is, it does until you take a look down and see bird poop all over your concrete. Along with not looking pleasant, droppings are a bit gross. Since that’s the case, no one blames you if the only thing you can think about after that is how to clean bird poop off concrete.
Several approaches effectively clean bird poop off the concrete. In some cases, a pressure washer or hose does the trick. Classic cleaners like white vinegar and baking soda are often effective, as well as simple solutions like liquid dish soap.
However, if you’re dealing with bird poop stains or large quantities of droppings, you might need to use another technique. Here’s what you need to know if you’re trying to figure out how to clean bird poop off concrete.
- Is Bird Poop Dangerous?
- Can Bird Poop Damage Concrete?
- How to Clean Bird Poop off Concrete
- Will Bird Poop Stain Concrete?
- Will Rain Wash Away Bird Poop?
- How to Stop Birds from Pooping on Your Concrete
- The Best Way to Clean Bird Poop off Concrete
Is Bird Poop Dangerous?
Bird poop is a health hazard, as it can lead to various infections. Bird droppings can cause histoplasmosis, a condition caused by fungus spores. If infected, you can experience flu-like symptoms or experience a notable health crisis relating to blood abnormalities, high fever, and pneumonia. While rare, histoplasmosis is potentially fatal.
Another potential fungal infection that can come from bird droppings is cryptococcosis. In most cases, symptoms are mild, but those with compromised immune systems may fall gravely ill.
Bird poop can transmit a wide array of other diseases, as well. Plus, bird droppings can contain harmful parasites that can infect people.
A large amount of bird droppings can also become a slip hazard. When wet, bird poop can make surfaces slick, which could increase your odds of a fall.
Since there are health risks, removing bird poop from your concrete is the best choice. That way, you reduce your odds of infection.
Can Bird Poop Damage Concrete?
Bird droppings can damage concrete. Primarily, it’s because bird droppings are highly acidic due to their high uric acid content. Uric acid can harm various materials, including concrete, metal, and paint.
Generally, it takes a while for the damage to become noticeable. Occasional droppings here and there may not harm your concrete much, particularly if they’re washed away in relatively short order.
However, areas frequently splattered with bird droppings can corrode over time, often far quicker than you’d expect. As a result, it’s best to clean up the bird poop as soon as possible to avoid damage.
How to Clean Bird Poop off Concrete
There are several excellent methods for cleaning bird poop off of concrete. However, regardless of the approach you choose, you need to take some precautions.
Bird droppings are a potential health hazard, so you need to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to remain safe.
Since many infections from bird poop involve airborne contaminants, you must wear a suitable mask whenever you clean up droppings. Additionally, it’s wise to wear goggles and gloves for extra protection.
Wearing clothes that you can safely wash and dry in high temperatures is similarly wise, as the heat can help kill bacteria, fungi, and more. Otherwise, consider donning disposable coveralls you can tie up in a bag and immediately throw out.
Once you have your PPE, you can start the cleanup process. Here are a few different options for how to clean bird poop off concrete.
1. Pressure Washer or HoseIf you’re only dealing with a little bit of bird poop and it’s relatively fresh, washing it off your concrete with a hose or pressure washer could do the trick. With a hose, you’ll want to have a spray nozzle that helps you direct the water. You can also try placing your thumb over the opening.
Using a pressure washer is another similar option. Just make sure you start with the lowest possible pressure. Additionally, begin in a discreet location to ensure the pressure won’t damage your concrete before you rinsing washing away the droppings.
With a pressure washer, you also potentially have the option to add a cleaner. Select one compatible with your device to get the best results.
2. Sparkling Water, Seltzer, or Club Soda
Sparkling water, seltzer, and club soda are carbonated beverages. The bubbles can loosen up any bird droppings stuck to your concrete, making them easier to clean up.
Simply pour the sparkling water, seltzer, or club soda onto the droppings. Let it sit for several minutes. Then, use a hose to rinse the area or remove the bird poop with a plastic scraper or a stiff-bristled nylon scrub brush.
Sawdust can help you clean bird poop off of concrete in several ways. First, if you’re dealing with a large amount of wet droppings, sawdust can absorb the moisture. Then, the droppings are easier to potentially just sweep away.
Second, sawdust can be used as a complementary option after using some cleaners. Once you’re done washing, you can cover the spot with sawdust to remove excess moisture and remaining bits of bird poop.
After you use the sawdust, you’ll want to carefully collect it and place it in a garbage bag. That way, you can throw out the potentially contaminated material right away.
4. White Vinegar
While vinegar is acidic, it can neutralize uric acid and kill bacteria. As a result, it’s a solid option for cleaning up bird poop. Plus, you can safely use it around people and pets.
Typically, you’ll want to create a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. Put it in a spray bottle, screw on the nozzle, and gently shake to combine.
Once you have the solution, spray the bird poop, thoroughly saturating the spot. Let the vinegar sit for approximately five minutes. Then, use a nylon brush to scrub the area.
After that, use a hose to rinse your concrete. If it isn’t completely clean, repeat the process until it’s gone. Finally, sprinkle the spot with baking soda to neutralize the vinegar, let it sit, and then sweep up or rinse away the baking soda.
5. Baking Soda
For fresher bird droppings, baking soda is an excellent choice. Along with being safe to use around people and pets, it’s odor-neutralizing. Additionally, it’s absorbent, so it can remove moisture from the bird poop before it sinks deeply into the concrete.
Generally, you’ll want to use a newly opened box of baking soda, as it’s more effective. Sprinkle it over the droppings, applying it liberally. Then, let it sit so it can soak up as much moisture as possible.
Sweep up the first coating of baking soda and apply a fresh layer. Use a nylon brush to scrub the concrete before letting it sit for several minutes. Then, spritz the baking soda with a vinegar solution to neutralize the baking soda and rinse the area with a hose.
6. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is another natural acid that can break down bird poop surprisingly effectively. As with vinegar, you’ll want to create a 50/50 mix of lemon juice and water solution.
Usually, it’s best to make the solution in a spray bottle. Then, you can gently shake the bottle to combine and spray it directly onto the bird droppings.
Once applied, let the solution sit for around 15 minutes. After that, you can use a nylon scrub brush to clean your concrete or apply baking soda before scrubbing. Finally, rinse your concrete with a hose, repeating the process as necessary until the area is clean.
7. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide doesn’t just tackle odors from bird droppings; it also kills bacteria and tackles stains. Put two cups of hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and add a few drops of ammonia- and bleach-free dish soap. Next, put on the nozzle and gently shake to combine.
Then, spray the bird-dropping stains until they’re thoroughly soaked. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then scrub the area with a nylon brush. After that, use your nose to rinse your concrete.
If the stain doesn’t go away after one application, you can repeat the process. However, for stubborn stains, you may need to try something stronger.
8. Liquid Dish SoapDish soap is effective at breaking down oily messes, making it a good choice when dealing with bird poop. Plus, it’s safe for people and pets doesn’t leave a residue, and won’t harm your lawn in reasonable quantities.
Take one tablespoon of bleach- and ammonia-free dish soap and combine it with two cups of warm water. Stir it to combine, then apply the mixture using a spray bottle or a nylon scrub brush. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub before rinsing the spot with a hose.
If not all of the droppings come up after the first try, you can repeat this process several times safely. However, if that doesn’t tackle all the stains, you’ll need a more potent cleaner.
9. Laundry DetergentLaundry detergent is another common household item that is effective at breaking down the oils in bird droppings. Both powder and liquid versions work, so use whichever you have.
If you’re using a liquid, you can pour it directly on the bird poop. With the powder, put a tablespoon in a cup of water, stir to combine, and then pour it on the droppings.
Let the laundry detergent sit for around 30 minutes. After that, scrub the spot with a nylon brush. Let it sit for another hour, scrub the area again, and then rinse using a hose. If it’s not all gone, repeat the process. If stains still remain, try a stronger cleaner.
10. Oxygen-Based Cleaner
One option for particularly stubborn bird poop is an oxygen-based cleaner. Usually, these products combine hydrogen peroxide with other chemicals, such as sodium percarbonate or sodium perborate. They work by reacting with organic materials found in droppings, essentially oxidizing them.
Since these are commercial cleaners, you’ll need to read the manufacturer’s instructions regarding use. Some require diluting, while others are ready right out of the container. How long you need to let them sit before scrubbing can also vary.
However, even if rinsing isn’t explicitly required in the instructions, you’ll want to rinse since you’re dealing with bird poop. That way, no droppings residue is left behind.
11. Enzymatic CleanerAnother commercial product that’s highly effective is an enzymatic cleaner. These are specifically designed to deal with animal waste-related stains. Along with general cleaning, they effectively neutralize odor-causing urine crystals, eliminating any bird poop odors.
Before you use an enzymatic cleaner, read the manufacturer’s instructions. Usually, you’ll need to apply the cleaner, completely saturating the droppings. Next, you’ll let it sit for about 10 minutes, ensuring it stays wet the entire time.
After the spot soaks, you can use a nylon brush to scrub the stain. After that, you can rinse the area to ensure the droppings are removed.
In some cases, you’ll want to apply a bit more after rinsing, particularly for older stains with strong odors. That allows the enzymatic cleaner to penetrate deeper. Finally, you can rinse again if it’s recommended by the manufacturer.
WD-40 is surprisingly effective at removing stains from concrete. Plus, it removes excess moisture, which is beneficial if fresh bird droppings are starting to soak into your concrete.
Begin by removing any droppings on the surface. Next, spray the stain with WD-40 and let it sit for around 20 minutes. Then, scrub the area with a nylon brush.
- Use paper towels to clean up any excess WD-40.
- Rinse the area with a hose and apply sawdust or baking soda to soak up any remaining WD-40.
- Sweep up the sawdust or baking soda.
13. Trisodium PhosphateTrisodium phosphate (TSP) might be your answer when dealing with incredibly difficult stains. It breaks down odor-causing materials and tackles stains better than some natural solutions. However, since this is a chemical-based approach, it isn’t safe around people or pets.
Typically, you’ll need to start by diluting the TSP. Review the manufacturer’s instructions to find the recommended ratio and create the solution. Then, apply it to the stain, let it sit, and scrub it with a nylon brush.
Finally, you’ll want to rinse your concrete with water using a mop. That way, you won’t end up with runoff going into your yard.
14. Muriatic AcidMost homeowners consider muriatic acid a last resort for tough stains as it’s challenging to work with and generally dangerous due to its high acidity. Plus, it’s unsafe for pets or plants and can also damage many materials.
Check the manufacturer’s instructions for directions about diluting the muriatic acid. Additionally, use whatever application method is recommended. As you work, make sure you go slowly, allowing you to avoid drips and splashes.
Let the muriatic acid sit based on the time listed in the instructions. Rinse the surface using the approach in the directions. Finally, apply baking soda to neutralize the acid, let it sit, and rinse again.
15. Hire a Professional
If you’re dealing with a tough stain and aren’t comfortable working with harsh chemicals like TSP or muriatic acid, consider hiring a professional. They’ll have the knowledge, equipment, and cleaners to remove bird poop stains, including highly stubborn spots. Plus, many will guarantee their results.
In most cases, it’s wise to contact several professionals in your area. That way, you can compare quotes to make sure you’re spending the going rate based on norms in your area. Additionally, confirm that they’re licensed and insured before hiring anyone, which means there are protections in place that safeguard your interests and ensure action is possible should a mistake occur.
Will Bird Poop Stain Concrete?
Bird poop can stain concrete, and the uric acid can lead to discoloration in some cases. Additionally, other materials present in the bird droppings are potentially staining.
Usually, the easiest way to avoid bird poop stains on concrete is to clean the surface quickly. The longer the droppings sit, the more damage they do. By cleaning it up as soon as possible, staining is less likely.
However, if you still see stains after the initial cleaning, there are products to address the discoloration. Depending on the severity, hydrogen peroxide, TSP, muriatic acid, or other options are potentially appropriate.
If a stain proves especially challenging, consider contacting a professional. They’ll have access to the right cleaners and equipment. Plus, their expertise allows them to make sound recommendations regarding how to restore the look of your concrete.
Will Rain Wash Away Bird Poop?
Rain may wash away fresh bird poop with relative ease. However, it won’t help much if the bird poop is drier and adhered to the surface. Additionally, rain won’t tackle stains or conquer any lingering odor caused by uric acid seeping into the surface.
If it doesn’t rain immediately after the bird droppings land on your concrete, it’s best to take action on your own. That ensures the mess is handled quickly. Plus, you can use products to address the stains or smells, leaving your concrete clean and fresh.
How to Stop Birds from Pooping on Your Concrete
While there isn’t much, you can do about occasional droppings from birds flying by. You can make your yard less attractive to birds. Adding predator statues, covering perches with reflective tape, and adding streamers in spots birds typically roost can work. You could also consider ultrasonic devices, pinwheels, or strategically hung fishing line.
Plus, there are steps you can take to keep birds from resting above your concrete. For example, removing overhanging tree limbs ensures birds aren’t sitting in spots over your concrete.
Removing potential food and water sources is another way to decrease the number of birds in your yard. Take out bird feeders and bird baths, control pests on your property, and take similar steps to make sure birds aren’t coming through for a meal or drink.
The Best Way to Clean Bird Poop off Concrete
In many cases, the best way to clean bird poop off concrete is to start with simple, low-risk options. Pressure washing, baking soda, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide all avoid chemicals and perform well. However, for stubborn stains and odors, consider enzymatic cleaners, TSP, or stronger alternatives, as they may do a better job.
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