You know the scenario. You’ve just washed and detailed your baby for the first time this spring. You drive over to a friends house and park. When you come back, your car has been air bombed by birds.
Of course, your first reaction is to remove the droppings as soon as possible, before the acid from them dulls the paint.
However, new research from UK car care firm Autoglym, says acidity isn’t the problem, rather the lacquer in the paint cooling and hardening, moulding itself around the ‘foreign’ texture of the bird dropping. In fact, during a test with strong acidic, neutral and alkali bird droppings on paintwork, Autoglym noticed almost no difference in the damage resulting.
However, when it came to sunlight, length of time and the types of dropping, the results proved very interesting. The longer the deposit remains on the paint surface and the higher the temperature it’s exposed too before cooling off, the harder it will be and the greater the chance for the lacquer to mold around it, making it much more difficult to remove.
In addition, the texture of the droppings can also have an effect, more solid deposits are likely to result in a greater dullness of the paint finish, because as the lacquer changes form and hardens around the ‘solid’ matter, it distorts the rays of light hitting the surface.
So what can you do to minimize the damage of bird droppings to your car’s paint finish?
Autoglym says that firstly, you should remove it as soon as possible. Secondly, use a moist, soft cloth and if it doesn’t lift easily, hold the cloth over the area for approximately 10 minutes to soften it.
Also, once the cloth has been used throw it away and wash your hands, as bird droppings can harbor disease.
So know you know what causes those dreaded blemishes in your paint and how to get rid of them, here’s to a happy spring and summer of motoring in your shiny ride!