How to Remove Bird Poop Stains From Clothes and Outdoor Furniture

How to Remove Bird Dropping Stains from Clothes

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Overview
  • Working Time: 15 - 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 - 12 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner

A bird always seems to know just when you're wearing your best clothes because you're trying to impress others or running late to a meeting. Bird droppings can appear on anything from flags to outdoor furniture and on fabric (one of the hazards of an outdoor clothesline). There can even be bird poop stains on your clothing or carpet if you have a feathered friend living indoors. Luckily, it's rare that bird waste has an odor. But it helps to know how to handle the unsightly part of the problem.

Stain type  Protein, natural dyes
Detergent type Heavy-duty
Water temperature Cold to warm for garments
Cycle type Varies by garment's fabric type

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Dull knife, spoon, or credit card
  • Washer or large sink

Materials

  • Paper towel
  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent
  • Oxygen-based bleach
  • Cold water

Instructions

How to Remove Bird Poop Stains From Clothes

Before You Begin

If the garment is labeled as dry clean only, use the edge of a credit card or plastic knife to scoop away as much of the moist poop as possible. Wet a paper towel with plain water and starting at the outside edge, blot the stain away moving to a clean spot on the towel each time. Do not rub. Allow the garment to air-dry.

As soon as possible head to your dry cleaner and point out and identify the stain to a professional cleaner. If you decide to use a home dry cleaning kit, treat the stain first with the provided stain remover before putting the garment in the dryer bag.

  1. Let the Droppings Dry

    Though this isn't very appealing, the easiest way to get rid of the waste is to let the bird droppings dry on the fabric. Rubbing the droppings while wet will cause the matter to smear and the scrubbing motion will push the poop deeper into the fabric.

  2. Remove the Dry Droppings

    Once the droppings are dry, scrape off the solid matter from the fabric using a dull knife or spoon.

    If the droppings are wet, move to the next step.

  3. Removing Wet Droppings

    If you can't remove your clothes or don't have the time or stomach to let the poop dry, use the edge of a credit card or plastic knife to scoop away as much of the moist poop as possible. Be careful not to smear the droppings.

  4. Blot the Stain

    Wet a paper towel with plain water and starting at the outside edge of the area where you just scooped up the poop, begin to blot the stain away. Move to a clean spot on the towel each time some of the stain is transferred. Do not rub; just blot until no more waste is transferred to the paper towel. Allow the fabric to air-dry.

  5. Flush the Stain With Cold Water

    As soon as possible, remove the garment and flush out the waste with water. Hold the fabric with the wrong side facing up under a cold water faucet running at full force. The force of the water will push the poop away from the surface of the fibers. Do not use hot water because the protein in the droppings will "cook" onto the fibers. If the fabric is not discolored, wash the entire garment as usual.

  6. Removing Dye Stains From Droppings

    If any coloration remains after flushing the stain away, it could be a natural dye from whatever item the bird consumed. Mix a solution of warm water and oxygen-based bleach (brand names are OxiClean, Nellie's All-Natural Oxygen Brightener, or OXO Brite) following package directions. Submerge the stained item entirely and allow it to soak at least four hours or overnight. Then wash the garment.

  7. Wash as Usual

    Wash the garment following the care label instructions. It's important to wash the itemor take it to a dry cleaner as soon as you can because some bird droppings are highly acidic and can cause discoloration. This is especially true for droppings from birds that may have consumed fruits like berries that can stain fabrics.

How to Remove Bird Poop Stains From Carpet

What You'll Need

Supplies

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Warm water
  • Oxygen-based bleach
  • Paper towel

Tools

  • Dull knife, spoon, or credit card
  • Small bowl or bucket
  • Eyedropper
  • White cloth
  • Vacuum
  1. Lift Away the Droppings

    If the droppings are wet or dry, use a dull-edged knife or a credit card to lift away the solids. If the poop is wet, do not smear and never rub the stain.

  2. Mix a Cleaning Solution

    In a small bowl, mix a solution of 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid with 2 cups of lukewarm water.

  3. Treat the Stain

    Dip a white cloth or paper towel into the solution and blot the stain. Keep moving to a clean area of the cloth as the stain is transferred out of the carpet.

  4. Treat Any Remaining Stain

    If the stain is still present, mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach in cool water following the package's directions. Dip a clean sponge into the solution or use an eyedropper to apply it to the remaining spot. Working from the outside edge of the stain toward the center, work the solution into the carpet. Do not saturate the carpet. Allow the solution to remain on the stain for at least 30 minutes.

  5. Rinse the Carpet

    When no more of the stain can be transferred, dip a clean white cloth in plain water and rinse by blotting the stain again. It is important to rinse the cleaning solution out of the carpet fibers because it can attract soil.

  6. Allow the Carpet to Dry

    To speed drying, use a dry white cloth to blot away moisture. Allow the area to air-dry away from direct heat. When it's dry, vacuum the area to restore the pile of the carpet.

How to Remove Bird Poop Stains From Outdoor Fabrics

What You'll Need

Supplies

  • Dull knife, spoon, or credit card
  • Heavy-duty laundry detergent
  • Lukewarm water
  • Oxygen-based bleach (optional)

Tools

  • Spray or squirt bottle
  • Bucket (optional)
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Hard-bristled brush (optional)
  • Outdoor hose sprayer
  1. Scrape Away the Poop

    If there's any excess wet or dry poop, scrape it off the outdoor furniture cushions or outdoor umbrella using a dull knife, spoon, or credit card. If the poop looks dusty and light in color, use a hard-bristled brush to sweep it off the fabric. Do not rub or scrub the poop.

    What About Sunbaked Poop?

    Some bird poop is tough to remove when it's baked on (like seagull poop). There may not be much waste to scrape. Leave a thicker paste of laundry detergent and less water on the stain for about an hour. After it sits for an hour, scrub and rinse.

  2. Fill a Spray or Squirt Bottle

    Add a couple of drops of laundry detergent to the bottom of an empty spray or squirt bottle. Add lukewarm water to the bottle to create some suds. If you have to clean a large swathe of fabric or umbrella, use a bucket for the cleaning mixture instead.

  3. Gently Brush the Stain

    Spray, squirt, or pour the mixture on the stain left behind by the poop. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently brush the water and detergent mixture into the stain. If there's a berry stain from the bird's poop, treat it with oxygen-based bleach.

  4. Rinse and Air-Dry

    If the stain is gone on the furniture or umbrella, thoroughly rinse away the excess suds with a garden hose. Let the fabric air-dry.

If the poop left a red stain on your clothing, you'll need to focus on ways of removing berry stains from fabrics which usually requires more treatments with oxygen-based bleach and possibly hydrogen peroxide. If the bird poop has not lifted out of your outdoor fabrics, you may have to turn to commercial products formulated especially for this problem. Try a pet stain remover from a pet store or specialized cleaning agents for canvas and other outdoor fabrics sold in boat supply stores.