How to Remove Bird Poop Stains From Clothes and Carpets

How to Remove Bird Dropping Stains From Clothes

The Spruce / Ellen Lindner

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 15 - 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 - 12 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $0

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 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.

Fortunately, bird poop stains can be taken care of with some standard household products that are most likely already on hand in your house. Although it's tempting, never scrub the stain as you'll push it further into the fabric. So before grabbing a rag, take a moment and simply follow the steps below to effectively remove bird poop stains.

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

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. Then, head to your dry cleaner, and point out and identify the stain to a professional. 

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

Removing Bird Poop Stains From Clothing

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

Removing Bird Poop Stains From Carpet

  • Dull knife, spoon, or credit card
  • Small bowl or bucket
  • Eyedropper
  • White cloth
  • Vacuum

Materials

Removing Bird Poop Stains From Clothing

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

Removing Bird Poop Stains From Carpet

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

Instructions

Laundry detergent and bleach bottles next to hose, spray bottle, soft bristled brush and dull knife outside

The Spruce / Almar Creative

How to Remove Bird Poop Stains From Clothes

  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.

    White bird poop stain laid to dry on back of light blue jacket

    The Spruce / Cristina Tudor

  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.

    Dried bird poop droppings scraped from back of jacket with dull knife

    The Spruce / Cristina Tudor

  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.

    Wet bird poop scraped up with edge of credit card from back of jacket

    The Spruce / Cristina Tudor

  4. Blot the Stain

    • Wet a paper towel with plain water.
    • Start at the outside edge of the area where you just scooped up the poop, and begin to blot the stain away.
    • Move to a clean spot on the towel each time some of the stain is transferred.
    • Allow the fabric to air-dry.

    Warning

    Do not rub; just blot until no more waste is transferred to the paper towel otherwise, you'll smear it and push the poop further into the fibers.

    Wet paper towel blotting bird poop stain on back of jacket

    The Spruce / Cristina Tudor

  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.
    • If the fabric is not discolored, wash the entire garment as usual.

    Warning

    Do not use hot water because the protein in the droppings will "cook" onto the fibers.

    Bird poop stain flushed with running water under sink

    The Spruce / Cristina Tudor

  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 for at least four hours or overnight.
    • Wash the garment.
    Bird poop stained shirt submerged in sink water with oxygen-based bleach

    The Spruce / Cristina Tudor

  7. Wash as Usual

    Wash the garment following the care label instructions.

    Tip

    It's important to wash the item or take it to a dry cleaner as soon as possible 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.

    Light blue shirt placed in washing machine for regular cleaning

    The Spruce / Cristina Tudor

How to Remove Bird Poop Stains From Carpet

  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.

    Bird poop dropping lifted from carpet with credit card edge and dull knife

    The Spruce / Cristina Tudor

  2. Mix a Cleaning Solution

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

    Pink dishwashing liquid mixed with water in bowl for cleaning solution

    The Spruce / Cristina Tudor

  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.

    Bird poop stain blotted with wet paper towel from carpet

    The Spruce / Cristina Tudor

  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.
    Eye dropper applying small amount of oxygen-based bleach solution on carpet stain

    The Spruce / Cristina Tudor

  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.

    Tips

    It is important to thoroughly rinse the cleaning solution out of the carpet fibers because any residue can attract soil.

    White cloth rinsing bird poop stained carpet with clean water

    The Spruce / Cristina Tudor

  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.
    Vacuum passing over dried carpet after cleaning bird poop stain

    The Spruce / Cristina Tudor

Additional Tips for Handling a Bird Poop Stain

Some stains are stubborn and will linger on clothing, and you might need a little extra help to get rid of them.

  • 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 require more treatments with oxygen-based bleach and possibly hydrogen peroxide.