Let’s face it – bird poop is a nuisance that not of us want to look at – let alone deal with. That said, someone’s got to clean it if you don’t want your concrete driveway or sidewalk looking like the inside of a birdcage.
The other issue with bird poop – besides the fact that it’s gross to look at – is that it’s acidic enough to eat away at your concrete over time. You generally want to get rid of it as soon as possible, as the longer you leave it in place, the worse off the damage will be.
Let’s take a closer look at several methods of how to remove bird poop from concrete – from simple methods to remove light stains, to methods for removing stubborn bird droppings that have accumulated over time.
What are Bird Droppings?
Unlike mammal droppings, bird poop is actually a combination of urine and feces. Birds do both number 1 and 2 out of the same opening (called a Cloaca).
If you actually examine a bird dropping up close – not that you need to do this – you’ll notice that the dropping consists of a white portion made of uric acid (the equivalent of urine), as well as a dark-colored portion in the middle, which is the feces portion.
In addition to the aesthetic damage, bird droppings can also be harmful to human health. They can contain Histoplasmosis, which is actually a fungus that can grow in dried bird droppings. In addition, they can contain Salmonella, Psittacosis, and Cryptococcosis.
While a small amount of bird poop is not a serious health concern, if you allow it to pile up and accumulate, it can become quite disgusting and the health risks increase.
How to Remove Bird Poop from Concrete – Guide
Let’s take a look at a few techniques for how to remove bird poop from concrete – so you can return that slab back to its former glory.
Method 1: Dish Soap & Hose
The first way to clean up a simple situation involving bird poop is by using some simple dish soap and a hose.
All you need for this is a regular garden hose, some dish soap, and a scrubbing brush.
Step 1: Spray the Area with Your Hose
To start, hose down the entire area with your hose to soak the dried droppings. If you can, spray any loose droppings lose with the hose.
Step 2: Apply Dish Soap
Apply your dish soap to the entire surface, especially the areas where the bird droppings are located.
Step 3: Scrub
Let the soap soak in for a few minutes, and then scrub down the stubborn droppings with your brush.
Step 4: Rinse the Surface with a Hose
Once you’ve broken up the bird droppings with your scrubber, use your hose to rinse down the surface and rinse away any remaining bird droppings.
This method works well for bird droppings that aren’t that stubborn or old. If you use this method, and still can’t remove the bird droppings, then move on to one of the following methods for more tricky situations.
Method 2: Pressure Washer
The next method for removing more stubborn bird poop involves using a pressure washer. If you don’t own a pressure washer, you can always rent one to use for the day for less than $100.
A pressure washer will make quick work of more stubborn bird poop, but sometimes the washer itself won’t be enough.
You’ll need a few other items for this method:
- Pressure washer
- Concrete cleaning chemical for pressure washer
- Scrubbing brush
- Sawdust, broom, and dust bin (Optional)
Step 1: Pressure Wash the Surface
The first thing you want to do is pressure wash the entire concrete surface. A pressure washer is often enough to break up and remove stubborn bird poop stains, so you may not need to continue on to the next steps.
Step 2: Add Cleaning Chemical to Washer
Next up, add the concrete cleaning chemical to the soap reservoir on your pressure washer. This will be a small tank located on the side of the washer.
Step 3: Apply the Cleaning Chemical at Low Pressure
Next up, apply the cleaning chemical at a low-pressure setting on your pressure washer. You want the chemical to soak into the bird droppings, so applying it at a high-pressure setting will wash it away too quickly.
Step 4: Allow the Cleaner to Soak
After application, allow the cleaner to soak into the concrete for about 5 minutes. At this point, the chemical will have had the chance to soak into the bird poop and do its work.
Step 5: Wash at High Pressure
Next, switch the pressure washer over to its highest setting and wash the surface thoroughly. Use your scrubber if you’re not getting the job done with the pressure washer alone.
At this point, hopefully, you’ve removed any remaining bird droppings. If not, continue on to the next steps.
Step 6 (Optional): Apply Sawdust
If the area that you’re working on is particularly large, and you don’t want to hose the bird droppings onto the surrounding area, then this is a technique you can use to collect the waste.
After applying the cleaning chemical, and allowing it to soak into the bird waste, sprinkle sawdust over the entire area and allow the bird waste to absorb the waste and water. Then you can simply sweep up the sawdust instead of spraying it into the surrounding area.
This method will work well for just about any bird poop, but if you’re working with a particularly stubborn situation, then continue on with this next method to deal with the most stubborn stuff out there.
Method 3: Muriatic Acid
This method is the ultimate bird poop killer, but it involves the use of some pretty heavy-duty chemicals.
Muriatic acid is essentially a diluted version of hydrochloric acid, so you need to treat it with care and avoid getting it on your skin, clothing, or breathing in its fumes.
Supplies needed for this method:
- Pressure washer
- Concrete cleaner
- Scrub brush
- Sawdust, dustpan, and broom
- Muriatic acid
Step 1: Pressure Wash the Surface
Just like the previous step, you’ll want to start by pressure washing the concrete surface.
Step 2: Apply Concrete Cleaner
Next up, you’ll want to apply your concrete cleaner as you did in the previous step. Allow it to soak into the bird waste for several minutes before washing it off with the pressure washer set to high.
Step 3: Apply Muriatic Acid
If the previous steps aren’t sufficient in removing the bird stains, then you’ll want to use a diluted solution of muriatic acid to soak into the concrete.
The ratio you’ll want to go with is 4:1, and take extra care to apply the solution in a well-ventilated area where there is no risk of getting it on your skin. When mixing, always add the right amount of acid to the container first, and then add water to dilute it, and use an acid-resistant plastic or glass container.
Wear a respirator, acid-resistant gloves, eye protection, and good boots when working with the solution.
Apply the mixture over the bird stains, and allow it to soak in until the stain starts to peel off. Don’t leave it too long as it can bleach the concrete surface.