Your patio is where your friends and family usually hang out—it’s the perfect spot for exchanging stories, barbecue parties, or simply sitting back and enjoying nature. If there’s one thing that may ruin the whole experience, it would be the sight of bird poop speckled across your patio floor.
You can clean bird poop off your patio by scrubbing it off with the help of liquid dishwashing soap, vinegar, or baking soda. However, be careful when dealing with bird droppings since they may harbor bacteria that can make you sick. Don’t forget to disinfect your cleaning equipment after each use.
This article will discuss removing bird poop stains on your patio floor.
We will talk about the various cleaning solutions you can use to eliminate stains and why you should be extra vigilant in minimizing your exposure to bird droppings. Let’s start!
1. Wear a Face Mask and Gloves When Cleaning Bird Poop
It might seem a bit over the top, but wearing a face mask and gloves when dealing with bird poop on your patio floors will protect you from possibly getting sick.
Birds carry germs that may make some people ill. Diseases caused by birds may range from mild allergies to severe, life-threatening conditions.
Birds carry a bacteria called Chlamydia psittaci. Exposure to it can cause Psittacosis, a disease also known as Ornithosis. You can get sick by touching infected birds, their droppings, or items in their cages.
If you have pet birds, be mindful when touching, cleaning, or decorating their cages and bird feeders since you may unknowingly expose yourself to health risks. You can also catch this disease if you inhale particles that contain infected birds’ feather dust, mucus, and droppings.
If you suffer from a Psittacosis infection, symptoms will usually appear within ten days after exposure. Symptoms include:
- Dry cough
- Muscle pains
- A feeling of weakness or fatigue
- Chest pains
Severe complications, although rare, may include:
- Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart’s muscles)
- Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
Histoplasmosis is a type of infection brought about by exposure to bird droppings. You can get sick if you inhale spores of the fungus contained in bird poop. The symptoms of Histoplasmosis can be mild and harmless for most people. However, this disease can be severe and life-threatening for babies and those with weak immune systems.
Symptoms of Histoplasmosis typically become noticeable about 3-17 days after exposure. These include:
- Dry cough
- Chest pain
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain
Severe complications include:
- Bloody cough
- Weight loss
- Disseminated Histoplasmosis (the disease affects various parts of the body, including the mouth, skin, liver, and central nervous system; it is fatal when untreated)
Remember to wash your hands thoroughly with running water and soap after dealing with bird poop on your patio floor. This method is one of the best ways to protect yourself against diseases caused by birds. It would be best to do so after touching birds and any items in their cages.
2. Blast Water All Over the Surface Using a Garden Hose
Bird poop is an eyesore. Even a small cluster can instantly make your patio look untidy and uninviting. That’s why it is essential that you always keep an eye out for them, so you can address the situation before it goes out of control. Dried bird poop can be extremely difficult to remove.
It is best to use a pressurized hose nozzle for this purpose. If the droppings are fresh and haven’t completely solidified, you should quickly wash them away. You can also take this opportunity to clean the rest of your patio floors.
Pressure washing is a great way to get into the nooks and crannies of your patio floors that you would otherwise miss by regular water flushing. Occasional pressure washing will help you get rid of dirt and minor stains.
3. Scrub the Bird Poop Away
If the droppings have dried up and you can no longer eliminate them with just water, get down on your knees to do some scrubbing. Ensure the area is thoroughly soaked, and drizzle some liquid dishwashing soap over the poop area. Scrub the bird poop away using a handheld brush.
The soap should soften it, and the scrubbing action will loosen the stain, lifting it off your patio floor.
White Vinegar Solution
You can also use white vinegar to remove tough stains from bird poop. White vinegar is a non-toxic and environmentally-friendly option that is reliable in lifting tough stains from surfaces. This method is an excellent alternative if you are keen on avoiding harsh chemicals when cleaning.
However, remember that particular types of floor surfaces may not be safe for vinegar. It is an acidic substance produced from the fermentation of ethanol alcohol, registering at about 2.2-3 on the pH scale.
Certain surfaces may react adversely to vinegar’s acidic properties.
Nonetheless, if you dilute your vinegar with water, you significantly lower its acidity level. If you want to be on the safe side, use equal parts of vinegar and water. Then, you can add more vinegar if you’re dealing with tougher than usual stains from dried-up bird poop.
If your patio floor falls under any of these specifications, keep a close eye on it when using vinegar for cleaning:
- Marble. Vinegar can strip marble of its protective layer—gradually destroying the stone from the inside. It can also make the surface dull.
- Ceramic tiles. Vinegar will harm the grout in your ceramic tiles. It can cause discoloration and eventual crumbling of grout.
- Stone. Vinegar may cause discoloration and dullness on your stone floors. It may also make your patio floor more vulnerable to pitting and etching.
- Concrete. Vinegar will make your concrete patio floor more vulnerable to stains.
- Hardwood. Vinegar will strip your hardwood floors of their protective layer, completely exposing the wood underneath.
Here is how to clean your patio floors with vinegar solution:
- Mix 1 cup of water, 1 cup of vinegar, and two teaspoons of liquid dishwashing soap in a squirt bottle.
- Pour the solution over the bird poop stains.
- Allow the solution to settle for about 15 minutes to loosen the stain.
- Scrub the bird poop away with your handheld brush.
Baking Soda Solution
Baking soda is another excellent cleaning agent alternative. It is gentler than vinegar but effective in getting rid of tough stains. Additionally, baking soda is known to be effective in eliminating foul odors. This unique property will be handy when dealing with bird poop on your patio floors.
Here is how to clean your patio floors with baking soda solution:
- Mix 1 gallon of water, ½ cup of baking soda, and ⅛ cup of liquid dishwashing detergent in a squirt bottle.
- Pour the solution over the bird poop stains.
- Let it rest for about 10 minutes.
- Scrub the bird poop off with your handheld brush.
4. Rinse Everything Off
Grab your hose and spray the area with water. Make sure you rinse off all the cleaning solutions so there won’t be any residual scent. Ensure that you get rid of all traces of bird poop as well. Any remaining bits will eventually harden and cause stains on your patio floors.
5. Disinfect Your Cleaning Gear
Don’t take your face mask and protective gloves off just yet. Make sure to thoroughly clean and disinfect your brush and any other cleaning gear you might have used to remove the bird poop stains. Remember that bird droppings may harbor harmful bacteria and make you ill.
Here is how to disinfect your cleaning equipment:
- Rinse your cleaning gear under running water to get rid of any debris.
- Mix 1 gallon of hot water and ½ cup chlorine bleach in a large pail or tub.
- Soak your brushes and cleaning gear in the hot solution for at least 10-15 minutes. Do not soak the whole brush if your cleaning brush has wooden handles or bases. Dip them in and never let the wooden parts come into contact with the disinfecting solution.
- Rinse your cleaning gear again under running water.
- Place them in a sunny spot to air dry.
6. Clean Yourself Up
Dispose of your face mask and protective gloves. Never reuse them since they may already be contaminated. Thoroughly wash your hands, arms, and face with warm water and soap. Before reentering your home, it would be best to clean yourself first—and prevent spreading harmful bacteria.
Among the harsh realities of having a great outdoor space is dealing with bird poop. The key is to get rid of the feces as soon as you notice them. They are much easier to eliminate when they have not yet solidified on your floors.
And while we’re on the subject, it’s drastically easier when you don’t have the bird poop, to begin with! We’ve written a companion article about how to keep birds from pooping on your patio furniture — check it out.
However, dealing with bird poop stains is an inevitable aspect of enjoying your patio. To keep it nice and inviting and your loved ones safe from fowl-borne diseases, make it a weekly habit to rid your floors of this unsightly goop. Liquid dishwashing soap, vinegar, and baking soda are your best allies.