How to Remove Bird Droppings From a Wooden Deck

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It's quite relaxing to enjoy a cup of coffee out on your deck while watching songbirds flit around your yard. Relaxation can quickly turn to frustration, however, when the birds start to leave their droppings all over your wooden deck. If your deck has only been hit a few times, a spot treatment with a scraper and a little soapy water will quickly restore order. If you have a lot of birds or have put off the task for a while, you'll need to take a more serious approach.

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Important Safety Considerations

For most people, bird dirt is little more than an unattractive nuisance. It can spread disease, however, and those with compromised immune systems should leave the task of cleaning the deck to someone else. Even healthy people should take precautions when cleaning up bird droppings.

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When performing this task, wear clothes that you don't mind getting dirty and that you can wash immediately after you finish cleaning. Wear old shoes, preferably opting for waterproof boots since you will be working with water. Don rubber gloves to protect your hands and if you need to get close to the feces to scrape it or to scrub a particularly tough stain, cover your face with goggles and a disposable mask.

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Things You'll Need

How to Remove Bird Droppings From a Wooden Deck

Step 1: Soak the Deck

Dried bird droppings are easier to remove if you can soften them first by soaking them in some water. Soaking also prevents the feces from flaking off and forming a powder. Inhalation of this powder is one of the main ways bird feces can cause illness. Sometimes, the water pressure from the hose is enough to remove some of the dirt.

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  1. Spray the deck with water from your garden hose and let it sit for a few minutes.

  2. Fill a large bucket with dish soap and hot water. Dip a stiff scrub brush into the bucket and scrub the deck with it.

  3. Rinse the deck with the garden hose and inspect it.

Step 2: Step Up the Cleaning Power

Whenever cleaning, you should always start with the safest and mildest cleaning agents and work your way up to more potent options. In many cases, soapy water will take care of bird droppings on a deck. Stubborn bird stains, however, like those that come from birds who just ate berries, may need a second cleaning with something a little more potent.

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  1. Mix together a solution of 3 parts water to 10 parts bleach. Alternatively, you may wish to purchase a commercial deck cleaner at your local hardware store.
  2. Leave the bleach solution on the deck for five minutes so that proper disinfection is achieved.
  3. Scrub the deck with the bleach mixture and then rinse it thoroughly.

Tip

You can use a power washer to rinse your deck, but do so carefully, as this can damage the wood. Always use a fan-style tip and use the power washer's low or medium setting.

Step 3: Finish Off the Tough Spots

After you've cleaned your deck, you may find a few areas where bird droppings remain. Removing these few remaining spots is a simple task now that the droppings have been softened by all the water and cleaning solutions.

  1. Use a putty knife to scrape away any remaining bird droppings. Doing this before the deck dries makes it easier.
  2. Treat any stains left after scraping by soaking them in dish soap for 15 minutes. Then, scrub and rinse the area.
  3. Consider sealing your deck now that it's nice and clean. Sealing the deck will protect the wood and make future bird droppings easier to remove.

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