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The best ways to remove tree sap, bird droppings and blossoms from your car before they cause damage

The best ways to remove tree sap, bird droppings and blossoms from your car before they cause damage

We’ve all been there – when you walked out to get in your car and find a bird left a present for you, or a large drop of tree sap landed on your windshield. Either way, both can be a nightmare to remove, especially if you don’t have time to scrub them off quickly.

Worse, leaving them on too long can seep through your paint, and with a pH between three and five, bird droppings are high in uric acid — a corrosive element that can quickly damage your vehicle’s exterior. And with summer really just around the corner, the heat from the sun can make it even harder to remove stubborn stains or blemishes.

So how do you keep these all-too-inevitable deposits from leaving their mark? Price comparator uswitch has listed some tips and tricks for cleaning them safely – including blossoms and insects – and how to protect your car.

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How do you remove tree sap from your car?

If tree sap gets on your paint, it can eat through the wax and the clear coat that sits on top of the colored paint, leaving permanent marks that could reduce the value of your car when you sell it. If you decide to sell, be sure to transfer auto insurance to your new vehicle.

The key to removing tree sap and minimizing damage is to act as quickly as possible. It’s tough when you’re out and about, but having some water and a cloth will help you get rid of the excess while you’re away, before giving the area a good clean with car shampoo if you can.

If you find that the juice has cured for an extended period of time, or has been in direct sunlight for hours on end, don’t worry – there are still things you can do. Juice remover is great for breaking down the cured liquid, meaning you can wipe it off without vigorous scrubbing. For stubborn sap stains, you can also purchase clay bars. These are designed to be used after a thorough car cleaning and removal of any sap left on your car.

Remove bird droppings from your car

Perhaps the most common pest when it comes to our cars is finding bird droppings on our roofs, doors and hoods. A year-round problem, it can be more common in the spring and summer when birds hunt to feed their chicks and then they begin to flee the nest.

It may be called luck, but bird droppings are anything but for cars. Extremely acidic, it cuts through paintwork when allowed to cure. At certain times of the year, you can also find digested berries in the poop, making it more difficult to remove. If you catch bird droppings while it’s still wet, you can usually wipe it off with a soft, damp cloth and some water. However, once it dries, it can be more difficult to remove.

Start by removing the excess with a damp cloth before using a car shampoo and water to gently buff off the excess. If you don’t have car shampoo, sparkling water is a handy alternative – just dip a cloth in the water and let it sit on the offending area for a few minutes before wiping it off.

How clean is your car?
(Image: Getty Images)

Remove blossom from your car

If you notice that blossoms have fallen on your car, you should first try to remove them with your hands and rinse the area. This will work if they’ve been dropped recently in dry weather, but if they’re wet, you’ll need to use water to wash them off. If you find them sticking to your paint, it’s best to shampoo the area to completely remove all traces.

How to remove bugs from your car

Bugs and bugs can be a problem for motorists in the summer months, which are often found on the hoods and grills of cars. Their acidic nature allows them to cut through paint quickly. A quick shampoo is usually enough, but if you’ve left them on for a few weeks, you may need to use a specially formulated solution to remove them.

According to bodywork specialist, ChipsAway Their average bill is over £200, but if your car has damage as a result of any of the above and requires more work, panel refinishing can cost up to £500. While a larger area can cost you thousands depending on where you are in the country and what car you have.

If you decide to leave these imperfections on your paint, you may end up with a lower valuation than you hoped when selling or trading in your car. Body work is one of the most important factors that determine the value of your car; cars with good bodywork are usually worth more than cars with bad paint. So ignoring any of the above points can negatively affect the future value.

Top tips for removing paint problems from your car

  • Remove the offending item as soon as you can

  • Only use products designed for use on car paint

  • Use a clean, soft cloth to remove the stains to minimize the risk of scratching the paint

  • Clean and wax your car regularly – the glossier the surface, the harder it is to stick anything to it

  • WD-40 can help loosen stubborn stains if you don’t have a car shampoo or specialist solution

Joel Kempson, auto insurance expert, says: “We often think it’s the winter months that cause the most potential damage to our cars – from storms, snow and ice – but the warmer months also have their challenges when it comes to our vehicles.

“It is vital that car owners keep an eye on their cars and check them regularly for signs of the above. But as with most things, prevention is better than treatment. We advise motorists to avoid parking under or near trees or under bird nests as much as possible to reduce the risk of damage in the future.”

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