Can you wash bird poop in your washing machine?

Birds are one of the wonderful species on earth and just like any other creatures they too have to answer nature’s call.

While it is an absolutely normal thing, it can be messy if they poop on your clothes.

Let me tell you that you will have to be very cautious when dealing with the stains caused by bird poop as they are very adamant.

In this article, I will take you through the process of cleaning bird poop from your fabrics in an effective manner.

Here’s what the article covers.

Why do Birds Poop on clothes?

If you are wondering why the birds poop on humans or their belongings such as a car or fabrics lying on a clothesline in an open area then you are not alone.

Birds are usually defensive in nature and they tend to target humans as their self-defensive approach.

Pooping on humans is a common way to display their defensive approach. 

Bird poop is also known as bird droppings and is composed of uric acid, which is highly corrosive in nature.

It can not only cause serious damage to your clothes and other fabrics but also damage to your washer.

The acidic properties keep the bird poop wet for longer, therefore it dries at a slow pace.

It is recommended to hand wash the clothes with bird poop by wearing gloves and a mild detergent.

Is bird poop harmful to humans?

Some people think it’s a blessing and it’s a good luck sign that makes the rest of the day lucky.

While that is superstitious, in reality, things are a lot different.

Birds usually feed on insects and other sources and they drop indigested substances in the form of poop.

To be very precise in most cases bird poop is actually toxic for humans as they contain bacteria. If you breathe in the dust or consume a water droplet containing bird droppings, it can target your immune system and lead to several diseases (1).

Hence it is recommended to clean the areas affected by bird droppings.

Let us see how can you deal with bird poop from your affected fabrics using your washing machine.

Can you wash bird poop in your washing machine?

It is easy to wipe clean bird poop when it’s wet and it becomes difficult to clean them when dry.

Whatever the situation is, you will have to be cautious enough when dealing with clothes loaded with bird poop. 

So before you put your fabrics into the machine you should always pre-treat the affected surface.

You should wear safety gloves suitable for laundry when treating such stains.

Let us begin with the pre-treating process followed by washing them in your machine.

Step 1: When the poop is wet, simply grab a paper cloth, wipes, or a soft cloth and wipe it properly.

Step 2: To avoid stains pour a few drops of mild soap (or a drop of disinfectant) and water into the affected area and rub the surface using a soft brush or a sponge.

Doing this will prevent stain spots on your clothes.

Step 3: If the bird poop has dried on the fabric surface then it becomes difficult to get rid of them.

You will need to wet the area with water and apply soap.

Leave the solution for around 10 minutes. This will loosen the stain particles and will make it easy to clean them further.

You may also use a bucket filled with water, add a suitable detergent, and soak the garment for around 30 minutes.

Step 4: Start rubbing the affected fabric surface with a sponge or a brush. Repeat this step twice or thrice and remove as much as you can.

Now you can load them into your washing machine.

Step 5: Add the garment to the washing machine and you can use your regular detergent suitable to the fabric. 

(Note – If you are loading it with other garments then simply add a couple of drops of a liquid disinfectant such as Lysol.)

Step 6: Now you may select the wash cycle as per the fabric type. Refer to the care label and run the cycle accordingly.

Once the wash cycle completes, you can check if the stain is gone. If you still notice a mild patch then you can simply repeat the process. 

Lastly, you can put the garments for air drying or use a tumble drying as per your fabric type.

Washing Bird Poop from fabric in washing machine (Infographics)

wash bird poop from fabric in washing machine

Useful tips to deal with bird poop on fabrics

Your fabrics can become a victim of patchy bird poop in various situations. It can be anywhere in an open area.

In situations when your clothes are affected by bird poop, you should follow the below useful tips.

Wipe the fabric surface

As soon as you notice bird poop dropping on your clothes, simply wipe off the surface with a paper cloth or any cloth. If you are unable to find a piece of cloth simply use paper.

Make sure not to spread it over to your clothes while you wipe them off.

Simply place the piece of cloth on the spots and let it soak as much as possible before you rub them against the surface.

Dried Poop Patches

If the surface has dried with the patches of bird poop then simply rub the area in a dry state. This will discharge the excess particles out of the fabric.

Wet the area with some water and then gently rub the bird poop off of the fabric.

You may also make use of mild soap in the process.

Safety precautions

As you clean the poop make sure you sanitize the surface and wash your hands.

If you don’t have any alternatives to clean the wet poop, you may use a handkerchief to clean them off.

If you have wiped off the surface using a paper cloth then trash them immediately.

For handkerchiefs, make sure they are washed thoroughly along with your affected garment.

And always use a safety glove when you pre-treat or clean the bird poop from your clothes.

Machine Wash

Do not throw the garments in the machine without pre-treating them.

You may also add a disinfectant in the wash cycle that will help to kill the bacteria.

If you have directly washed the affected garment in the washing machine then remember to clean your washing machine afterward to avoid any cross-contamination.

Be careful of fabric types

Not all fabrics are meant for machine washing and hence treat only the suitable ones using a machine.

Hand washing is the preferred method to clean the fabrics that are affected by bird poops.

For leather fabrics, you can simply use a leather cleaning solution and a sponge to wipe out the patches.

You can also use a mild soap and a few drops of water to remove the bird poop from your leather garment.

Final Thoughts

Pre-treating the poop-affected clothes can help you get rid of the stains more effectively.

Always use safety precautions when dealing with such stains and remember to clean your washing machine after washing clothes affected with bird poop.

Doing this will avoid any cross-contamination.

Lastly, do not forget to sanitize the clothes post-wash.

Simply pour 2 capsful of disinfectant like Lysol just before the rinse cycle to get the clothes disinfected.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I clean my shirt loaded with bird poop for ages?

Combine two cups of cool water with one tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap OR take 2 tablespoons of baking soda and mix it in a bowl of warm water. Next, Sponge the stain with the detergent mixture using a fresh, white cloth. If this does not work, soak the clothes in the baking soda solution for 30 minutes and then hand wash them.

Can I pre-treat the bird poop with a dishwasher liquid?

Yes, you can but make sure that your fabric bears the liquid compounds. Also, make sure to use the least amount of liquid solution and more water. Do not leave the solution for a longer time and wash it immediately. 

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)