The Super-Simple Way to Clean Bird Poop Off Your Patio Pavers

published Jul 3, 2022
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Garden lounge chair
Credit: Getty Images/HannamariaH

I learn so many things as a writer. Most recently, I learned about how to clean up bird poop. (Yes, you read that right. This post is about bird poop.) But let me back up and explain!

When I came across a tip for cleaning bird poop with a simple formula made from one part mild dish soap and three parts water, I knew I had to try it out. See, I love a good dish soap hack. But as much as I wanted to test it, I quickly realized I had nothing to test the solution on. Because, well, I don’t have any areas near my house where birds regularly poop. (Lucky me!) So, I did the next best thing. I started looking for areas I knew birds had left their … um, markings.

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

At first, I thought about calling our family’s favorite local pizza place, which I’d noticed had a huge area of guano on their front steps. It was such a significant pile that it readily came to mind when I set out to write this piece. (A flock of birds must roost right above the middle step.)

Just as I was rehearsing my would-be conversation with the pizza manager (“Hello! I have a strange request. I’m a writer and I’m writing about how to clean bird poop. And, I, uh, saw you have a bird poop problem. Can I maybe test out a method to clean your front stairs?”), I decided to check with two of my closest pals — my sister and one of my BFFs — to see if they could help with this poopy problem (you know, to spare me the embarrassment).

It just so happened that both my sister and friend had bird poop messes they routinely have to deal with. In fact, I texted my sister just at the moment she and her husband happened to be heading outside to clean the bird poop on their patio pavers! (Woo, psychic sister abilities!)

Both my sister and friend tested out the dish soap solution with the formula and instructions I gave them: one part dish soap to three parts water, scrub with a brush, and rinse with cool water. It seemed pretty easy to do.

Credit: Shifrah Combiths
Birdie poop begone! Here's my friend's successful try.

You can see for yourself. Their results were excellent: All of the bird poop was successfully cleaned, even the portions that were dried and had been “baked” in the sun. While my friend reported that she tried scrubbing with just water and achieved the same results, my sister said that the soap was instrumental in loosening the bigger, more stubborn (read: grosser) bird poop stains.

Credit: Shifrah Combiths
And then over at my sister's!

And even if simply scrubbing with water is effective at removing bird poop, knowing that droppings carry questionable diseases makes using soap pretty appealing — just to really get the area thoroughly clean. 

Bird poop on your patio, front stoop, or deck is dirty, unsightly, and just unpleasant — especially while inviting guests over to your next summer barbecue. So it’s good news that the simple remedy is only a few steps away — right in your kitchen!

How do you deal with unsightly bird poop on your patio pavers? Share your cleaning tips in the comments below!