Heijneker

No Rinse and Bird poop (and bug guts)

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Preferably, I would like to hear Dr. G's take on this one.

So to raise money for a good cause, and test the products, I washed cars in my village, using ONR, OCW, OPC and the UBS. Naturally, most of them are neglected. It's been hot as well, and bird poop (which people don't even remove) is the name of the game over here. Bad combo that is.

I soaked the bird poop with some ONR wet towels, before going over it with the sponge and the towel. Most of the poop came off with a bit  of extra effort.

What I found was, that bird poop left incredibly visible marks on the paint. Everything was off of the paint, but it was very clear to see where the poop was. I feel like, that an automatic car wash would have done a better job in removing those marks. Wouldn't be so strange either, since the car is blasted with strong soaps and beaten to a pulp, you probably can't expect ONR to get the same kind of clean. On regular road grime though, it leaves absolutely nothing to be disered, even on neglected cars.

So my question is; what could I improve on to decrease those bird poop marks? Maybe spray a little bit of Power Clean on it beforehand or after the gunk is gone? The idea being that doing so, I remove the remaining acids on the paint.

Cars just get washed too little. In a perfect world, everybody would ONR their car every couple of days. Just takes maybe 15-20 minutes. Or at least remove the bird droppings. Oh what a world would that be.

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Those are etch marks, and can happen surprisingly fast on even a protected car, especially in the hot sun.  So don't fault ONR--you usually have to remove some paint by polishing to remove the etch, however, they can sometimes be really bad and be down to the primer, and those obviously can't be removed.  Of course lots of variables, what the bird ate, etc.  Sealants and waxes help some, but you still have to get that stuff off right away, which just isn't going to happen with "normal" people.  That etching can happen in minutes under the right conditions.

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Thanks for the reply, Setec. I haven't heard of those etchings being caused in such a short timespan. I was under the impression that whatever the case, if you got the dropping off within a few days, you would be fine. It would leave a mark yes, but that would disappear within a few days as UV rays break it down. In my very limited testing, this has been the case anyway, but like you said, lots of different variables. Maybe I could remove the mark (mostly) with OPC?

To my understanding, etching happens largely due to the clear coat expanding and contracting around the bird droppings. Which would take a couple of days as the car heats up and cools down during the day.

I don't think I could do anything about etching, but maybe OPC could also improve the look a bit somehow, when removing those longer sitting bird droppings.

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Setec, you have a PhD in bird poop!  Bug guts, poop, and water spots can all etch but the time frame varies.  As stated, wax/sealant can protect some against etching and ceramic is etch proof (part of the warranty).  Power Clean may reduce the etch, but I've used GPS by hand with success.  I've has etching "disappear" under UV on my Coated car, but have not seen it happen on clear coat (but haven't tested either).

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From the good doctor:

Good questions. Etching for the most part is chemical break down of paint. When bird poop or bug guts are left on paint the acids and enzymes in these products will break down paint over time and sun light will accelerate it. The haziness or cloudiness is basically broken down clear coat paint. Etching from water spots is due to the caustic nature of sodium and calcium silicates and phosphates breaking down paint and leaving residue on the surface.

With ceramic coated cars there is no break down of paint since acids, enzymes, or caustics can not penetrate the surface of ceramic clear coat. There is only some staining or residue left that needs to be removed or dissolved. For ceramic coated cars after removing the bird droppings and bug guts which are organic just leaving the stain in sun light will cause UV to break down the stains which disappear after a few days. With water spots which are inorganic it has to be dissolved chemically or removed mechanically to get the stains out.  

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To some of the above comments, I have had etching happen in minutes--like you go in a store, come out and there's bird poop, get my QD/WW that I carry in the car, wipe it off, boom, etching.  And yes, sometimes it does seem to disappear on its own...but only sometimes.

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Some years ago I had a bird poop on my driver side door...I think I got it at work or after a trip or something (I dont really remember) but I did remove it straight after I got home! However a stain or a slight shadow of the bird poop was left behind and I had to polish the paint to remove it. So I agree with Setec...Bird poops can etch very quickly sometimes!

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