Imagine you’re planning on having a relaxing summer day in your pool, but then you see it’s full of floating bird poop. We’ve all been there. An outdoor pool seems like an open invitation for birds to use the water as a toilet.
In this article, we’ll share a detailed guide on how you can quickly and easily clean duck, geese and all sorts of bird poop from your pool.
What to Do If You Have Bird Poop in Your Pool
The first thing you need to do is close your pool for swimming. If there’s anyone in the water, get them out. Then you should follow these steps:
1. Close the Pool
You don’t want any swimmers getting sick.
2. Put on Disposable Gloves
You don’t want to be getting that stuff on your hands. Yuck!
3. Scoop Out the Poop
It may be a little difficult to do but do your best to get as much as you can out. Use a net or a bucket to get the waste out of your pool.
Don’t use the vacuum though as you don’t want poop hanging around in your filter contaminating all the water running through.
4. Test the Pool Water
Before you start, you need to use test strips or a liquid test kit to test and balance your pool’s alkalinity and pH. Your alkalinity should be between 100-150 ppm, and pH should be between 7.4-7.6.
This is important because if these levels are not correct, the chlorine will not be as effective.
5. Raise Chlorine Levels to 30-50 ppm
Add 2 ounces of calcium hypochlorite (pool shock) per 10,000 gallons of pool water to increase the free chlorine concentration 1 ppm.
Since you will likely need to raise your chlorine levels by 30 ppm or more, you’ll need to add 60 ounces of calcium hypochlorite per 10,000 gallons of water.
Do this at night too otherwise the chlorine will break down in the sunlight.
You can get pool shock here:
6. Run Your Pool Pump to Circulate the Shock
Next run your pump for a good 12 hours to circulate the shock. It’ll help the pool shock spread throughout the pool.
Maintain chlorine concentration of at least 30 ppm for at least 12 hours. Do this by testing the water after a few hours and add more shock if needed.
7. Clean Your Pool Equipment
Don’t forget to disinfect the net or bucket that you used to get the poop out. You can do this by hosing it out to clean it and then popping them into your super chlorinated pool for several hours.
8. Clean the Filter
Once the poop and hopefully, stains are gone, you’ll have to clean the filter.
You can just take the filter out and rinse it with running water. If you have a DE filter, remember to replace your DE powder after you’ve washed the filter.
For a sand filter, backwash it to waste to clean it.
These are the basic steps you’d need to follow to get duck poop or bird poop out of your pool. But there’s more to it.
Your pool surrounds or pool may have been stained by the bird poop. Below we have instructions on how to clean stains from your pool surrounds or remove a stubborn bird poop stain from the walls or floor.
Removing Duck, Geese or Bird Poop Stains from a Pool
Getting the duck or bird poop out of your pool is the easy part. But sometimes, they leave behind stains that can remain on your pool bottom or on the sides, even after you cleaned the water.
Duck poop stains can be very stubborn. Their waste contains a high level of uric acid, which will require some extra effort to get off.
One method is to super chlorinate (shock) the water like you did above. But you wouldn’t have read this far if you hadn’t already done that right?
So what do you do then if shocking didn’t remove the stain?
You likely need to do a combination of the following:
- Brush your pool walls can remove stains
- Shock the pool (again) to remove stains
- Use muriatic acid locally to remove the stain
- Rub the stain with a pumice stone
Brush your Pool to Remove Duck Poop Stains
After you’ve shocked your pool, grab a stiff pool brush to thoroughly scrub the poop stain. It’s okay if you don’t remove the stain completely at this point.
Shock Your Pool a Second or Third Time
If you weren’t able to get the stains off your pool walls or floor after shocking and brushing, try shocking the pool a second time by following the above instructions.
Brush your pool again
Leave the shock in overnight and brush the stains again the next morning. Check if the stains are gone, otherwise, repeat the whole process again.
Use Muriatic Acid
If you don’t have too many duck or bird poo stains, you can apply muriatic acid to the stained area.
How does that work you ask?
Ahh. Here’s where you need this great product called the Purity Pool Stain Remover.
This product allows you to apply muriatic acid, without draining your pool directly to the stain. The product holds about a cup of acid.
The stain should come off in about 20 mins.
Keep in mind this is not suitable for vinyl or fibreglass pools.
Use a Pumice Stone
For plaster pools or tiled pools you may be able to get the duck poop stain off with a pumice stone. It’s usually used for rubbing off calcium deposits but it may help for this too. You can get that here: pool pumice stone
How to Clean Bird Poop Stains from Pool Deck
To clean poop stains from a wooden pool deck, start by hosing and scrubbing or pressure washing.
If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to up your game.
Use Dish Soap to Remove Duck & Bird Poop Stains
Start by adding some dish soap to the area and scrubbing it with a stiff nylon brush. Don’t use a wire brush as you’ll scratch your deck.
Use Bleach to Remove Duck & Bird Poop Stains
If the stain doesn’t come off from your deck after scrubbing with soap, you can try bleach. Add about one cup to a bucket of water. Mix it properly in the water. Always add chemicals to water and not the other way around (not water to chemicals).
Spread the solution all over your pool deck. Add some additional bleach if it doesn’t cover the entire space.
Use the scrub brush to clean the deck properly. Make sure to keep scrubbing until every bit of the stain is out.
Use a pressure washer or a garden hose to rinse the deck.
Important: Too much bleach can dry out the wood or leave marks so try a small inconspicuous spot first.
How to Clean Bird Poop Stains from Concrete Pool Surrounds
To clean duck, goose and other bird poop stains from concrete you can try pressure washing or acid washing.
Removing bird poop stains isn’t an exact science and you may need to try a few different methods. We’ll start with the easiest method and the least likely method to damage your concrete.
First scoop it up with a shovel or hose it off. It’s important that you get it off as soon as possible. Leaving it sit there for days will mean concrete staining is more likely.
Hose it or Pressure Wash The Stain
If hosing it off didn’t work, try pressure washing it off. The mechanical action may be enough to remove it.
Use Bleach to Remove Duck & Bird Poop Stains
The next thing you want to try is to try tipping a little household bleach onto the concrete and scrubbing it. Leave it for a few hours then rinse it off. Try a small area first to make sure it doesn’t cause any discoloration.
Acid Wash to Remove Duck & Bird Poop Stains
The last resort to remove duck and bird poo stains is to acid wash the concrete. Acid washing uses an acid like muriatic acid to etch the concrete. Some of the concrete surface will be removed, taking the stain with it.
Before you do this, do a little test patch out of the way and make sure you’re happy with the result.
Always make sure you’re wearing gloves during any sort of pool cleaning. Remember that these chemicals are very strong and can damage the surface if used in large amounts.
You can learn how to acid wash here.
Do Ducks Poop in Pools?
Ducks will pool in your swimming pool if they are allowed to land there. They are naturally drawn to water and spend a lot of their time floating around water. If you have ducks in your surroundings, or you have them on your property, they’re most likely to poo in your pool once in a while.
For some people, this can be a big problem. Ducks do poop a lot and can make a big mess. Once they have found a good spot, they are likely to return time after time.
And to make things worse, often ducks don’t hang out alone. So you’ll likely be cleaning up a lot of duck poop if you allow them in your swimming pool.
You’ll want to dissuade them from your pool. Luckily we have an article on how to keep ducks and birds out of your pool.
Is Duck or Bird Poop in a Pool Harmful?
Duck or any kind of bird poop is filled with bacteria that can easily make you sick.
Some of the common bacterias in bird poop are E. Coli, Cryptosporidium, Salmonella, and Campylobacter. These bacterias can cause severe diarrhoea, fever, rash, body pain, or severe infections for children.
The good news is many of these bacteria will be killed with the sanitizer already in your pool. This is provided you have the correct amount of chlorine to start with. Chlorine should be maintained at 3-5 ppm.
To sum it up, bird poops are a common yet irritating thing that almost every outdoor pool owner has to face. Make sure you’re following our suggested steps properly to clean out your pool.
When using chemicals or materials like hypochlorite and pool shock, always follow the instructions on the labels. Also, never forget to wear gloves, and always disinfect the bucket or net that you used to take out the bird waste.
Related Reading: 30 Things You Really Shouldn’t Do in a Pool