Developing Your Home and Garden

Shade Sail Splats: How to Deal With Target-Bombing Bird Droppings

When you decided to put up shade sails in your garden, you probably imagined how lovely it would be to sit under a gently billowing sail that gave you some stylish and welcome shade from the sun. Things may not look so rosy, however, when you look up at your sail one day and notice an unsightly blob of bird poo sitting on it. You can't do much to prevent your local feathered bird gang from leaving droppings on your sail every now and then, but you can make things right again by acting quickly to deal with the mess.

Speed Is of the Essence

If you notice bird droppings on a shade sail, then the best tool in your armoury is speed. It's a lot easier to clean bird droppings off materials if you do it as quickly as possible. If you leave droppings to settle on the shade sail's fabric long enough for the them to be absorbed into it, then the nasty stuff in the droppings like salts and ammonia may ultimately affect the fabric. You can still clean old bird droppings off, but they may leave stains embedded into your sail, which don't look good.

How to Clean Shade Sails

There isn't a one-size-fits-all method of cleaning shade sails. This really depends on the material used to make the sail. For example, some manufacturers will tell you that you can hose down their sails to clean them off; others tell you not to use hoses but to clean their sails by hand. Often, manufacturers recommend that you only use mild detergents and avoid using abrasive or chemical substances or cleaners which could accidentally damage the fabric or affect its overall colour.

Tip: To find our how to clean your shade sail, look at the instruction manual that should have come with the sail. This should contain basic cleaning and maintenance tips. If you can't find the manual, you may be able to find a copy online by searching for your brand of sail or its manufacturer.

If you're having problems cleaning bird droppings off a sail, talk to your local shade sail supplier. Some companies offer a cleaning and maintenance service that may help you sort out the problem and get your sail looking great again; your supplier may also be a useful source of advice on how to prevent bird droppings from staining your sail's fabric in the future.