Cleaning Hummingbird Feeders

Nectar Feeder Maintenance is Very Important

See an assortment of cleaning brushes I recommend further down this page.

Cleaning hummingbird feeders is a very important task. They need to be kept clean and full. The little Hummingbird is a feisty and fussy diner! If a good maintenance regimen is followed, bird watching in your backyard will be more rewarding.

(You will find links to more info related to this topic in the right column or bottom of page.)

Clean Your Nectar Feeders Often!

How Often Should You Clean Your Feeder?

Many people are concerned with how often their nectar feeder needs to be cleaned. This will largely be determined by four factors:

    1. Seasonal temperature.

    2. How effective pest control is managed?

    3. How often the feeder is being emptied?

    4. How much shade a feeder receives?

Cleaning Hummingbird feeders should be performed thoroughly once a week in moderate temperatures. In hot weather, every two or three days will be necessary to prevent the syrup from fermenting and producing mold.

If pests are a problem to the point of driving the Hummers away consider switching to one of these feeders with built in pest control.

If hummingbird food sits in very hot sun most of the day then the feeder may need to be cleaned every day or every second day.

It is not advisable to refill your feeder when it is empty without cleaning it. A small amount left in a feeder for only a couple of hours, will ferment much quicker.

Cleaning and Care of  Your Hummingbird Feeder

Maintenance of hummer feeders will take some care and cleaning. Use warm water and vinegar, or warm water with a drop of bleach and a couple of drops of dish detergent. Take note that detergent and soaps may interfere with some vacuum type feeders.

I have also heard of people putting uncooked rice with water in the feeder and shaking vigorously to clean out any mold that may have grown in the feeder.

Whatever solution is used great caution should be taken to thoroughly rinse it out.

Brushes of various sizes (see below) will make the job much easier and more thorough.

Cleaning Hummingbird feeders may not be a fun job but it is necessary.

This Is How I Clean My Feeders

I clean mine outside so as not to contaminate the sinks inside the house. I use the garden hose and two pails, one for washing and one for rinsing.

In the washing pail, I use two drops of dish detergent for the stickiness and two drops of bleach for disinfecting.

I have several different size brushes for cleaning my various types of bird feeders. Having different sizes of brushes makes getting into all the "nooks & crannies" much better and does a thorough job.

I rinse by immersion in the rinse pail and then I hose each part down after.

I clean all of the syrup feeders (making sure they are rinsed very well) and any seed feeders that need cleaning at the same time, changing the water in the pails as needed.

Doing it outside takes care of the risk of salmonella poisoning and other bacteria worries. I use rubber gloves and my pails and brushes stay outside. This method makes it safe, quick and easy.

Nectar Feeder Brushes ~ My Top Picks 

Excellent for cleaning mold from the inside of the nectar holder.

A great set small enough to get into narrow necks on nectar bottles.

I love using wipes to clean the perches often. They make it so easy.

   Hummingbird feeder accessories here.    

Become A Backyard Bird Expert

        Would you like to be a bird expert able to:

  • Know by sight all the birds that visit your backyard?
  • Identify the birds you hear on a walk?
  • Answer your Grandkids or friends question, "What bird is that?".

Looking for a particular product? Search here!

More Information on Feeding Hummingbirds below & in Sidebar near top

  • Hummingbird Food ~ “The Energy Drink” This mixture is a very simple syrup solution, but you need to mix it in proper proportions or risk harming these little birds.

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