How To Clean Bird Feeders

How Often & With What?
The Easiest & Best Way in 5 Simple Steps:

1. Pick a day to clean them all at once.

  • It just makes sense to clean them all at once.
  • It will prevent one of them from being forgotten.
  • The mess will happen once, not again and again for every feeder you clean.
  • Bird feeders can spread salmonella among other diseases so it is important to protect your home as well as preventing the spread of disease among our feathered friends. And one of the best ways to do this is to do the job outside.

How to clean bird feeders properly is important.

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

2. Assemble all the cleaning tools.

Cleaning Tools

  • 2 pails of water – one with warm water, a little detergent and a capful of bleach or 1/4 cup of vinegar. The second one with clear cold water for rinsing or rinse with the garden hose.
  • An assortment of brushes to reach all the nooks and crannies.
  • Wear rubber gloves to protect yourself from bacteria.

3. Clean feeders thoroughly.

  • To wash thoroughly the seed in the feeders must be removed. Spread it on the ground in an area where ground feeding birds will enjoy it or wait until your feeders are empty to wash them. But if you leave them empty too long your friends may decide to look else where for dinner.
  • Use the water with detergent and bleach to give them a good wash using the brushes. Wash perches and feeding ports especially well.

4. Allow seed feeders to completely dry before refilling with fresh seed.

  • When the feeders are completely dry fill them with fresh seed. (Do not refill with the seed that was still in the feeder before cleaning.)
  • The same applies to Oriole and Hummingbird feeders; refill with fresh syrup and never top up the feeders. More info here about cleaning Hummingbird feeders.

5. How often?

  • How often will depend on how many birds you get at your feeders. The more you have the more often you should clean them.
  • Outside temperature will also dictate how often your feeders will need to be cleaned. The hotter it is outside the more cleaning will be necessary. (But once per month should be more than enough if you have fairly constant traffic and the temperatures are moderate.)
  • In-between wash days use a rag that has been wet and rung out with a water and bleach or vinegar solution, to wipe off feeding ports first and perches second. This will also help prevent the spreading of disease when your feeders are being heavily used and it is hot. (Wet ones are also handy for this task.)

Sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of healthy, happy wild birds at your clean feeders!

Go to top of How To Clean Bird Feeders

Wild Bird Feeders

Platform Feeders, Table Feeders & Tray Feeders

Ground Bird Feeder

Hummingbird Feeders

Gazebo Bird Feeder

Hopper Bird Feeder

Chalet Bird Feeder

Bluebird Feeder

Tube Feeders

Thistle Feeders

Window Feeders

Suet Feeders

How to Clean Feeders

Where To Place Bird Feeders

Should We Take Our Feeders Down in The Autumn

Bird Feeder Mess

What do You Know About Bird Feeders, Quiz?

Wild Bird Feeders

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?".

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