How To Clean a Bird Bath: A Detailed Cleaning Guide

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Cleaning products are available for bird bath care on this page.

Cleaning birdbaths can be quick and easy if you take the time to consider what a birdbath is made of before you purchase one.

They are made out of many different materials. Some are more convenient to keep in good shape for our feathered friends, and others have disadvantages, so it is an important question to ask before purchasing a bath.

Will it be easy to clean? Some materials that water baths are made of are hard to clean, such as concrete and some plastics. These materials are porous and absorb stains, making them difficult to keep them clean and aesthetically pleasing.

It is easier to keep baths clean now because of the newer products available on the market.

They clean better and can be added to the water to keep it fresher for longer. These products also prevent concrete and plastic baths from staining.

Many of the newer products for bird bath care are environmentally friendly, natural enzymes.

The enzymes will not harm wild birds when they drink the water and are actually good for the ecology.

Resin, glazed ceramic, glass, and metal baths are relatively easy to clean because of their harder surface.

The material itself is too dense to allow for anything to be absorbed, or the finish, as in the case of glazed ceramic, prevents substances from penetrating into the material.

how to clean bird bath

But cement bird baths and those made of certain resins may absorb stains and make it difficult to keep them clean. That is where natural enzyme cleaners are very helpful.

Bird Bath Cleaners – My Top Reviewed Picks

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Here is a larger selection of bird bath cleaning products.

Sale
Sanco 88002 Bird Bath & Fountain Maintenance, 8 oz. Natural
  • This safe but fast-acting enzyme-based formula reduces and eliminates muck, dead leaves, odors and other organic matter that can...
  • When applied to fresh water it will super charge naturally occurring bacteria to consume micronutrients
  • With regular use, it will help to protect and extend the life of your water feature and extended the life of any pumps in use

Last update on 2023-02-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why Is It Important To Keep a Bird Bath Clean?

There is no choice involved about whether to clean a bird bath or not to clean it.

Like bird feeders, once a person decides to take up the activity, keeping things clean is a must!

The reasons are obvious and simple. Water baths are regularly contaminated with bird droppings, feathers, algae, dust, and dirt.

Dirty bath water and bird feeders can cause wild birds to contract diseases, leading to sickness or even death.

Dirty bird baths left standing too long with stagnant water could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus and other sicknesses.

Clean bird baths often and well to keep them safe for birds.

How To Clean a Bird Bath:

The top suggestion is to use a white vinegar solution. Mix a solution of one part white vinegar to nine parts water.

After rinsing the bath out, pour the cleaning solution into the entire bath and let it soak for 15 minutes. Then, scrub the bath and drain the solution, rinse the bird bath with water, and let it dry completely before putting it back out.

Use rubber gloves when cleaning the bath to avoid touching the dirty water. A cleaning schedule is necessary for regular cleaning of the baths. 

Don’t use synthetic cleaners. According to the National Audubon Society, they can strip natural oils off birds’ feathers.

Cleaning scrub brushes are necessary

How To Keep Your Bird Bath Fresh Longer

  • Some excellent products can be added to clean bath water to keep it fresher for longer. They are, again, natural enzymes that are environmentally friendly and can keep a bath fresh for longer.
  • There are products on the market called wigglers, which can be inserted into the water bath to keep the surface of the water agitated enough to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs. Drippers and misters may also serve this purpose.
  • Adding half to a whole teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, depending on how big the birdbath is, will also help keep it free from algae growth longer.

However, any method used to keep the water in the bath fit for birds to drink does not replace the need to clean the water bath regularly.

Natural enzymes, wigglers, drippers, and misters just put off the need for caring for your birdbath a little longer.

How Frequently Should Bird Baths Be Cleaned?

You should typically clean your bird bath every week or every other week, but this ultimately depends on a couple of factors, including:

  • the number of birds using the bath each day
  • a source of water movement will decrease the frequency needed for cleaning
  • adding store-bought products to keep the water fresh longer
  • The amount of direct sunlight the bath receives and the temperature outside, although baths still need to be cleaned regularly in the winter months!
  • How much rainwater has been added

With some guidance on cleaning bird baths (and some elbow grease), you can make watching feathered friends in your backyard safe for wild birds and enjoyable for us!

  • Dust Baths, sunbathing, and “anting” may seem like odd practices to humans, but we actually practice activities for the same purposes.
  • Cleaning Bird Baths on a regular schedule is necessary for wild bird health and enjoyment.
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  • #1Heated Birdbath Review will highlight the benefits and the drawbacks of this favorite & versatile heated birdbath.
  • Homemade Bird Bath How to make a recycled, upcycled bird bath by repurposing used items. It keeps the birds happy, and it is beautiful as well.
  • Bird Bathing Info A bath for birds also provides a basic need for wild birds.

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Jacob Swanson

Jacob Swanson is a writer and wildlife photographer born and raised in Wisconsin and currently based in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Since graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, his work has appeared in over a dozen different web and print outlets. In his free time, he’s on a personal quest to visit every U.S. national park and see as many wildlife species as possible. His favorite birds are whooping and sandhill cranes.