- 2 tubs or pails, one for washing and one for rinsing
- bleach or vinegar
- a few drops of dish detergent. (Some sources say not to use soap, but rinsing the feeders thoroughly solves any problems with using soap.)
- different sizes of brushes like, bottle brushes, port brushes and a curled brush to reach in under the port end of the feeder.
- fresh syrup
See an assortment of cleaning brushes I recommend further down this page.
Clean Your Nectar Feeders Often!
How Should Feeders Be Cleaned?
Cleaning and Care of Your Hummingbird Feeder
Maintenance of hummer feeders will take some care and cleaning.
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.
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 care should be taken to thoroughly rinse it out.
This Is How I Clean My Feeders
I clean mine outside so as not to contaminate the sinks inside the house. Salmonella poisoning can be a real threat.
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. A quarter cup of vinegar can also be used.
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 then any seed feeders that need cleaning next, 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.
3. 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 five factors: