Bird Feeders Maintenance – How To Clean Bird Feeders Plus Cleaning Tips!

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The Easiest & Best Way, In 5 Simple Steps:

How To Clean Bird Feeders ~ Step 1:

Pick A Day To Clean All Feeders At Once

cleaning bird feedersHow To Clean Feeders
Properly Is Crucial


It just makes sense to clean them all at once.

It will prevent one of them from being forgotten and becoming a bed of disease.

The mess of cleaning 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.

(If you have a lot of feeders and cleaning all of them in one day would be too big of a task, then do some one day and the rest another day.)

How To Clean Bird Feeders ~ Step 2:

Assemble All The Cleaning Tools

bird feeder cleaning toolsSelection of Bird Feeder Cleaning Tools

  • 2 pails of water – one with warm water, with a drop or two of dish 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.
  • Wet wipes are also great for cleaning perches.

How To Clean Bird Feeders ~ Step 3:

Clean Feeders Thoroughly

  1. To wash thoroughly, the seed in the feeders must be removed. Dig out the seed in the corners.
  2. Spread the seed that was in the feeder on the ground in an area where ground-feeding birds will enjoy it (If the seed is in good condition and not moldy).   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.
  3. Use the water with detergent and bleach to give them a good wash using the brushes. Wash perches and feeding ports especially well.

Why Is There Moldy Seed In Your Feeder?

  1. The seed has been left in the feeder far too long.
  2. The seed is getting wet in the feeder and not able to dry out quickly enough.
  3. Poor quality seed will have dirt, dust and twigs which all turn moldy quicker.
  4. Poor quality seed also has under developed seed or moldy seed to start with.

Seed Feeder Cleaners ~ My Top Picks

3.5 Star
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This brush has a nice end for cleaning corners of chalet feeders.

5 Star
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This one has a nice foam end for getting into the corners at the bottom of tube feeders.

5 Star
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A good long brush for tube feeders.

4.5 Star
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Good for “poop” build-up.

4.5 Star

Bird Poop Remover Wet Wipes

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

How To Clean Bird Feeders ~ Step 4:

Allow Seed Feeders To Completely Dry Before Refilling With Fresh Seed

  • Letting feeders dry in the sun is always best.
  • When the feeders are completely dry fill them with fresh seed. (Do not refill with the seed that was 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.

Wet wipes are great for cleaning seed ports & perches between washings.

How To Clean Bird Feeders ~ Step 5:

How Often Should Bird Feeders be Cleaned?

  1. How often will depend on how many birds you get at your feeders. The more you have the more often you should clean them.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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 wipes are also handy for this task.)

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

Discover Different Types of Bird Feeders

  • Best Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders These feeders most definitely will not allow squirrels to eat at them or destroy them by chewing.
  • Squirrel Buster Plus Review  Squirrel Buster Plus review will provide good reasons why this feeder will be the answer to many of the problems experienced while feeding wild birds outdoors.
  • Platform feeders are often referred to as tray feeders, table feeders or fly thru feeders. They are appropriately named “fly thru” because they are open allowing the birds to fly in, grab what they like and go.
  • What are the Different Types of Wild Bird Feeders? There are many, many different types and styles of each type of bird feeder available to make attracting a variety of wild birds so much easier and exhilerating! Learn about them here.


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