Birds Blog

Quick and Dirty: Steps to Cleaning Your Feeders

Hygiene is extremely important when it comes to feeding birds. Birds can spread diseases to each other, therefore keeping your feeders clean can help stop transmission! Making a habit of cleaning your feeders is good for the birds and feeding wild birds with confidence is good for your conscience.

Steps 1 & 2

1. Collect and empty all of your feeders, monthly. Lay them out in an area where they can be sprayed down with a hose. (Alternatively, you can clean your feeders inside, but because I have several large feeders I choose to make a mess outside.)


2. Allow your curious dog to snoop around and give her a good drink from the hose after you’ve sprayed down all of your feeders.

Steps 4 & 3 (Whoopsie)

3. & 4. Gather your cleaning equipment. I use vinegar (1/4 cup), dish soap (tablespoon/big squirt), and water. I mix it in a few squirt bottles and enlist the help of my family to get the job done. If you discover a sick bird, or notice mold/mildew build up on your feeders, use water and bleach at a 10:1 ratio.


Some feeders require a good soaking, others are more easily cleaned.

Steps 5 & 6

5. & 6. Soak and scrub your feeders until you have removed any caked on seeds, mold, or feathers.


I like to use a bottle brush and a toothbrush because they can really get those hard to reach places.

Steps 7 & 8

7. Spray the feeders until the water runs clean, and spray your helpers — perhaps let them spray you too.


8. Let your feeders dry completely before hanging them back up!

After they have dried, you’re ready to refill!

Don’t forget to follow Animal Perspectives on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Also read…

Stay tuned for my two-part series on winter bird feeding…