How to clean your bird feeders

How to clean your bird feeders

Maintaining the cleanliness of your bird feeders is highly important. An unclean feeder can cause a range of problems for the birds and their food.

Our garden birds appreciate good hygiene as much as the rest of us, and while they can maintain their own hygiene quite well, it’s down to us to ensure that we are maintaining good hygiene practices at their feeders so they get the most of the bird food we offer them. Join us as we explore the easy steps you can take in our how-to-clean bird feeders guide.

A correctly cleaned and well looked after bird seed feeder will attract and delight a whole host of UK wild garden birds. But if you cast a blind eye to the regular cleaning of your feeders, you may notice that the birds will stop visiting and find another spot to dine. For those birds that continue to visit your feeders, you could put them at risk of picking up an unpleasant and potentially fatal disease that will develop on unclean feeders.

To avoid that happening, we have put together a few steps on how to clean bird feeders.

Tips on how to clean bird feeders

Clear out your feeders

Before you start cleaning your feeder, we recommend clearing out the old food and disposing of it. Getting rid of all the old food will minimise the risk of bacteria building up on old food (which would transfer to the new food).

If you find that your feeders are always half full when you go to clean them, you might be leaving out too much food for the number of visitors you have. So, keep an eye on the frequency of your bird visitors so that you can adjust the amount of food you are leaving out (also, make sure you are using nutritious bird food).

Wash them thoroughly

Now that your feeders are empty, you can start to wash them down. Using hot, soapy water and a cleaning brush, you should give your feeders a thorough and deep scrub, taking care to remove leftover food or droppings. To ensure you are getting a thorough scrub, it is best to use a strong bristled brush; it will help lift off any stubborn stains and residue and reach any indents and hard-to-reach spots.

Let it dry

Ensuring your feeders are fully dry before refilling them is just as important as cleaning. Using a dry cloth, you can pat down your feeder or leave it to air dry. If there is any water residue in your feeders, it could quickly spoil any new food you add. So, before refilling your feeders, do a quick final check to make sure they are completely dry.

When should I clean my feeder?

We recommend cleaning your bird feeder at least once a week. The weather outside will greatly affect when and how often you need to clean your feeder, so it is worth keeping an eye on the forecast.

Wet conditions will cause your bird seed to spoil easily, and they will need to be cleaned quite frequently to avoid a build-up of wet and damp bird seed. You should keep an eye on your feeders every few days during wet periods as you might need to clean them every 5-7 days. When the weather is dry in the summer, cleaning your feeders every 7-10 days will be enough.

We hope you have found our blog post on 'How to clean your bird feeders'. You can visit our other blog posts for more tips and tricks on bird feeding.