How To Clean A Hummingbird Feeder

How To Clean A Hummingbird Feeder

Reduce the chance of passing on harmful bacteria through the growth of seen, or unseen bacteria that is harmful to hummingbirds by cleaning your feeder regularly. Here is how to clean a hummingbird feeder.

Why Clean Your Feeders Regularly?

Cleaning a hummingbird feeder is extremely important!  During warm weather, it reduces the chance of passing on harmful bacteria through the growth process of stale water and frequent visitors.  Remember, the bacteria growth can be seen, or unseen and harmful to our birds. We do not want our birds exchanging bacteria and fungi within the bird population by frequenting poorly maintained feeders.

When To Clean Your Hummingbird Feeder

I replace my water every two to three days, more often in extremely hot weather, Sugar water should be changed according to the outside temperatures.  The warmer it is, the more often it will need to be changed to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. In 85 degree plus weather, it seems I have to change mine every two to three days.  If it gets a cloudy appearance, you know to change it out right away.

It helps to keep the feeder out of direct sunlight, in the shade you can expect the water to last a little longer. I try to disassemble and clean my feeders every two weeks, at a minimum once a month.

How To Clean A Hummingbird Feeder

1.) Disassemble

You should disassemble all pieces and parts of the feeder. It will be easier for the cleaning solution to remove all crystallization and bacteria on the pieces.

2.) Soak

Soak all the parts for an hour. iFill the sink with one gallon of hot water and 1/4 cup disinfecting solution of your choice. You can use a weak bleach solution, a weak vinegar solution, or a mild dishwashing soap.

3.) Scrub

Scrub all parts. Use a cleaning brush kit to get inside all the holes to remove the black mold that has started to settle into the feeder.

4.) Rinse

Rise all parts. Thoroughly rinse any cleaning solution off pieces. 

5.) Dry

Let pieces air dry completely.

6.) Reassemble

Reassemble the feeder

7.) Refill

Refill feeder with sugar solution (Recipe Here)

Word On Using Bleach

For me, the jury is still out on using bleach.  It is used in everything from hospitals to cleaning surfaces in our food prep and in some cases even our eating utensils.  This is how I was taught.  Is it the correct way?  Not 100% sure, can anyone be 100% sure?  Additional ideas, if you are concerned with using bleach, use vinegar or even, plain water.

The most important part is if you are putting up a feeder to clean the feeder and change the water regularly – period.

That should give you a better idea of how to clean a hummingbird feeder and when to change the water as well.  Here is to another great year watching our feathered friends!

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