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How And How Often To Clean Your Bird Feeders

Most of our customers, if we give them time to vent, will tell us the thing they hate the most about tending to their wild birds is that they hate to clean the feeders. We all know that, given time, most will get that hard ball of gunk at the bottom of the feeder. Each of us knows which of our bird feeders is the most unpleasant to clean. Mine is the nyjer tube feeder as it is too long for my bucket and tends to collect the most “gunk” at the bottom. But, we all know that the possibility exists for the spread of disease among our feathered friends if we do not tend to business. In this article, I would like to discuss how and and how we should clean our feeders, as well as feeders that inherently make the job easier. Manufacturers know of our plight and have tried to help make the job easier.

How Often Should I Clean My Feeders?

We would recommend cleaning, at least in the fall and in the spring, and more often as the situation calls for. We have also found that by placing a baffle at the top of the feeder (see picture), the feeder is somewhat protected from moisture and will keep the seed drier. We also find that using a drying agent, such as Feeder Fresh, in the feeder helps to prevent build-up.

How Do I Clean My Feeders?

Once again, many manufacturers have made this job easier as of late, allowing for disassembling of the feeder quickly, even allowing for dishwasher cleaning. Obviously, many feeders are too large or long for the dishwasher, but for the smaller feeders, this is an option. I don’t think I’d combine these with your fine china, but maybe throw in some sandals, crocks, and baseball caps you’ve been wanting to clean. We use a bucket and soapy water and long brush especially designed for tubular bird feeders. Dilute two tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water to take care of any mildew and mold build-up. For my tubular feeders, I then thrust the garden hose down one end to rinse and allow air drying in the sun before re-assembly.

Some Easy-To-Clean Feeder Suggestions

As stated, most manufacturers are designing bird feeders that are easier to maintain. Probably our favorite tubular feeder to clean is the spiral nyjer tube feeder from Songbird Essentials. Any seed left in the bottom can be moved to the top by filling from the bottom of the feeder. Aspects carries the “Quick Clean” line of bird feeders that allow for easy access for all of their tubular bird feeders. Whatever your personal preference, remember to keep those feeders clean for the overall health of your wild birds.

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