How to Clean a Bird Bath With Vinegar – Only 5 Steps


Written by

Clinton Atkins



George Dukes

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how to clean a bird bath with vinegar

Assuming you are a nature lover and you always dream of having your own garden but are hesitant about decoration ideas, I suggest that you add a bird bath to your shopping list. Not only does it contribute to your garden’s beauty but it also becomes a great attraction for birds to hang out and refresh themselves.

However, to maintain its beauty for the longest time, you need to memorize a few simple tips to keep a bird bath clean, one of which is using a mixture of vinegar and water while scrubbing the bird bath.

Before going over in depth some useful tips on how to clean a bird bath with vinegar, I will discuss what a bird bath is and why always cleaning is necessary.

What Exactly is a Bird Bath


A bird bath is basically a small artificial basin which is always full of fresh water. It is often made from stone, wood, plastic, metal, concrete, and even marble.

Although bird baths look very similar to hand sinks and flower pots, they are actually much shallower to fit the bird’s tiny body. This is where small birds usually come by to have a drink, bathe or just simply to perch. Apart from being a reliable source of water for several species of birds, a bird bath is also an open-air sculpture and a part of a truly natural garden.

Why is Regularly Cleaning a Birdbath Necessary

Like humans, birds need to stay hydrated to maintain body temperature regulation. What is in water will go directly into the body. Therefore, if there is an amount of bacteria in the water, the bird’s health will be damaged severely.

Since bacteria takes little time to grow into large volumes, regular sanitizing is absolutely necessary. Besides, clean bird baths are not going to negatively affect surrounding plants but instead, add that neat and picturesque look to your garden.

Cleaning Bird Bath With Vinegar Step by Step


Firstly, you have to prepare a few materials for effective cleansing, which consist of brand new and uncontaminated water, an optional brush or sponge, rubber gloves, distilled white vinegar, and a bowl to contain the clean bird bath vinegar mixture.

1. Step one

Every three to four days, change water in the bird bath. Bacteria and other harmful substances may stick and build up at the bottom. Thus, when emptying out the water, you need a sponge to rinse carefully with new water.

2. Step two

You need to create a mixture of distilled white vinegar and pure water following this simple and commonly used ratio: the amount of vinegar is a quarter of the amount of water. Then, stir well and either spray the mixture with a spraying bottle or pour it directly all over the basin, making sure that it covers the surface entirely. After that, let it sit for about 15 minutes.

3. Step three

After 15 minutes, use a brush or a sponge to scrub and press the bird bath at the same time. By doing this, dust and germs will be removed completely and there won’t be any remaining stains.

4. Step four

As soon as you finish scrubbing every nook and cranny of the bird bath, go ahead and pour the vinegar mixture out of it.

5. Step five

For this last step, pour fresh water in the bird bath and rinse it gently for about one minute. Then again, pour it out and fill it with clean water.

By this point, you have successfully carried out the whole cleaning process. Nevertheless, there are still a few situations that might damage the bird bath’s sanitation in which you have to know how to solve properly.

Other Contaminated Situations

Infrequent sanitation will eventually lead to poor maintenance, which becomes a favorable condition for mosquito larvae and other pathogens to grow. This is one of the biggest factors that results in serious health risk for birds. To avoid this, you need to refill the bird bath with clean water every three to four days and ensure everything around it, like other plants or household objects, is tidy and trash-free.

Apart from larvae, moss agglomeration is a matter of concern. Flora like moss naturally need photosynthesis to grow. Therefore, a bath bird located under direct sunlight for a long period of time is an ideal condition for the photosynthesis process to develop continuously, which creates chances for moss to grow faster.

To avoid this, you should refill water regularly and place your bird bath in a shade when the sun is burning hot. If moss is already in your basin at the moment, you can use chemicals exclusively made for eliminating moss, but make sure to clean it carefully afterward so there won’t be any chemicals left.

In case you don’t want to purchase chemicals, using vinegar with water is an efficient remedy. Cover the affected area with this combination by spraying and leave it for about 20 minutes, then wash it off and scrub the moss out. This method will remove moss in no time.

The Bird Bath is Clean but Why Do Birds Still Not Visit

There are a few cases in which birds still don’t visit despite your attempt in sanitizing the bird bath. Here are a few factors that are worth considering besides sanitizing.

Birds are always cautious wherever they go. If the bird bath is in the middle of the yard where there are no nearby perches, chances are birds will not show up because your bird bath is too exposed and birds don’t have any perches nearby to perch, wait, and observe if there is any danger around. A solution to this is planting more trees and bushes or placing a few decoration sculptures in the surrounding area.

Furthermore, you should care about how tall your bird bath is. Small birds are prey to many animals. Too high bird baths will allow bird-eating hawks to easily spot the birds and too low ones will give a chance for cats to attack them. So, choosing a bird bath that has a moderate height, usually between 60 to 70 centimeters is the best.

Lastly, remember to take notice of the basin’s steepness and rounded edges. Make sure it’s shallow enough, which is measured less than 2 inches, and the edges are not too slippery so birds can stand without slipping.

Here is a short video of a summary of the entire cleaning process:


Small birds will be grateful for a reliable source of water and a stunning attraction to hang around. Moreover, your garden’s natural beauty will be upgraded remarkably.

Overall, keeping your bird bath clean by using vinegar brings maximum benefits without having to use any chemicals or high-grade products.

Ingredients like vinegar are very common and can be purchased at any local stores with an affordable price. Money-saving and extremely useful as this homemade solution on how to clean a bird bath with vinegar is, what are you waiting for?

Furthermore, you also can refer more to other interesting articles on taking care of birds:

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