How to Clean Bird Feeders With Vinegar? – 7 Steps


Written by

Clinton Atkins



George Dukes

how to clean bird feeders with vinegar

If you know how to clean bird feeders with vinegar, a common household item, you would save money by purchasing store-bought cleaners. Besides, this and other ingredients you can already find in your home works just as well as what you can buy in the market.

It is easy to clean bird feeders if you have the information you need to do it properly. In this article, we will tell you to have to effectively clean your Aspects bird feeder for healthy and happy feathered neighbors. Read on.

Best Way to Clean Bird Feeders

Homeowners with several bird feeders often look for a more affordable solution to maintaining the cleanliness of their feeders. This means looking at their cupboards and wondering if this ingredient can work well in disinfecting the bird feeders.

There are wrong and right approaches to sanitize bird feeders but here, we will teach you the best method. You can do it with white vinegar or with bleach.

What you’ll need:

  • Gloves
  • Face mask
  • Disposable trash bags
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Cleaning solution
  • Towel

Cleaning Solution Ratio:

  • 1 part bleach and 10 parts hot soapy water, or
  • Equal parts of white vinegar and hot soapy water.

Step 1. Throw away the contents of the feeder


After wearing your gloves and face mask, empty the feeder of its contents. Put the moldy seeds, dirt, and debris in the trash bag.

Step 2. Dismantle the feeder (if possible)


Most feeders come with several components you can take apart. If yours can be dismantled, do it. This will allow you to completely clean the feeder.

Step 3. Shake off loose debris


If you cannot disassemble your feeder, shake it to loosen as much debris as possible. Scrape stuck dirt with any pointed tool you can find.

Step 4. Drench with water, then the cleaning solution


Wet the feeder with water and scrub to remove stubborn gunk. Soak it with the cleaning solution. If you are using the vinegar solution, let it sit for over an hour. For the bleach solution, 15 to 20 minutes is good enough.

Step 5. Scrub thoroughly and soak some more


Using the brush, scrub all the remaining dirt you can see. Don’t miss any small spaces. Let it soak for a few more minutes.

Step 6. Rinse and pat dry


Wash the feeder with clean water, making sure that there is no dirt and cleaning solution left. Rinse one more time, dry using the towel, and air dry completely. The drying time could vary depending on the type of feeder you have.

Step 7. Assemble and refill with bird food


Once you are sure that there is no moisture left on your feeder, assemble all the parts (if you took them apart). Fill it with birdseed or nectar and hang the feeder back to its place.

  • Note: Don’t forget to clean any leftover bird feed on the ground under your feeder and where you cleaned the feeder. Otherwise, it could draw unwanted pests or spread disease.

Helpful Bird Feeder Cleaning Tips


  • Never use detergent or soap as hummingbird feeder cleaner.
  • Applying any sticky substance like oil on feeding ports is not a good way to dissuade bees from dinner in your hummingbird feeders. Instead, it can lead to problems when it contaminates the nectar.
  • While it is possible to clean wooden bird feeders, it can be troublesome in the long run. This is because this type of material can soak up debris and oils, which means you need more than just a bleach or vinegar solution to clean them. A copper bird feeder is a better option.
  • Keeping the grass under your feeder at a short length will make it easier to clean fallen bird feed debris and poop.
  • Dry your feeders under the sun. It will break the chemicals and remaining soap, further sanitizing the feeder.
  • Using salt when cleaning plastic hummingbird feeders is a great way to scrub every nook and cranny your brush could not reach.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Vinegar a Great Cleaner for Birders?

Vinegar is made from acetic acid, an organic compound capable of melting grease, dirt, grime, and mineral deposit. It is also effective in killing bacteria. So, it’s no surprise that several household cleaners from the store contain this ingredient.

When to Clean Bird Feeders?

This will depend on how many birds are dining on your feeder every day. The more birds are visiting, the more often you need to clean your feeders. If there is less traffic, twice a month is good enough. You need to clean hummingbird feeder every 3 to 5 days, more often if you are experiencing hot weather or if the nectar gets cloudy.

Schedule at least once every month for a deep cleaning, which involves a good soak and scrub. If you notice a sick bird dining at your feeder, clean it soon after to prevent the transfer of diseases.

Is It Safe to Wash Bird Feeders in the Kitchen Sink?

No. Do it outside, far away from places where you prepare and store food. If you must do it in your home, use the laundry sink or bathtub. Clean and disinfect the area after cleaning.

Is Disinfectant Safe for Bird Feeders?

Disinfectant is safe for bird feeders as it is non-toxic. Find one that is designed for bird feeders or create a mild solution using bleach or vinegar. Refer to the tutorial in the previous section.

How to Safely Clean Mold From Hummingbird Feeder?

To prevent mold in bird feeders, clean them regularly at least once every two weeks. If there is mold, use a water and bleach solution to clean the feeder.

Don’t forget to wear protective equipment such as gloves and a facemask to prevent inhaling the mold and to keep yourself safe while cleaning.


What are your thoughts after learning how to clean bird feeders with vinegar? Did you find the information helpful in dealing with your concerns about cleaning a bird feeder using a safe solution? We hope you enjoyed reading this article and found some useful tips to try.

If you have some advice or experience cleaning feeders with vinegar, share them with us in the comment section. We love to hear from you!

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