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Cleaning Hummingbird Feeders


Are your hummingbird feeders dirty?

If you’re like me, some days it’s enough to do to make sure that my hummingbird birdfeeders stay filled because my backyard visitors are a really hungry group. However, it’s also important to make sure that the feeders we are using are kept clean - especially in this extremely hot summer weather.

Here in Southern Indiana, our temps have been nearing the 100’s and I know most of the rest of the country has been this hot or hotter. During this time of year, we should be cleaning our hummingbird feeders either when they’ve been emptied of nectar or at a minimum of twice a week.

If you’re lucky, your hummingbird feeder can be thrown in the top shelf of the dishwasher and simply cleaned when you wash your regular dishes. However, while I wouldn’t hesitate to toss any of the glass parts in the dishwasher, I’d be very picky about what plastic or metal pieces I did that way. For these parts, I’d wash them by hand using basic dishwashing soap and a good brush. A nice thick brush will get into the bottle and clean the big parts of the feeder and a small port brush will allow you to get into all of the nooks and crannies of the feeder ports and the surrounding areas.

Be sure to rinse all of the soap residue off of the feeder as you don’t want the hummingbirds to have soapy nectar. You can then spray with a disinfectant to ensure there is no lingering bacteria. Use a store bought mixture, a bleach and water mixture (¼ cup bleach to 1 gallon of water) , or a vinegar mixture (1 part vinegar to 2 parts water). Simply spray on or soak the parts, and then rinse everything off with fresh water.

No black mold, no yucky nectar, and happy, happy hummingbirds!


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