The Importance of Sanitizing Your Bird Feeders

The Importance of Sanitizing Your Bird Feeders

Elinor CohenJuly 05, 2022

Summer has taken full effect- in fact, as many of you probably know, the Summer Solstice was just last week on June 21st. Now almost a week and a half into the official start of summer, the warmer weather is drawing birds from all over near to seek water, shelter, and of course wild bird feed!

It’s prime time for birders to break out their backyard bird feeders. Before you do, however, it’s crucial to understand the importance of maintaining clean bird feeders and birdbaths. Not only that, but you also have to know how to clean them. Valley Farms is here to offer valuable tips and tricks to help you keep your bird feeders clean and sanitized throughout the summer and all year long.

Why Do You Have to Sanitize Bird Feeders? 

Bird Health and Your Health! 

Bird health is the most important reason to stay on top of sanitizing your bird feeders. Whether or not you live in a place that attracts a lot of wild birds, everyone should keep their bird feeders clean. You never know what migratory flocks could stop by for a quick nosh, or which birds may be carrying diseases such as avian bird flu, Mycoplasmal conjunctivitis, or House Finch eye disease.

Regularly cleaning and disinfecting bird feeders is also crucial for preventing salmonella, which could easily spread and decimate populations if it gets out of hand. Bird feed that has been exposed to water or moist air for too long could turn moldy. What’s more, it’s not all that uncommon for bird droppings and other contaminants to make their way into feeders. Protect the birds and yourself from encountering these less-than sanitary situations by implementing a regular backyard bird feeder cleaning routine.

How to Sanitize Bird Feeders

Now that you understand the importance of disinfecting bird feeders, the next step is to do it. Learn how to clean your bird feeder with these tips.

1. Set a Schedule for Cleaning Your Bird Feeder

On average, it’s a good idea to disinfect your bird feeder about once every two weeks, more if you live in a particularly humid or rainy climate area.

2. Know Your Type of Bird Feeder

Did you know that there is such a thing as a dishwasher safe bird feeder? It’s true! Some bird feeders can be disassembled and put right in the dishwasher. While it’s up to you, we may suggest not mixing in the rest of your kitchenware – after all, sometimes it’s best to keep some things separate.

If you don’t have a dishwasher or you’re not sure if your bird feeder is dishwasher safe, another way to clean the feeder is to hand wash it with soap and water. This may be suitable during particularly dry seasons, but a more thorough way to disinfect bird feeders is to use a diluted bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) or even a bird feeder disinfectant specifically designed for this purpose. 

Always make sure to consider the material of your bird feeder. Cleaning a wooden bird feeder involves soaking it in hot, soapy water and/or bleach for at least 10 minutes. Some also prefer to use a vinegar disinfecting solution, mixing 50% water with 50% vinegar and rinsing the bird feeder afterwards. Cleaning seed tube and finch feeders requires using a brush to scrub out the insides thoroughly. If you're looking for a type of bird seed that's easy to clean, we suggest Valley Farms' very own Cardinal Mix.

How to Clean Your Bird Feeder Video

Watch this video for a brief tutorial on cleaning bird feeders from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

If you’re looking for a great-looking, easy to clean bird feeder that attracts finches, pine siskin, chickadees, and the occasional Cardinal, we suggest the Aspects Window Cafe Bird Feeder. Made from polycarbonate clear plastic, this bird feeder has a roof that overhangs the seed tray to protect the wild bird seed from rain and snow. The tray is easy-to-remove and clean, making this your new favorite year-round bird feeder.

Aspects Window Cafe Bird Feeder - Wild Birds Up Close! $26.50

Window Cafe Polycarbonate Clear Plastic BIrd Feeder

This is a great feeder which will attract finches, pine siskin, chickadee, an occasional Cardinal through out the year.

Be still and observe wild birds up close!
Clear roof overhangs the seed tray to protect seed from rain and snow; virtually unbreakable UV stabilized polycarbonate construction; features easy to remove and clean tray.

Valley Farms Cardinal Mix Wild Bird Food product packaged in maroon with see thru window, bird images, contents are striped sunflower, black oil sunflower, Safflower seed, Buckwheat. Attracts Cardinals, Grosbeaks, Nuthatch, Pine Siskin, Sparrows, Woodpeckers

Valley Farms Cardinal Mix Wild Bird Food $13.75

Valley Farms® Cardinal Mix Wild Bird Food

Available in 3lb or 10lb quantities

This product is a mix of ingredients, including striped, black oil sunflower seed, buckwheat, and safflower seed. 

Crude Protein: 15% min.    Crude Fat: 35% min.   Crude Fiber: 25% max.

Vacuum Cleaned for minimal dust residue.


Find all the wild bird feed, seed, and accessories you need to keep the birds flocking to your backyard this summer at Valley Farms®!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published