The Easiest Way To Clean Your Birdbath

Birdbaths are beautiful decor pieces that not only look good but are good for wildlife. Taking proper care of the bath will attract birds to your yard by providing them with fresh drinking water or a place to refresh their feathers. If you don't clean it regularly, though, algae can build up, and mosquitoes will begin laying their eggs in the water. Depending on how many birds stop by your birdbath, you may need to clean it at least once a week, according to Birdwatching Buzz.

You should also add fresh water to the bath every other day to keep it full and prolong how often it needs cleaning. Make sure you're dumping out the old water before refilling it. If algae is a big problem in your birdbath, try placing it in a shady spot. Adding pennies to the bottom works as well because the copper will kill the algae before it has a chance to grow. When you keep your birdbath clean, it becomes the perfect place to birdwatch in your yard.

Keep it clean to prevent the spread of disease

A dirty birdbath puts you and the local wildlife in danger of getting sick. When you neglect cleaning and refilling the bath, it will eventually dry out and become smelly. Before that, it will likely become overgrown with algae and turn into a mosquito breeding ground. The mosquitoes make birdbaths hazardous because they transmit pathogens for diseases like the Zika and West Nile virus.

John Wenzel, an entomologist and director of the Powdermill Nature Reserve, explained to the National Audubon Society that fall is the time of year to be most cautious. Diseases spread quickly during this season, and birds begin migrating to warmer climates. Birdbaths become the perfect place for disease to spread from traveling birds to mosquitoes and then to humans (via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

As an extra precaution to keep mosquitoes out of the water, consider installing a fountain to keep the water moving. Mosquitoes prefer to lay their eggs in still water. However, cleaning your bird bath is the easiest way to keep these diseases from transmitting in your birdbath.

Soak it in bleach

Bleach is a disinfectant that can clean your surfaces from dirt, bacteria, and viruses. It's an excellent cleanser for birdbaths because it will kill any algae, mosquito eggs, and most viruses. To clean your birdbath, you first want to empty it of any water. Then if you have a hose and a high-pressure nozzle, use it to spray off any algae or dirt, per Birds & Blooms. If you don't have one, you can use a rough brush to scrub it off.

Once the surface of the birdbath is clear, it's time to apply the bleach solution. Fill the birdbath with water and add 1 cup of bleach. Then leave it to soak for 10 to 15 minutes. While it's soaking, put a plastic bag over it so no birds can go in. Then you can drain the solution in a safe area and rinse the bath with clean water. Continue this step until you no longer smell any bleach.