Easily Clean Your Hummingbird Feeder With Two Kitchen Ingredients

Hummingbirds are some of the most beloved garden visitors. Millions of bird enthusiasts put out hummingbird feeders every spring to attract the beautiful creatures. Though most feeders take seeds, hummingbird feeders are filled with nectar. The nectar is typically homemade and consists of sugar and water to replicate what is inside a flower. While delicious to hummers, this concoction can quickly turn into a sticky mess. Once congealed, sugar water will clog the feeding holes. Thankfully, you can easily clean a hummingbird feeder with two kitchen ingredients. Tackle a stubborn and sticky feeder with just some baking soda and vinegar. 

Chemically speaking, baking soda is a base. It binds with sticky sugar particles, making them easier to scrub away. Acidic vinegar is a versatile cleaning tool that sanitizes. Together, they create a chemical reaction commonly used to clean. The combination is a natural alternative to many store-bought cleaners because it is both effective and non-toxic. Cleaning your hummingbird feeder with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar could keep it fresh and running smoothly. 

How to clean a hummingbird feeder

To clean your hummingbird feeder, you'll need baking soda, distilled white vinegar, warm water — distilled works best, a basin or sink, and a cleaning tool like a handled sponge. First, prepare your ingredients. You'll need a ratio of one part baking soda and two parts vinegar, but keep them separate. Then, dust the hummingbird feeder with baking soda and scrub. The abrasive baking soda will bond with the sugar and begin lifting off the feeder. 

Next, combine equal parts vinegar and warm water in the sink or a wash basin of some sort. Submerge all parts of the feeder and let them soak for thirty minutes. Afterward, scrub the parts again to remove any remaining sugar particles. Finally, rinse in warm water and allow all parts to dry before reassembly. Be sure to clean your feeder every single time you go to refill it with nectar. You don't want to make any errors with your hummingbird feeder. The local birds will appreciate it.

How to make your own hummingbird nectar

Nectar is a vital food source for pollinators like bees and hummingbirds. It contains amino acids and metabolites necessary for their nutrition. You won't be able to reproduce nectar completely, but the DIY version will still provide a visiting hummer with energy. For your homemade hummingbird nectar, you'll need white sugar, water, a pot to boil it in, a bowl, and a spoon. 

Start by boiling one cup of water. As the water is boiling, add ¼ cup of sugar. Stir the water to dissolve the sugar. After the sugar has dissolved, remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool. Then, pour the sugar water into the feeder. Depending on the design of your feeder, it may be best to use a funnel for this part. Lastly, assemble the feeder as directed by its instructions. Hang the feeder where it will be seen from above, and you're bound to entice a few hummingbirds.