Cardinal perched on bird feeder in snow
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Swap The Chemicals
With These Natural Ways To Clean Your Bird Feeder
Create a simple yet efficient cleaner by mixing 1 part vinegar and 4 parts hot water. Soak your bird feeder with this solution, or apply it directly and scrub your feeder.
The antimicrobial action of vinegar rids your bird feeder of harmful mold. However, vinegar may not kill all germs, so combine it with other natural options for a thorough clean.
Baking Soda
The mild alkalinity, gritty texture, and deodorizing properties of baking soda lift hardened dirt and neutralize odors. It’s also non-toxic and safe to clean a feeder.
Sprinkle baking soda over the surface of your bird feeder, and use it as a gentle scrub to dislodge dried-on birdseed, droppings, and other built-up residues.
Coarse Salt
Salt is antibacterial and abrasive, fully capable of scrubbing off accumulated residue on bird feeders. Sprinkle some on the feeder, then rub it with a damp cloth.
Lemon Juice
Lemon juice dissolves grime and has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It also deodorizes without deterring birds the way overpowering chemical smells might.
For stubborn dirt, scrub your feeder with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and lemon and 2 tablespoons of salt, or clean it with an abrasive paste made from salt and lemon juice.
Castile Soap
This eco-friendly soap is made from vegetable oils, which lift dirt and cut through grease, making it ideal for cleaning feeders coated with grime and seed residue.
Mix 1 quart of water with up to 2 cups of Castile soap to make an all-purpose spray cleaner. Use only unscented formulas, as its safety for birds has not yet been established.