How To Clean Bird Feeders with Vinegar

Setting up a backyard bird feeder station can be a worthwhile and enjoyable experience. Besides adding color and movement, it also helps conserve the wild birds and wildlife in general. However, as time passes, bird droppings and other filth collect, necessitate cleaning of the bird feeder. This cleaning can be done with vinegar, which is a readily available primary cleaning element.

bird feeder
Image by GeorgeB2 from Pixabay

Now, the most important question that this article answers is; how can vinegar be used to clean bird feeders? How successful is this substance at cleaning the bird feeder and removing dirt? These questions, as well as other details about cleaning bird feeders properly with vinegar as the major cleaning agent, will be addressed in this article.

If you’re not uncertain about how to clean a bird feeder with vinegar right now, read this article from beginning to end to learn how to do it correctly.


Vinegar is a transparent substance that is made up of acetic acid and water. It’s a sour liquid made by a two-step fermentation procedure. Vinegar has earned a reputation for being an all-purpose cleanser throughout the years.

Many people use a vinegar solution to clean various areas of their homes. Vinegar can be used to remove filth and odors from countertops, sinks, and other surfaces around the house. One of the best things about vinegar is that it can be combined with other chemicals to clean stubborn surfaces, such as baking soda.

Vinegar can be used for a wide range of purposes, including food processing, cooking, disinfection, cleaning, industrial activities, weed and pest control, and a variety of other things.

Aside from the functions of vinegar listed above, vinegar can also be used to clean backyard bird feeders. Vinegar can assist in removing all bird feces and other forms of debris from both inside and outside the bird feeder. Due to the  disinfectant capabilities of vinegar, it can also aid in the removal of germs located on the structure. To maximize the efficiency of this superb substance, simply combine it with other cleaning products.

How to Clean a Bird feeder With Vinegar

To maintain a top notch quality of cleanliness and hygiene in your bird feeder, you need to clean it at least twice in a month. However, if you find sick birds in your bird feeder often, then you need to up your cleaning game – and vinegar can do just that for you.

 If you’ve never cleaned a bird feeder before or uncertain about how to clean one, have a look at the steps below:

Empty the Bird Feeder Completely

The first step is to remove everything from the bird feeder. This simply entails emptying the feeder of all birds and eco chicken feed. After you’ve taken all of the birds and seeds out, the next step is crucial: placing them in the proper location.

In addition, you have to be cautious about spreading the seeds in the garden because they may germinate. Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid scattering seeds in your backyard in the hopes that the birds will eat them, as this may unintentionally attract rats and pests.

Soak the Bird Feeder

The bird feeder should next be soaked with hot water and mild soap. The goal of this stage is to get rid of all the dirt, including bird droppings and food scraps. If you realise that the filth is too difficult to remove, you can alternatively soak it in boiling water to speed up the cleaning process.

Dish soap can be used to degrease and cut through the suet film and stickiness if you’re using suet bird feeders. Soak it for 15 minutes to release all the residues, but if it’s too hard, soak it for a few minutes longer. This procedure will aid in the loosening of all the seeds lodged in the bottom of the feeder.

Scrub the Bird Feeder

After soaking your bird feeder, you can improve the cleaning process by scrubbing the bird feeder’s surface. Remove any debris or remains that were not removed throughout the soaking procedure using a hard brush. Remove all filth from inside the tube feeder with a tube feeder brush, a bottle brush, or a specialist tube feeder brush.

After verifying that all of the dirt has been removed, spray the bird feeder with water to rinse it. If you believe there is still filth and remains on the bird feeder, continue the soaking and washing process a few more times until you have a clean bird feeder.

Use Vinegar To Disinfect The Bird Feeder

After all of the dirt has been removed, clean the bird feeder to remove all of the bacteria on the surface. Here’s where the vinegar comes in handy as a disinfectant. Mix 50 percent water and 50 percent vinegar to make a vinegar disinfection solution.

To get the best results, soak the bird feeder in water for at least 10 minutes. Rinse the bird feeder with water after the disinfection process is complete to remove the vinegar solution.

Dry The Bird Feeder

Following the disinfection of your bird feeder, you now proceed to dry it before being refilled with seeds. If you’re using tube feeders, it can take a day or two for it to dry up. If you have a mesh feeder, though, it will dry swiftly in a matter of hours.

 By exposing your bird feeder to the sun, you can speed up the drying process. Overturning the bird feeder to ensure no water remains is a good way to check if it’s dry.

Cleaning Your Bird Feeder’s Surrounding Area

To complete the cleaning routine, you can clean the area around and below the bird feeders once they’ve been cleaned. If seeds or other types of dirt are still present, make sure to remove them and clean the area. Other unpleasant creatures will not be able to come close or enter your bird feeder station if you clean the ground beneath it and areas around it.


Since vinegar does not contain any harsh chemicals that could hurt birds, it is safe to use for cleaning and sanitizing bird feeders and birdbaths.

Although bleach and soap are good disinfectants, vinegar is highly recommended and should be used instead.

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