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How to Clean a Hummingbird Feeder Safely? Best Ways to Cleaning

Hummingbirds are beautiful creatures to see in your garden every day. They can elevate your mood in seconds. In addition, hummingbirds play a vital role in balancing nature, as they are crucial pollinators. The best way to attract and assist this advice is to install a hummingbird feeder hat in your garden. It would help if you cleaned a feeder regularly to ensure that birds are healthy, happy, and safe in their surroundings. Check out the best way to clean hummingbird feeder with simple steps in this detailed guide.

When Should I Clean Hummingbird Feeder?

An essential aspect of feeding birds is to keep their feeder clean and hygienic. One must know the right time to clean feeder. If you see

  • When nectar is cloudy or discolored
  • it has floating residue or insects
  • Ports of the feeder are clogged
  • If molds, fungus, bacteria start growing

It becomes effortless to clean a feeder if you follow a single step at a time. First, however, it is suggested to follow simple guidelines.

Materials Required

  • Dish soap
  • Bottlebrush or toothbrush
  • Small bristle brush
  • Soft clean cloth
  • Rice (optional)

How to Clean Hummingbird Feeder?

Hummingbirds are flying wonders to see. Placing a hummingbird feeder in your garden is the best way to attract them. However, to make them your regular visitors, it is vital to keep their feeder clean. Here we provided some simple steps about how to safely clean mold from hummingbird feeder.

Step 1- Empty the feeder/ Drain leftover nectar or food

First of all, discard or pour out all the unconsumed nectar in a feeder. The birds that don’t like to feed on the nectar get spoiled quickly in hot weather. Also, spoiled nectar or food can cause ill effects on their heaths. Secondly, if birds are not consuming it completely, try not to overfill a reservoir. This will help you to avoid wastage of the food. Finally, it is advised not to throw the nectar on roads or pathways, as it may leave stains there and attract other creatures like insects and pests. Once done, rinse your feeder with warm water to wipe out the leftovers.

Step 2- Separate the Parts of the Feeder

Disassembling feeder parts makes cleaning process easy and leads to thorough cleaning of all the feeder parts. Sometimes it becomes difficult to remove the base of feeder due to the crystallization of a nectar inside. In such conditions to loosen the base, soak it in warm water for around 10-15 minutes. Do not disassemble such parts as it may lead to breakage in a feeder.

Step 3 -Cleanse the Feeder

Have any idea about when and how to clean hummingbird feeder with vinegar and bleach. Type of substance used in cleaning depends on the material of which a feeder is made. For example, if it is a plastic feeder, white vinegar is used along with cool water for cleaning. Similarly, if it is a glass feeder, dish soap and hot water are used for cleaning. Besides these materials, bleach is used in cleaning if there is a black mold in the container.

Hydrogen peroxide leaves less harmful residues behind, hence also used in cleaning hummingbird feeders. In general, prepare a cleaning solution by mixing dish soap with hot water in a container. Soak feeder and its parts in solution for around one to two hours. This will help loosen residues and any mold on the inside of a feeder and aid in scrubbing.

Step 4- scrubbing All Parts

It would be best to have a bottle brush or even a toothbrush to carry out this process. Now you need to gently scrub inside and outside of feeder with a bottle brush to remove the dirt and residue of a nectar. Give special attention to the molds or any clogs on it once scrubbing is done. Next, fill 2/3rd of the feeder with water and shake it well. You can also use rice, as rice is abrasive thus can clean it well. Next, scrub other feeder parts, such as a cap, ports, and a bee guards.

Step 5- Rinse Completely

Once you are done scrubbing and shaking with water, vacate the feeder. Rinse it thoroughly with cold or hot water to remove the soap and other substances that can harm birds. Rinse till the water appears clear. Even a tiny amount of soap left on the feeder can enter a hummingbird nectar food. And they won’t like it to feel their nectar taste like soap. The soap residues, on the other hand, can harm a hummingbird.

Step 6- Dry it Completely

Look for a dry and safe place to put your feeder for drying. Place all the parts of the feeder on a towel or dish rack. Let it dry completely before assembling all parts back to their place. This may take a few hours to a day to dry the feeder. Once it is dry, you can refill your feeder.

How Often to Clean Hummingbird Feeder?

Generally, there is no specific timeline for cleaning the feeder, but cleaning it once a week in colder weather and twice a week in hot weather is suggested. However, How often should the feeder be cleaned depends on a few factors, i.e., the number of birds and the area’s weather?

If more birds visit your garden and feed in a nectar, then you may need to clean your feeder more frequently as there are chances that the feeder empties faster. Similarly, there are more chances of food spoilage and mold growth in Summers. Thus it is advised to keep a check on your feeder regularly.

Is it important to Clean Hummingbird Feeder

It is very important to keep in mind the health of your hummingbirds. For example, improper handling or timely not cleaning the feeder may lead to growth of molds in the feeder. And as these birds are tiny creatures with little organs, even a tiny amount of contamination can cause them harm, damage their organs, or in severe cases, even death also. Make sure to opt for an easy to clean hummingbird feeder than the designer ones. A nectar gets crystallized in the feeder and can be very difficult to clean in some cases. Also, there won’t be any hummingbirds in your surrounding if there is spoiled nectar in your feeder.

Dangers of a Dirty Hummingbird Feeder

A contaminated hummingbird feeder can be perilous to the health of the small beautiful bird. The dirty feeder can cause them several kinds of infections. One of them is a bacterial infection. Bacterial infections cause swelling up of hummingbirds’ tongues which often leads to their death.

It is suggested to use simple feeders with fewer nooks and crannies. This is because simpler feeders are easier to clean. Also, there are fewer chances of other toxic substances and microbes getting trapped in them.


If you are a bird person and cannot keep your eyes off the birds, you need to give special emphasis to the bird feeders. It is the only key that can control the visit of hummingbirds to your garden. Those who have a hobby of bird watching have a great responsibility on them. You can harm your hummers if you keep using a dirty feeder. These flying wonders are very sensitive. If their food and feeder are not taken care of properly, they will suffer from serious health ailments. Thus, every individual engaged in feeding hummingbirds is responsible for ensuring that the birds get healthy food in a clean feeder.