How to Clean Hummingbird Feeders: A Step by Step Guide

brid eating from hummingbird feeder
Clean your hummingbird feeders with ease

How to clean hummingbird feeders? To protect and take care of hummingbirds, you need to learn how to properly clean hummingbird feeders. Birds will eat from a feeder even if it’s dirty.

They don’t know the difference between drinking black mold or sugary sweetness.

Regular cleaning of the hummingbird feeders is key. Knowing when to clean and how to clean a hummingbird feeder is important if you want your hummingbirds to stay healthy and happy.

The Essential Equipment to Clean Hummingbird Feeders

A few things to remember when cleaning any type of feeder. That includes copper hummingbird feeder and glass hummingbird feeders:

  1. Don’t use soap. The birds can taste the soap residue and they don’t like it. The soap taste will drive them away. In case you use soap, detergent or bleach make sure to rinse it thoroughly.
  2. Refill and clean your feeder every two to three days when the temperature rises to 80 or 90 degrees.
  3. Murky looking sugar-water solution -nectar- should be replaced at once. If it looks dark and murky, it is most likely spoiled. 

Here’s a list of the essential equipment you need to clean a hummingbird feeder.

  1. A sturdy long bottle brush and straw brush to clean hard to reach nooks and crannies
  2. Vinegar. Restrain from using detergent or bleach
  3. A dry cloth like the all purpose cleaning cloth for wiping 

How to Clean Hummingbird Feeders

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the crown choice long bottle brush and hummingbird feeder brush

Step 1: Mix one part vinegar and two parts water 
Step 2: Detach the removable parts of the hummingbird feeder

A. Remove the base
B. If it’s hard to remove the base then soak the base in hot water for 15 minutes to soften the hardened nectar
C. Detach these one-by-one if your feeder has them – ant moats, insect guards, perches

Step 3: Drain the nectar from the reservoir to the feeding port and base down your sink. Beware of any stuck sugar or any other residues that could spoil the next nectar you put in
Step 4: Check and see if something is clogging the feeding ports

Optional: You can soak the feeder and all the removable parts in your vinegar solution for an hour for extra sanitation.  

Step 5: Brush the feeder, removable parts, and the feeding port using adequate tools. You can use a combination of the straw brush, the long bottle brush, and the vinegar solution.

cute green bird eating from the feeder

Step 6: Look out for falling stray bristles that can clog the feeding ports

Note: The Crown Choice long bottle brush has sturdy bristles that you can be sure won’t fall off

Step 7: Rinse thoroughly
Step 8: Air dry so your nectar won’t get diluted with leftover water
Step 9: Reassemble the feeder. Different types have different ways to reassemble. Check your manual to know yours works. Be sure that each piece is put in snugly.
Step 10: Hang and refill with nectar

How to Clean Hummingbird Feeders

Some hummingbird feeder plastic will melt under very hot water so check with your vendor before using hot water to clean it. Here are some alternatives if your feeder can’t handle hot water.

Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide

Soak your feeder in the vinegar then use hydrogen peroxide to clean it until the biofilm or mold disappears. 

Soak your feeder for half a day. Use the straw brush and long bottle brush with hydrogen peroxide to scrub it.

Only Use Bleach if You Really Need to

Bleach is a much faster solution to remove mold. However, I don’t recommend bleach for cleaning as it can harm the birds. Dilute it in a lot of water in case you really need to use it. A quarter of bleach in a gallon of water is a good proportion. 

Soak your feeder for an hour. Rinse it thoroughly. Use the straw brush and long bottle brush to scrub your feeder then rinse it again.

Chemical Warning: Wear gloves when using bleach to avoid skin irritation.

Make sure to always rinse properly and air dry no matter what cleaning agent you use.

Why The Crown Choice 17″ LONG Bottle Brush & Straw Brush Set is the best Hummingbird Feeder Cleaner

17" LONG Bottle Brush & Straw Brush Set for Beer Bottle Cleaner, Thermos Bottlebrush, Carboy Gallon, Kombucha

The Crown Choice long bottle brush set is the best option if you want to learn how to clean hummingbird feeders faster. It’s designed for beer bottles, kombucha bottles, wine bottles, humming feeders and more long neck bottles with narrow openings.

But that’s not all. Aside from the 17” long bottle brush, the set has a 10” straw brush cleaner that can fit into 1/2in wide straw. Perfect for the feeder port openings.

It’s a two-piece set that’s useful if you care for your pet hummingbirds. Check it out now.

Download the PDF version of this article below.

How to Clean Hummingbird Feeders: A Step by Step Guide 2

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