Updated at: 10-08-2022 - By: Jane Brody

To clean a hummingbird feeder properly and effectively, all you need is some dish soap.

When cleaning a hummingbird feeder, it is best to submerge it in a bowl of hot, soapy water for up to 20 minutes. This will soften any residue, making it easier to wipe away, and will also remove any remaining sticky nectar. Use a soft bristle brush and a vinegar disinfectant to clean the inside or outside.

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Unfortunately, there is a potential downside to attracting hummingbirds to your yard by using a feeder, and that is the need to clean the feeder as often as three times every week.

To avoid getting bored when cleaning your hummingbird feeder, it’s important to know the best technique to do it.

If you want more information on how to clean a hummingbird feeder, I recommend reading my list of suggestions instead of this one.

Hummingbird feeders should be cleaned periodically to avoid attracting unwanted creatures like bees or bears who may be drawn to the sweet nectar within if they smell it.

The only thing you need to worry about is cleaning the hummingbird feeder with some cheap dish soap in a bubble bath.

Since nectar is essentially sugar water, it can be easily removed from the feeder with just soapy water instead of committing to anything harsher that would require the use of special cleaning equipment.

Cleaning a hummingbird feeder twice or thrice a week is recommended to prevent the growth of mold on the inside of the feeder, which is just as visible as mold on the exterior.

There is the option of using a disinfectant or specialized bird feeder cleaning agent, but you can also use a basic vinegar solution at home, as the acid can destroy germs or lift off grime.

Submerge feeder in bowl

Hummingbird feeders can be cleaned in a variety of ways, but immersing them in hot soapy water is one of the most effective methods.

You probably already know that this is not going to be enough to properly clean and disinfect a hummingbird feeder, but it’s a good place to start.

Hummingbird feeders are designed to retain solely sugar water, as opposed to other types of bird feeders that can hold things like hard peanuts, sticky seeds, or oily suet. Hummingbird feeders can be easily disinfected by washing them with soapy water.

Even though you’ll need to give the feeder a long, soapy bath to remove the sugar that’s stuck to the inner feeding wells, once a week is usually sufficient for keeping it clean.

Soak the hummingbird feeder for up to 20 minutes; if the water cools too quickly, replenish it with freshly boiled water.

If you don’t want any soap residue to harden and become inaccessible, you should get the hummingbird feeder dry as soon as possible after removing it from the soapy wash. It is essential that you give the entire feeder a bath with simply water.

No nonsense soap dish only

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In spite of the fact that you might be tempted to reach for something stronger, such a bleach solution designed specifically for cleaning hummingbird feeders, a simple soap dish is all that’s required.

Soap dishes are intended to disinfect and sterilize the surfaces of the plates and silverware we use to eat with.

This begs the question of why a regular soap dish couldn’t be utilized as a feeder for hummingbirds.

Only well-known household brands, and generous amounts of soap, can have their say in the soap dish.

To clean a hummingbird feeder, you need only use as much dish soap as you normally would while doing the dishes.

Although hummingbird feeders might grow sticky owing to a buildup of residue, this is easily removed with some dish soap.

Soft bristle brush or rag

One must give some thought to the tools used to clean a hummingbird feeder, but a soft bristle brush or a soft rag is a good bet.

The clear plastic tube used in hummingbird feeders can be scratched if brushed too vigorously or with too harsh of a brush.

Use caution while cleaning the inside of the clear plastic tube with a soft bristle brush; doing so may leave a fine but noticeable mark that is only visible in specific lighting conditions.

Cleaning the exterior of a plastic hummingbird feeder is not as important, but it is still important to do so since a sticky buildup can attract bees, and you should get rid of any bacteria in the process.

A hummingbird feeder constructed from glass is much simpler to maintain because it can be washed vigorously without leaving any scratches or scars.

Similarly, if the red glass hummingbird feeder has a metal exterior, it can be cleaned completely; nevertheless, you should be careful not to damage the feeder’s delicate sections.

Remove soap residue

Easy To Clean Hummingbird Feeder

Soap residue is a major problem in cleaning anything, even hummingbird feeders, so be wary of what seems like the easiest technique to clean a feeder.

Taking a lengthy, hot bubble bath is like cleaning a bird feeder or hummingbird feeder because the soapy water and bubbles may get into all the nooks and crannies that would otherwise be missed.

And while it may seem obvious to rinse off any soap residue on a feeder to prevent rings or spots, this is sometimes forgotten while cleaning a hummingbird feeder.

Hummingbird feeders have a few spots that are out of the way and frequently get neglected because of this.

Fill the nectar bottle with clean, hot water and, if it doesn’t drain on its own, splash it down the feeding well ports to remove any soap residue.

The soap will be removed throughout this procedure, allowing the hummingbirds to continue feeding as normal despite the presence of soap in the nectar.

Optional sanitization

Cleaning a hummingbird feeder with dish soap is a task that even young children can help with because it is both effective and safe.

One thing that is not very safe is using a bleach cleaning solution that is 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Although the bleach solution is effective, it poses a risk to the hummingbird’s health if any of it is left behind after cleaning.

Cleaning off soap scum is a lot like cleaning up leftover bleach—only it can kill you.

Cleaning the outside of the hummingbird feeder with bleach will not only destroy any bacteria that may be there, but it will also loosen the grime that has been stubbornly stuck there.

To be on the safe side, I advise eschewing the use of bleach when cleaning hummingbird feeders in favor of a solution of equal parts vinegar and water.

Hummingbird feeders can be cleaned in the same way as dishware by using dish soap to loosen any ingrained dirt or debris, then letting the feeder air dry slightly before giving it a thorough washing with a cleaning solution made from odorless white vinegar.

Use a concentrated acetic acid solution for cleaning a hummingbird feeder with vinegar.

As the scent of vinegar may linger, it’s clear that you’ll need to wash the area again after applying this solution.

Conclusion

Hummingbird feeders often contain a no-fuss sweet water blend, so the only residue that requires cleaning up is the sugar.

The feeder may be cleaned by immersing it in a bowl of hot soapy water, and you can use whatever kind of dish soap you like for this.

You could soak it for up to 20 minutes, but you might also need to give it a light scrub with a soft bristle brush or a rag if you can get to the inside.

Glass hummingbird feeders provide less problems, but all-plastic ones can be a nuisance.

At the end of the 20 minutes, quickly rinse the hummingbird feeder under hot or cold water to remove any remaining soap residue that may have been left behind.

A soft bristle brush is ideal for cleaning a hummingbird feeder, as the stiff bristles could scratch the nectar bottle or the soft plastic body. However, a soft rag will suffice in a pinch.

In the same way that dirt and grime can cause damage, so can soap residue, so it’s important to get rid of it.

That’s all there is to knowing how to clean a hummingbird feeder effectively.

However, I will leave you with the recommendation that you use a solution of half vinegar and half water to clean the area and kill any bacteria that could be there.

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