Hummingbirds are very sensitive & a dirty feeder can possess a serious threat to their life and health. That’s why you need to keep your hummingbird feeder clean all the time.
Can I use vinegar to clean hummingbird feeder? Yes. One of the best methods for cleaning hummingbird feeders is by using vinegar. If you are here to learn how to clean a hummingbird feeder, then keep reading because this article is especially for you.
We will teach you the best way to clean hummingbird feeders with vinegar so you can easily do it yourself too.
Will vinegar harm hummingbird feeders?
Vinegar will not harm your hummingbird feeder. Vinegar is one of the safest and reliable options for cleaning a hummingbird feeder. It is safe for both, hummingbirds and hummingbird feeders.
Some people don’t like to use bleach for cleaning hummingbird feeders because bleach contains toxic chemicals that are extremely dangerous for hummingbirds. So, they look for a more natural option which is vinegar.
Vinegar is a natural ingredient and it is completely safe for cleaning a hummingbird feeder. Moreover, vinegar is easily available. Chances are that you already have vinegar at your home. If not, you can still easily find it at any of your local stores.
Can you use apple cider vinegar to clean the hummingbird feeder?
Yes, you can use apple cider vinegar to clean the hummingbird feeder.
Generally, most people use white vinegar for cleaning hummingbird feeders. However, you can also use apple cider vinegar if you want. Which one is better? We recommend using white vinegar as a primary option for cleaning hummingbird feeders. But if you don’t have white vinegar, then you can use apple cider vinegar as it will work too.
Why vinegar is a good cleaner for hummingbird feeders?
You are probably thinking that why vinegar is a good option for cleaning a hummingbird feeder?
Here are the main reasons why vinegar is the perfect cleaner for hummingbird feeders:
1. Vinegar is a natural ingredient
The first reason why we prefer vinegar is that it is a natural ingredient that is completely safe for cleaning hummingbird feeders.
Especially if you don’t like to use bleach for cleaning hummingbird feeders, then vinegar is the best option for you. Vinegar is safe, natural, and effective. Plus, vinegar is a good alternative to bleach.
2. Vinegar has sterilizing powers
Vinegar is a natural ingredient with very powerful sterilizing powers.
If you will use vinegar for cleaning the hummingbird feeder, it will effectively kill all the harmful germs present inside the feeder.
Vinegar will give you a neat & clean hummingbird feeder.
3. Vinegar is effective against mold
Hummingbird feeders often develop mold inside them and guess what? Vinegar is very effective against mold.
Cleaning the hummingbird feeders with vinegar will help you get rid of all the mold that has grown inside your feeder.
How do I clean my hummingbird feeder with vinegar?
Do you want to learn how to clean a hummingbird feeder with vinegar? Just follow this 7-step tutorial and you will have a clean hummingbird feeder again.
Here is a list of items you will need to clean your hummingbird feeder with vinegar:
- White vinegar
- Clean water
- Cleaning mop
- Cloth or towel
1. Empty your hummingbird feeder
Take your hummingbird feeder and open it up. Now pour out all the hummingbird food and nectar present inside it.
After that, start flushing the empty feeder with hot water.
Don’t reuse any food or nectar because once you take them out, they start spoiling.
2. Disassemble your hummingbird feeder
To make the whole cleaning process smooth & easier, you will need to completely disassemble your feeder.
So, start taking apart all the removable parts of your hummingbird feeder.
Doing this will allow you to access all parts of the feeder and thoroughly clean it.
3. Create a solution of vinegar and water
Take 2 parts of clean water and 1 part of white vinegar and add them to a bucket. Mix them thoroughly to create a perfect cleaning solution.
4. Soak your hummingbird feeder
Once you have created a cleaning solution, then take your hummingbird feeder and soak it inside the solution for 2 hours at least.
Vinegar will break down the mold and nectar that has built up inside your hummingbird feeder. This way it will be easier for you to scrub and remove them.
5. Scrub your hummingbird feeder
Now take a bottle brush or cleaning mop in your hand and start scrubbing the interior of your hummingbird feeder.
Make sure to scrub every single part and remove all the residue of mold and nectar that is present inside the feeder.
6. Rinse your hummingbird feeder with water
When you have finished scrubbing the feeder, the residue of mold & nectar inside will become extremely loose.
You have to thoroughly rinse the feeder with cold water so that all the residue of mold and nectar can be removed from the feeder.
Keep rinsing it until your feeder is completely clean now and there are no traces of impurities left behind.
7. Dry your hummingbird feeder
In the end, you have to take a cloth or towel in your hand and dry all the parts of your hummingbird feeder with it.
After that, you should arrange them in a dish rack and let them air dry.
Once the hummingbird feeder has completely dried, you can assemble it again, and then refill the feeder.
That’s it! The hummingbirds will enjoy fresh and clean food now. So, sit back and enjoy the sight.
How to prevent mold in hummingbird feeders?
The only secret to preventing mold from growing in your hummingbird’s feeders is making sure to clean them frequently. However, how often to clean them may depend on the prevailing temperature level under which you are raising the birds.
For example, if your feeders are constantly exposed to heat or direct sunlight, you will have to clean the feeders every day. But if the feeders are exposed to a moderate level of temperature, you should clean them less frequently. Cleaning them 3 to 5 times a week will do the magic.
Also, make sure to pick feeders that are very easy to separate when shopping for feeders. And also ensure that you remove nectar from the feeders at least once a week and thoroughly wash in gentle soapy water and a sponge before drying.
How often should I clean my hummingbird feeder with vinegar?
Generally, we recommend you clean your hummingbird feeder with vinegar once a week.
However, it also depends on a lot of other factors too:
1. The role of weather
In summer, when the temperature is hot and humid, the nectar inside your feeder can ferment very quickly.
In such a case, you will need to clean the feeder more frequently to prevent the growth of mold inside it. You may have to clean the feeder 2-3 times per week.
2. The role of birds
If there are only a couple of birds that occasionally visit your feeder, then you probably don’t need to clean the feeder too frequently.
However, if the feeder is visited by a whole flock, then you will have to keep the feeder clean regularly. More birds will empty the feeder faster so you should quickly clean it every time before refilling.
More visiting birds = More need of cleaning the feeder.
Should I use bleach or vinegar for cleaning a hummingbird feeder?
We recommend you use vinegar for cleaning the hummingbird feeder.
Generally, bleach and vinegar both are used for cleaning a hummingbird feeder. However, you should prefer vinegar because it is a natural ingredient that is completely safe for hummingbirds and hummingbird feeders.
Keep in mind that hummingbirds are very sensitive. Bleach may contain a lot of toxic chemicals that can be harmful to those birds. Even consuming a little bit of bleach can have a serious impact on the health of hummingbirds or even kill them.
That’s why we avoid using bleach or detergent. It’s because there’s a risk that you may not be able to remove all the bleach from the feeder and end up accidentally hurting the hummingbirds.
What type of vinegar should be used to clean a hummingbird feeder?
We recommend you use white vinegar for cleaning a hummingbird feeder. However, you can use apple cider vinegar too.
Is vinegar safe for hummingbirds?
Yes, vinegar is completely safe for hummingbirds. It is a natural ingredient that won’t hurt the hummingbirds at all. Especially, if you are afraid of using bleach for cleaning the hummingbird feeder, you should use vinegar as it is very safe and reliable.
Other hummingbird feeder cleaning methods
Using a bleach-based cleaner will not only remove all dirt from your hummingbird’s feeder, but it will also help you disinfect them against any infection. Check below for details on how it can be safely used.
- Make a solution from the mixtures of 1 gallon of water and a quarter cup of bleach.
- Put the feeders in the solution to get them soaked and leave for about an hour.
- Clean the feeders with a bottle brush.
- Rinse thoroughly under running water and refill
How to clean hummingbird feeder with hydrogen peroxide
Just like bleach, hydrogen peroxide will also ensure that your hummingbird’s feeders stay clean and disinfected against infections. Check details about usage below.
- Soak the feeders in vinegar for a few hours or better still 12 hours depending on how dirty the feeders are.
- Pour enough hydrogen peroxide and scrub continuously with a long bottle brush until there’s no more biofilm or mold in the feeders.
- Rinse thoroughly with water afterward.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use powdered sugar in a hummingbird feeder?
No, you cannot use powdered sugar in hummingbird feeders. Powdered sugar contains cornstarch that could ferment their nectar, causing them some discomfort that could lead to further health complications if immediate attention is not given. Use only granulated sugar in your hummingbird feeders.
Can you use soap to clean the hummingbird feeder?
No, it is not advisable to clean hummingbird feeders with soap, especially when your birds are fast eaters and you would have to clean their feeders each time they are empty. This is to prevent your hummingbird from eating harmful soap residues in the feeder. Instead, make use of weak vinegar or clean it ordinarily with hot water.
However, if you have a situation whereby the feeders have not been cleaned for a while and you can see some stains or mold buildups, you can clean with hot water and soap, but you must make sure you thoroughly rinse and dry after use.
What can I use to clean hummingbird feeders other than vinegar?
Apart from using vinegar, you can also make use of hydrogen peroxide, bleach, and hot water. However, just make sure the hydrogen peroxide and bleach are well diluted with water before use.
“Your home is a representation of yourself, and it should only be filled with clean items that you enjoy and use”
Professional cleaning expert