How to Clean Hummingbird Feeder

Keeping your hummingbird feeder clean is one of the best ways to help your hummers. A clean hummingbird feeder will ensure that your Avian friends don’t succumb to common hummingbird diseases. Hummingbirds are picky and would rather not drink than drink nectar that has gone bad because of a dirty feeder. 

If you want to hang out hummingbird feeders, you might as well keep them clean. If you aren’t exactly sure how to keep your hummingbird feeder clean, we are here for you. Read on! 

What Materials Do I Need To Clean My Hummingbird Feeder? 

The materials needed to clean your hummingbird feeder are available in your home. Even if you don’t have them and wish to buy them, they are available in most malls and are very cheap. Below are the materials you will need. 

  • Unscented dish soap(Do not use scented dish soaps; it will disrupt the scent of the nectar and cause the birds not to return)
  • Hot water 
  • Bottle Brush 
  • Dish sponge(Optional)
  • Towel 

Step 1 

Start by emptying the feeder. It is important to drain any leftover sugar water, so they don’t stick when you are refilling the feeder. Ensure that you use hot water to flush the bottle. Resist the urge to reuse nectar. Sugar and water are cheap and readily available, so there is no need for you to reuse old nectar. Also, you should know that nectar spoils when exposed to warm weather for long periods. 

If you notice that your hummers are not emptying their feeders, stop filling them. Instead, fill them halfway and watch if the hummingbirds will empty them. 

Step 2 

The next step is to dismantle the feeder. Try as much as possible to dismantle the feeder completely. This would make it easy for you to clean even the hard-to-reach places. If you are using a newer model of hummingbird feeder, you may be able to take it apart completely. 

Step 3 

Next, soak your hummingbird feeder in the unscented dish soap. Remember, we advised that you don’t use dish soap that has any scent. If you use scented dish soap, this soaking process will cause the smell to saturate the feeder, making it hard for your hummers to drink. 

Why is it advisable to soak the feeder instead of just washing it off once? This is because the soaking will cause stubborn particles to loosen up, making it easy for you to scrub. 

Step 4

Cleaning Hummingbird Feeder

Now, employ the use of the bottle brush and scrub the feeder. Please ensure that you clean the insides of the bottle thoroughly. Also, clean the base of the bottle because those are the parts where some of the residue sticks. If there are any spots with mold, pay attention to them. 

Some feeders have small necks. These feeders cannot be reached with a bottle brush, so add some rice and a dab of dish soap. Proceed to fill the bottle halfway and shake it thoroughly; the rice will shake up the stuck residues. 

Step 5

Now that you are done scrubbing, proceed to rinse the feeder. Rinse with cold water. Ensure that you rinse other parts of the feeder too! 

Can Hummingbird Feeder Be Cleaned Using Bleach

If you are asking this question, then your heart is in the right place, and you are asking the right questions. Yes, you can use bleach to clean your hummingbird feeder. We also sense that all your alarm bells are going off now but hear us out; you can use bleach to clean the feeder but it has to be diluted. The mixture should be one part bleach and nine parts water. 

After using the bleach to clean the feeder, ensure you rinse it thoroughly. This would make sure that any trace of bleach is removed. Thorough rinsing will remove both the odor and the taste. In the same way, you don’t want to taste bleach in your food, hummingbirds don’t want to taste bleach in their nectar either. 

If you don’t trust this method, you may opt for vinegar instead. You may also use hydrogen peroxide but avoid mixing it with bleach or vinegar. 

How Often Is Enough To Clean a Hummingbird Feeder? 

It would help if you committed to cleaning your hummingbird feeder once every week. This would ensure that your feeder is constantly clean. However, some factors may also determine how often you wash. For example, during the summer, nectar will ferment very quickly because the weather is hot. If you live in hotter places such as California, you must clean your hummingbird often. 

Another factor determining how often you need to wash your hummingbird feeder is the number of birds that visit the feeder. If the number of birds is high, it is common sense to know that the feeder will get dirty quicker and must be washed regularly. 

If your hummingbird feeder is regularly getting unwanted attention from ants and bees, it is an indication that you need to clean your hummingbird feeder. Ants will swarm your feeder if they notice that it is leaking, which causes nectar to build up all over the feeder. In summary, keep an eye on your hummingbird feeder to know when you need to change the nectar and wash it. 


A clean hummingbird feeder will get you more visits, and if you are a neat freak like some of us, it will give you a sense of satisfaction. You will also be doing your hummers a world of good when you keep their feeders clean because that way, you’d be reducing their chances of coming down with a disease. 

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