How do I clean my hummingbird feeder?

cmwren(Mid-Atlantic Coast, z7)January 1, 2013

Cleaning Your Hummingbird Feeder:

Sugar solutions last about three to five days under normal outdoor conditions, longer in the cold and less in extreme heat. Feeders should be emptied and cleaned as soon as the sugar solution starts to appear cloudy (which can be in only a day or two if it is very hot or the feeder is in a sunny location, or if your feeder or solution is contaminated). There are a few different ways to clean and sanitize your feeder; no matter your choice, always rinse your feeders thoroughly after washing. Rinse, rinse, rinse; and when you think you've rinsed enough, rinse one last time.

Various cleaning methods include washing in warm water and mild dish soap; in boiling water only or with boiling water and a mild dish detergent; or washing with vinegar and water. Rinse well if you use anything in addition to plain water.

Feeders washed with warm water or warm water and soap can then be sanitized by soaking them in a mild bleach solution (in a 1:10 ratio = one part bleach, ten parts water; I usually go for one small "glug" of bleach per sink-full of water) for an hour, followed by lots and lots of rinsing.

Remember: rinse well!

There is no need to dry your feeders before refilling them.

Feeder and Feeding Facts ©ALG and GARDEN WEB. Please reference these sources if you use the above information as presented here in any form or media other than for personal, individual use.

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