Tuesday, July 26, 2016

How to clean your bird bath

I hope you all have some water sources for the birdies out there. It’s been in the 90’s here in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. It’s hard for me to imagine how the wildlife endures extreme temperatures.

Here’s my bird bath.

It’s made out of resin and I’ve had it many years. I am concerned about keeping it out in the direct sun, but I know birdies love to take sun baths. I also know that in this heat, I walk outside every other day and the water is getting ready to turn green. If for some reason I ignore it longer, I find green water and lots of mold on the bottom. I truly try not to let it get this way.
Here's my other bird bath:

This morning I dumped the water out of this bath to clean and refill a little later. I looked out the window at it and there is a mourning dove flitting around it and finally settling in to the empty bath. I felt bad I hadn't yet filled it, but she seemed OK with it. She filled the whole bowl up with her size. I hurried up and filled it up but of course haven't seen her the rest of the day!

To clean my baths, I dump the water out and I’m left with dark slimy gunk on the bottom of the bird bath. What I have been doing is taking a gallon of water and putting a drop of Dawn, and a drop of bleach in it and dumping it in the bath. I get a scrubby and scrub it as much as I can. I rinse with another gallon of water, but then I let dry for a day, because I don’t know if my cleaners will harm the birds. Well, of course they would if they drank  them, but I mean after I rinse out the bird bath.

I decided to see if there was an organic way to clean my bath, and sure enough came across this recipe that might work:

4 and a  1/2 cups of white vinegar
½ cup water
Pour into the bird bath and let it sit for a while. Scrub and rinse it out with a good amount of water.

As far as the birds' drinking water, some resources suggest putting a cap full of apple cider vinegar in the water all the time, which will keep down the algae and also provide vitamins and minerals to the birds. I’ve got some inquiries out to see if this is an acceptable practice, too, so in the meantime I’ll stick to my bleaching out the bird baths and filling them with plain water.

It's also suggested to place the bath near bushes where birds can fly to quickly to preen and dry themselves off.
Here's a couple of pretty bird baths:
This is available at Amazon. I'd love to have a fresh water feature for my birds and others to enjoy.

What do you do to clean your bird bath?

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you leave a comment and share with friends and family.

Happy gardening, my friends ~



  1. This is great advice, Ann! I know everybody is concerned about keeping the bird bath clean and keeping mosquitoes out. Vinegar is the perfect solution. Sharing on Facebook today. :)

  2. Thanks for the share, Stacey! Thanks for reminding us that keeping the bird bath clean keeps mosquitos away, too!


  3. I use dawn dishwashing liquid in a bucket of warm water, and a scrub brush to clean my bird feeder. I've added vinegar to the water in the past, and didn't really notice a big difference in the speed in which the green water appears. Once or twice a season, I use bleach water to clean out the feeder, and keep the birds off of it with netting, until it's thoroughly cleaned and rinsed.