Backyard birders exchange tried-and-true advice on how to keep sugar water safe for their preferred fliers. study hummingbird feeder maintenance.
What You Need
- Hot water
- Microfiber towel
- Cool water
- Dish soap
- White vinegar
- Cool water
- Dish sponge
How To Clean A Hummingbird Feeder？
1. Throw Out Any Nectar Left In The Feeder
Of course, you’ll need to discard any nectar that’s still inside the hummingbird feeder before you can start cleaning it. Simply tip the feeder over and allow the nectar to run off. The best place to do this is outside or in a sink to prevent the nectar residue from getting on any surfaces that might attract insects.
2. Dismantle The Feeder
Detach the insect guards, ant moats, perches, and other parts that can be separated as you carefully disassemble the feeder. When cleaning the hummingbird feeder, you can access the tough areas doing this.
Nectar can occasionally harden, making it challenging to remove the feeder’s base. Avoid trying to force it open in this situation as you might break it. Instead, soak it for about 20 minutes in hot water to make it pliable.
3. Soak The Parts In Hot Water
A large bowl of hot water with a few drops of dish soap in it. The hummingbird feeder’s disassembled parts should all be submerged in water to soak.
4. Clean The Feeding Ports
Make a second pass to ensure that there is no nectar left in the feeding ports and that there are no obstructions inside. Run some tap water through the ports; this will flush out any debris and reveal any clogging. This is the best way to go about it.
After that, use the tiny bristle brush to clean the interior by inserting it into the feeding ports. In order to ensure that the ports are thoroughly cleaned, it is best to clean them from both ends if at all possible. Even the tiniest amount of black mold or fungus can quickly contaminate fresh nectar.
5. Scrub Out The Nectar Reservoir
With a bottle brush, scrub the reservoir thoroughly both inside and out. Any traces of crystallized nectar or black mold should be thoroughly scrubbed away.
Although cleaning hummingbird feeders this way will require more time and effort, if the neck of your hummingbird feeder is too narrow to accommodate a bottle brush, you can use a smaller brush. The bottle can also be filled halfway with warm, soapy water and vigorously shaken while adding some rice. For removing any remaining nectar or black mold growth from the bottle, use this cleaning technique in a manner similar to brushing.
Don’t forget to clean the removable parts, such as the perches, ant moats, and bee guards. Use the bottle brush to scrub these areas while cleaning them with the same dish soap and hot water mixture. Additionally effective is a toothbrush.
6. Rinse Thoroughly
Clean running water should be used to thoroughly rinse the reservoir, base, feeding ports, and removable components. Hummingbirds do not like the taste or smell of soap in their food, so it is crucial to thoroughly rinse for 10 to 15 seconds to remove all soap residue.
7. Air Dry The Feeder Parts
In order to avoid water droplets contaminating the fresh nectar, it is best to let hummingbird feeders air dry. Put every feeder component in its proper place outside, whether that be on a dish rack, a clean cloth, or a piece of paper.
In a pinch, wiping each piece with a clean cloth will help them dry more quickly.
8. Reassemble The Feeder
Put the feeder back together once every component has dried. To avoid leaks, make sure that each piece fits snugly. Additionally, look for any components that might have suffered damage during cleaning. You must make any necessary repairs or replacements before using the feeder once more.
9. Refill And Hang The Feeder
Put some fresh nectar in the freshly cleaned feeder and hang it somewhere open (like the backyard) where hummingbirds can easily find it. You ought to have hummers hovering around and feeding on your feeder in no time.
A mixture of 1 part sugar and 4 parts water makes an easy nectar recipe that you can use to restock your hummingbird feeder.
When Should You Clean a Hummingbird Feeder?
In general, hummingbird feeders need to be cleaned at least once per week and the nectar is changed every two to four days. Although you should always clean the feeder once a week, there is no set schedule for doing these things, and in some cases, more frequent cleaning may be necessary. Weather, the number of birds that visit, and the way the nectar in the feeder appears are a few of these variables.
A hummingbird feeder needs to be kept clean so that dirt, fungus, and black mold don’t contaminate the nectar and make the birds sick. In severe cases, tainted nectar can result in demise.
Hummingbird feeders should be disassembled, then any remaining sugar solution should be drained away. The nectar reservoir, feeding ports, ant moats, bee guards, and other components of the feeder should then be scrubbed with bottle brushes and a cleaning solution made from hot water and dish soap. To get rid of all soap residue, give the pieces a thorough wash under running water. The pieces should then be left to dry in the open.
After assembling the hummingbird feeder and filling it with nectar, hang it outside for the birds to eat.