How to

How to Clean Hummingbird Feeder, Take Care of Health

How to clean hummingbird feeder, Bilantan HummerHi Smart Hummingbird Feeder

Hummingbird feeders are a great way to attract hummingbirds to your yard, and if natural resources are scarce, to help keep their energy levels up while admiring their beauty as they flock and swoop in search of tasty treats. But with the joy of marveling at their presence right in front of you comes responsibility; you must keep your hummingbird feeders clean.

If you have bird feeders installed in your home, chances are you also appreciate our avian friends. But feeding neighborhood birds is only half of a professional birdwatcher's duties. It's just as important to clean and sanitize these feeders on a regular basis to keep your favorite fliers safe and healthy.

hummingbird feeder

Why are clean bird feeders important?

While it may seem like a hassle to clean bird feeders on a regular basis, they do get dirty after a while, and dirty bird feeders can be a breeding ground for disease. In recent years, outbreaks have resulted in such a large number of bird deaths that some state wildlife organizations are recommending that feeders be temporarily closed. It's wise to contact your local fish and wildlife department regularly to see if similar notices are posted in your area, especially if you start noticing dead birds in your yard.

Keeping your feeders clean and sanitary is an important aspect of feeding your birds. Not only are hummingbirds more likely to suck from an always clean feeding station, but it is also healthier for them. Most hummingbirds would rather not eat than drink spoiled nectar, so it's important to keep your feeders clean if you want to continue to enjoy their visits.


What are the diseases of birds and their symptoms?

Salmonella: one of the most common diseases in birds - often fatal. Salmonella is a bacterial infection that can be spread from bird to bird through the feces and saliva of contaminated feeders. It can survive on the surface of feeders for weeks in dry environments and months in moist environments.

Symptoms: lethargy, diarrhea, loss of appetite; infected birds may become so weak that they are unable to fly or perch, meaning that birds with this disease are unlikely to fly away when you approach.

Avian Pox: a viral infection - not usually fatal, but can cause severe discomfort and distress. Secondary causes may result in death. The virus is highly resistant and can persist on surfaces for long periods of time.

Symptoms: Birds tend to behave and eat normally if they can - the virus causes warts or tumor-like growths, usually on the head, around the eyes or beak, on the legs and feet, and sometimes even on the wings. The growths are gray, red, pink, or yellow in color and may become so large that they result in restrictions on vision, eating, and movement; this, in turn, makes the bird highly susceptible to predation, starvation, and may also lead to secondary infections.

Trichinellosis: also known as ulcer disease in pigeons and doves, and flytipping in raptors. Caused by a parasite that cannot survive for very long outside its host, but has caused some serious outbreaks in the past, leading to a rapid decline in English finches in the mid-2000s. It is spread through contaminated water or regurgitated food.

Symptoms: As the disease attacks the throat and oesophagus, birds exhibit difficulty swallowing, often difficulty breathing, and wet feathers around the beak due to drooling or regurgitation of food that cannot be swallowed. Sometimes the neck is also swollen. Typically, birds are lethargic, have ruffled feathers, and may be sick for days or even weeks.

Aspergillosis: a respiratory infection contracted by inhaling fungal spores found in contaminated feed or feeder debris. Aspergillus is ubiquitous in our environment, especially in soil, nesting materials and moldy food, and it is highly resistant to disinfection. Birds that eat seeds are more susceptible to this condition because seeds are often deficient in Vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system.

Symptoms: difficulty breathing, lethargy and loss of appetite. If left untreated, the infection can be fatal.

Colibacillosis: caused by E. coli bacteria, affects a wide range of garden birds, making it more difficult for them to digest their food, which can lead to other complications. Most common in poultry, but can easily enter the external environment and can be severe enough to cause sepsis and death.

Symptoms: Difficulty breathing, ruffled feathers, loss of appetite.


Avian Influenza: The current strain of the virus is known as HPAI, where HP stands for highly pathogenic. It is spread through contact with infected saliva, nasal secretions or feces.

Symptoms: swollen head, closed and excessively watery eyes, unresponsiveness, lack of coordination and loss of balance, drooping wings and/or dragging legs, twisting of the head and neck, difficulty breathing; the list is long and disturbing. The severity of the current avian flu situation cannot be overemphasized, and there are serious fears that the disease will soon lead to species extinction, as the combination with other pressures such as habitat loss and pollution that birds are already enduring will only exacerbate the situation. Issue.

However, garden birds are at far less risk than other wild birds such as seabirds, whose colony lifestyles result in large numbers of deaths. It remains vital to know the symptoms and report any dead birds you see.


How to fight diseases?

All of the above are very serious illnesses that can cause a great deal of suffering and eventual death to the birds in your feeders. The good news is that all of these symptoms can be stopped simply by keeping your feeders clean, and if you notice any of the symptoms, remove the feeder immediately and notify your local wild bird specialist. After that, heed their de-alerting or turn off the feeder for at least two weeks.

The next time you enjoy the birds in your garden, take a few extra seconds to notice any erratic or unusual behavior, and if you can watch any visitors closely, see if you can spot any deformities or unhealthy symptoms such as excessive feather loss, clumping or growths. Paying closer attention will not only help you identify the behavior of the birds, thus making you a better birdwatcher, but it will also benefit the birds themselves and help prevent the spread of disease in their populations.

Remember, keeping your feeders clean is an important part of being a responsible birder.


How to clean your hummingbird feeder?

The best way to clean bird feeders is to use a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water. Empty the feeder and disassemble it if possible, then soak the feeder in the bleach solution for at least 10 minutes. Scrub off any debris or mold with a brush, then rinse the feeder thoroughly with water. Allow the feeder to air dry completely , then refill with fresh honey water. This is important - hand drying with a towel will always miss spots, and mold and fungus only need a small amount of water to fester.

Please don't worry! Specifically just follow these six simple steps to keep your feeder fresh, sparkling and clean.


STEP1. Empty the feeder

When it is time to clean the feeder, first pour out and discard all unconsumed hummingbird food, then rinse the empty bottle with hot water. Never reuse nectar as it will spoil, especially in warm weather. If the hummer never empties the feeder between cleanings, stop filling the reservoir completely to avoid waste.


STEP2. Disassemble the hummingbird feeder

To make cleaning easier, disassemble the feeder whenever possible. Our Bilantan HummerHi hummingbird feeder can be completely disassembled. Even the feeding spout and bee cover can be removed. This will allow you to access all nooks and crannies for a thorough cleaning.

Bilantan HummerHi Smart Hummingbird Feeder easy to clean.jpg 

STEP3. Soak the feeder

Make a mild cleaning solution by mixing a solution of one part bleach and nine parts warm water in a container or sink. Place all feeder parts in the solution and soak for about 1-2 hours (at least 10 minutes if no more time is available). This will loosen nectar residue and any mold buildup inside the feeder and make it easier to scrub.


STEP4.Clean the feeder to remove residue or mold

Scrub the hummingbird feeder using a cleaning mop or bottle washing brush. Thoroughly clean the inside and base of the bottle to remove any lingering nectar residue and pay special attention to mold spots. If there are areas of your feeder that you can't reach with a mop, or if your feeder has some particularly dirty spots, you can add a spoonful of rice and a small amount of dishwashing liquid. Then fill the feeder 2/3 full with water and shake it well. Also, be sure to scrub other feeder parts, such as the feeding spout, lid and bee cover.


STEP5. Rinsing Hummingbird Feeder

After scrubbing, empty the cleaning solution. Rinse the feeder with cold water to remove any traces of foam or dirt. If the nectar tastes like soap, the hummingbirds won't like it!


STEP6. Let feeders air dry before refilling them

Place pieces of the feeder on a dish rack or towel and let them air dry completely. Once they are all dry, you can assemble the feeder and refill it. Then sit back and watch your Hummer enjoy a fresh, clean food source!


How often should you clean your hummingbird feeders?

Now that you know how to clean hummingbird feeders, you may be wondering how often this process actually needs to be performed. As a general rule, hummingbird food should be changed every 3 to 5 days and feeders should be cleaned at least once a week.

However, there is no exact schedule. The frequency of cleaning depends on several factors, such as: climate and bird population

Climate - In the height of the summer season, when the weather is consistently hot and humid, nectar ferments more quickly. In this case, hummingbird food needs to be replaced and feeders need to be cleaned more frequently to prevent mold buildup - cleaning may be needed every few days.

Bird Population - The more visitors you have, the more hummingbird feeders will need to be cleaned. Also, your nectar may empty faster, so this is the perfect time for a quick scrub.

In addition to the above precautions, you should also clean your feeder immediately if the nectar looks cloudy, indicating that it has gone bad, or if you see dark spots anywhere on the feeder.


Other cleaning methods.

Although we recommend soap and water as the best cleaning method for hummingbird feeders, as they say, there is more than one way to clean feeders. Using a brush moistened with soap and water is the easiest way to remove nectar residue and other sticky substances from feeders, but other methods work well for general feeder maintenance.

Of course, you can also substitute a cleaning agent: vinegar - another easy, natural way to clean hummingbird feeders. Again, you can use many of the same steps as above, substituting a soap and water solution for two parts water and one part distilled white vinegar. Allow to dry completely before refilling.

Fortunately for hummingbird enthusiasts, our hummingbird feeders have a unique design that is easy to disassemble, making cleaning much simpler.

Bilantan HummerHi Smart Hummingbird Feeder.jpg

Now that you know how easy it is to clean your hummingbird feeders, visit our store to stock up on more feeders for hungry visitors! By signing up for our e-newsletter, you can get exclusive discounts and alerts to more helpful articles. Also, be sure to share photos of clean feeders and happy hummingbirds the next time you visit our Facebook page.

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Karina Ueno oura

Karina Ueno oura

Time is of the essence, my friends! Hummingbirds are VIP guests, and we’ve got to clean up after their frequent visits. The guide recommends rolling up your sleeves and cleaning those feeders every 3 to 4 days, especially when the sun is showing its fierce side. Let’s keep those feeders fresh and inviting!



Hey, nature lovers, here’s a neat little trick! Some folks swear by using white vinegar for a natural touch. It’s like inviting Mother Nature herself to the cleaning party. So whether you’re a vinegar-vibe person or a classic soap supporter, the choice is yours! Happy cleaning, everyone! 🌸🌼

Holly S.

Holly S.

Picture this: you’re sitting on your porch, sipping some tea, and admiring your hummingbird buddies. But wait – are they looking a bit off? Lethargy, funky feathers – those could be signs of trouble. Learning these symptoms is like having a secret bird health decoder!

Cynthia A. Rivera

Cynthia A. Rivera

Hey there, fellow bird enthusiasts! 🐦 Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of keeping our hummingbird feeders sparkling clean! Trust me, it’s not just about aesthetics – it’s about creating a safe haven for our fluttering friends.

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