By now we are all aware of the importance of keeping our bird feeders clean throughout the year, but we often field both questions on how to best clean feeders as well as suggestions from local birders on how they clean their feeders. Although it may not seem like a terribly difficult task (it isn’t!), having the proper tools, much like any project, can go a long way in making the job easier to perform and getting your feeders cleaned more efficiently.
Here are a few items you can use to safely and quickly clean your bird feeders all year round:
Sponges are great tools for cleaning almost anything and bird feeders are no exception. Handheld sponges make cleaning the outside of a bird feeder easy and effective and sponges equipped with a harsher or ridged side can get tough grime or other blemishes off quickly. Use caution when selecting a sponge of this variety, stay away from surfaces such as steel wool or metal fabric as these materials can damage your feeder beyond repair.
Feeders come in all shapes and sizes and depending on the type you have, you might need a specialized brush, or a number of designs to reach those hard-to-reach areas inside your feeders. Many folks swear by baby bottle brushes as their long handle easily penetrates deep feeders and many are equipped with smaller brushes built into the brush that is used for baby bottle nipples. These small brushes are perfect for small entry points and holes such as feeding ports.
Once again, use caution when utilizing a tool for scraping off old seed or suet. Using excessive force can end up in injury if you are not careful as to what you are doing. A small, flathead screwdriver or small putty knife works great for these kinds of tasks. In addition to your personal safety, be careful not to damage your feeders as well when utilizing these tools.