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How to Clean Hummingbird Feeders

Cleaning hummingbird feeders is THE MOST IMPORTANT task that must be performed regularly to keep hummingbirds safe and coming back for your enjoyment.

If you notice that hummingbirds have abandoned your feeders the most likely cause is neglecting to clean feeders and spoiled nectar!  You need to keep your feeders clean otherwise the nectar can spoil fast which in turn drives away hummingbirds. We get numerous questions from our visitors asking “why and where have their hummingbirds gone!”

Fresh nectar is crucial to keeping visitors at your feeders. You should change the nectar every 3 to 5 days depending on how warm the temps are. During hot spells or if you are in a hot climate we recommend changing nectar every 3 days and less in cooler climates. It is good practice to clean your feeders at every interval of changing the nectar. If you stay “ahead of the game” and clean often you will prevent an arduous and time consuming task in future cleanings.

What You Need to Clean a Hummingbird Feeder

·         Basin, Tub or Sink
·         Pinch of Dish Soap (Unscented Natural or 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water)
·         Feeder Cleaning Brushes
         1.Bottle Brush
         2.Base Brush
         3.Port Brush
·         Wash Rag
·         Pinch of Bleach (Only if mold is present)
·         Rubber Gloves (Very important if using bleach)

Steps to Clean a Hummingbird Feeder

1.   Put your rubber gloves on
2.   Fill a Basin, Tub or Sink with Warm Water
3.   Add a Pinch of Dish Soap (Unscented Natural Soap)
4.   Dismantle all parts of the feeder that are possible
5.   Submerge the parts in the container of cleaning solution
6.   Scrub the bottle or tray with appropriate brush
7.   Scrub the base with appropriate size brush
8.   Scrub the ports thoroughly with a port brush which is the most important step since a hummingbirds tongue comes in contact with this area
9.   Clean any moldy parts with a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water in another container
10. Rinse very thoroughly with warm water (very important to remove any soap or bleach residue)

How Often to Clean Hummingbird Feeders

We recommend cleaning your feeders every time you change the nectar which is every 3 to 5 days depending on temperatures. Nectar is sugar and water solution which will ferment in warmer conditions, causing it to go “Sour” (vinegar like state). If you are in a hot climate or during a hot spell you should change and clean your feeders every 3 days.

Tip: if possible display your feeders in the shade or use a shade dome over your hummingbird feeder.

Hummer Helper Helmet

If your feeders are not exposed to hot temps every 5 days will suffice and even longer if cooler temps persist. You should try to take note of your individual circumstance as to how long your nectar lasts before fermentation begins.

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