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Cleaning a Bird Cage — A Complete How-to Guide

cleaning bird cage

Are you a new bird owner struggling to carry out daily avian parents’ responsibilities like cleaning a bird cage? Having a feathery companion can be fun but comes with daunting duties and tasks.

But don’t worry—we’re here to help you out!

In this article, we’ll make it easier for you to do the cleaning as we discuss:

  • How to clean a birdcage thoroughly
  • How to disinfect a birdcage
  • Answer common questions that can be helpful when you’re cleaning your bird’s cage

So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it!

Useful Tips on Cleaning a Bird Cage

Dirty cages can make your birds susceptible to bacterial infections and other diseases. So, it’s important to clean it to minimize the risk of infection and keep your bird in its best shape.

But to make it easier for you, we’ll dissect and categorize the cleaning tasks daily, weekly, and monthly. This way, you can be more organized and won’t miss out on anything.

Daily Cleaning

Here are things you need to incorporate into your daily cleaning bird cage regimen.

1. Dishes

Get the food and water dishes and clean them daily using hot water and animal-friendly dish soap, which you can purchase from local pet stores, online, or grocery stores.

But rinse the dishes before lathering the soap, then rinse them again with hot water for a few seconds.

Other owners use dishwashers or disinfectants to add more cleaning power, but it’s all up to your preferences.

Ensure that there are no remaining traces of soap and disinfectant in the dishes. That is to prevent the seeds and pellets from getting damp and moldy.

And to prevent wastage, our tip is to fill the dishes with just the right amount your bird can consume before cleaning the dishes.

Our choice of dishes is stainless steel or high-quality plastic since they’re easy to clean and can tolerate repeated washings, hot water, and disinfectants.

It’d be even better to keep two or more sets of food and water dish so you can have extra when cleaning the cage.

2. Cage Accessories

Wash your toys in hot, soapy water the same way you wash your dishes if you have a birdbath, swings, ladders, or other items. Remove droppings from the perches and rotate them.

And when you replace the toys in the cage, try rearranging them to provide your bird with new interesting things to explore and provide additional stimulation.

3. Cage Liner

You should change the lining of your bird cage daily, so your birds don’t have to walk on discarded food and prevent emitting unpleasant smells.

Newspaper or other paper linings from the shop are typically the best choices for your bird cage because they are secure, affordable, and simple to inspect for droppings.

Place the new paper in numerous thin layers after removing the old liner with a damp rag or sponge to remove any stuck paper.

Since some pigments in some inks may be hazardous to birds, colorful ink should not be used on newspaper lining or any other recycled paper lining.

And to collect and absorb all trash and droppings, try to lay down at least seven layers of paper.

4. Surrounding Area

To remove food, feathers, droppings, and other material that may have escaped the cage, sweep the space around it with a handheld broom or vacuum.

Clean up any water or moisture that may have leaked into the vicinity.

You can utilize a cage apron to collect trash that spills out of the cage and is simple to empty daily. Both pet stores and shops offer this at an affordable price.

Then, use a plastic floor liner, such as a placemat or a mat that can be put beneath an office chair to capture debris. Choose one that can be quickly sterilized if your cage is in a carpeted area.

Weekly Cleaning

Select a time of the week when you can do the following routines to remove the germs and bacteria lingering inside your bird’s residence.

1. Wash The Cage Tray

Trays are positioned at the bottom of birdcages. At least once every week, take the tray out and clean it with a cage cleanser and a damp rag.

Before reinstalling the liners into the trays, don’t forget to check if the tray is completely dry.

2. Scrub the Gate

Some bird cages include a bottom grate hanging over the tray, allowing the droppings to fall through and land at the bottom.

This grate needs to be cleansed every week to get rid of any dried droppings that may have accumulated.

So, place the grate in a bathtub and scrub it with a brush to remove the debris. It’s the simplest way to do it.

3. Clean and Change the Perches

Aside from collecting dirt and feces, bird perches can serve as a bacterial nidus. So, once a week, you should soak and scrub them to get rid of any germs that might be hiding.

It’s best to keep a few backup perches on hand because certain perches, particularly the wooden ones, take a while to dry once they’ve been cleaned.

This way, you can utilize the backup while the ones you’ve cleaned are drying.

4. Clean the Toys and Accessories

Any toys in your pet’s cage should be taken out, soaked, and cleaned once a week. Like the perches, keeping a selection of toys for your bird could be advantageous.

By doing so, you may switch out the toys once a week when you conduct your bird cage cleaning session and keep the boredom away.

Monthly Cleaning

You need to do a deep cage cleaning every month, and you can easily do that by removing all accessories and moving the bird, then placing the cage into a bathtub.

But if you have a large cage that wouldn’t fit into a tub, you may need to bring it into your deck or patio and spray it with a hose.

You have the freedom to choose what works best for you, but keep in mind the following tips:

1. Remove everything from the cage

First, get your bird out of the cage and move him into an extra cage along with his toys and accessories. Then, remove the cage liner until the cage is bare.

Then, wash the dishes and cage accessories in hot and soapy water just as you do daily.

2. Remove the debris and droppings

The next thing you should do is scrape the droppings and debris with an animal-friendly soap or washing detergent and scrubbing pad.

If stubborn debris remains on the wooden perches or cage, you can remove it with sandpaper.

3. Wash and scrub the cage

Now, it’s time to wash the cage with hot, soapy water. Then, using a good quality scrub brush, scrub the bars and base of the cage.

If there are materials that are hard to break off, it’s time to utilize cage cleaners.

Check the cage base for cracks and crevices and scrub them because germs and bacteria may be lurking in them.

Don’t forget to check and clean the grooves in the cage with a scrub brush and the bars that are welded together.

Rinse the cage to remove all soap and suds outdoors using a shower or hose. Then, dry the cage with a towel and make sure to remove the excess water around the cage’s surfaces.

how to disinfect a bird cage

4. Disinfect the Cage

The next stage of cleaning bird cages is disinfection. But the question is how to disinfect a bird cage.

The easiest way to disinfect a bird cage is using a spray designed for birds. It’s available in local pet stores or online.

But if you prefer homemade disinfectants to save some bucks and time, we got three options for you:

Household chlorine

There are tons of disinfectants in the market, but if you have household chlorine, that would be enough. Simply dilute 1/2 cup bleach in a gallon of water, and it’s ready to use.

Others use bleach, but it releases toxic fumes to birds. So, you must ensure good ventilation and the bird is not in the same room you are cleaning to protect him.

Vinegar solution

This cleaning solution is popular because it’s easy to make and readily accessible in the kitchen. Just mix one part of white vinegar with two parts of water, and it’s good to go!

Baking soda and lemon solution

Our third disinfectant recommendation needs three cups of water, three tablespoons of baking soda, and another three tablespoons of lemon juice.

After preparing your disinfectant, put the solution into a spray container, apply it, and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

If a spray is unavailable, you can use a clean towel soaked in the solution to clean every nook and surface.

Remember: Use gloves and safety goggles during this procedure.

5. Let it Dry

Allow the cage to dry thoroughly before setting it up and moving the bird back into it. But you can speed up the process by wiping it with a clean, soft cloth or towel.

6. Refill the Cage

And finally, when the cage and accessory are dry, you can bring them back inside the cage, including your pet bird.

Replace the cage lining and make sure there are no wet components inside the cage.

how to clean a budgie cage

How Often Does a Bird Cage Need to be Cleaned?

Experts recommend washing and scrubbing the bird cage once a week with a bird-friendly, non-toxic disinfectant soap and hot water.

But the frequency of major cleaning depends on the type and size of the cage, the breed and number of birds, and the amount of time your bird spends in its cage.

For example, the cage of larger birds like lories, lorikeets, and macaws must be cleaned thoroughly every week.

But cleaning a bird cage for tiny birds monthly should be enough.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bird Cage Cleaning

Here are other common questions people ask about cleaning bird cages.

How do you clean bird cages with birds inside?

You can still clean even if the bird stays inside by wiping its cage bars and removing the tray and dishes to wash them.

But you should scrub the cage at least once a week with a bird-friendly disinfectant or dishwashing soap and hot water.

How often should I clean my bird’s poop tray?

Poop trays need weekly cleaning to remove germs and bacteria and protect your bird from infection.

But if you have the luxury of time, you can do this more often while replacing the cage liner daily.

What cleans bird poop the best?

A simple baking soda plus hot water solution can do the cleaning. Just mix a quart of hot water with 4 tbsp. of baking soda and pour them into a 32-ounce spray bottle, and you’re good to go!

It can remove bird poop stains if you’d let it soak for 5 to 10 minutes.

Can birds get sick from a dirty cage?

Dirty bird cages are at risk of being contaminated with bacterial pathogens, which can infect birds and cause wheezing, runny nose, appetite loss, and diarrhea.

How often should you change bird bedding?

Change the cage bedding or liners once a day and the litter once or twice a week or more often if the bird is messy.

This hygienic practice can help keep bacterial infection at bay.

how to clean a bird cage

Cleaning Bird Cage: Final Tips

Cleaning bird cages requires hard work and patience. But you can make it easier by being organized not just with your schedule but also with your supplies.

Collect all your cleaning supplies, such as paper towels, cleaning clots, cage liners, disinfectants, scrub brush, and sandpaper, in one place or bag.

Don’t forget to prepare various sets of dishes and perches for your bird and, if possible, an extra cage.

You may put your avian in a room with no cage while cleaning. But there would be a lot more trouble if your bird flew away.

If you’re an experienced avian parent, how do you clean your bird’s cage?

Do you have any additional tips based on how to clean your bird’s cage? Let us know in the comment section below!

READ NEXT: 9 Best Bird Cages: Large, Small, and Outdoor Buying Guide and Review [2022]

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