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How to Clean Your Hummingbird Feeder

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How to clean your hummingbird feeder. It’s vital to clean your feeder regularly, as much as once per day, to keep your hummingbirds healthy!

Did you know that a dirty hummingbird feeder can kill the hummingbirds that you’re trying to attract? Unfortunately, mold and debris build up quickly in these feeders and regular cleaning is important to prevent health issues. The local wildlife won’t necessarily avoid the feeder if it’s dirty. The good news is that it’s easy to clean your feeders and it’s cheap to refill them using homemade sugar/water mix. No dyes or expensive hummingbird food required!


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In the hot weather, hummingbird feeders should be cleaned and refilled daily. Think that’s a lot of work? It is. In cooler weather, you can wash and refill every three days which is more reasonable. I recommend using the hummingbird feeders in the cooler Spring and Fall weather, and packing them away in the Summer and Winter. In the Summer, you can grow gorgeous hummingbird-friendly flowers. They’ll continue to visit your garden so you can watch them and the flowers are much more attractive than the plastic feeders.

Ideally you should get native plants for your garden.

Hummingbird Friendly Flowers include:

  • Bee balm
  • Columbines
  • Daylilies
  • Lupines
  • Nasturtium
  • Petunias
  • Impatiens
  • Bleeding Hearts
  • Crosima

Personally, I love bee balm as it’s easy to grow, smells fantastic, and it can be used as an herb/tea or for crafts. I caught a hummingbird hanging out on my bee balm last night (it’s the tall red flower). I need to try to get a better photo.

Homemade hummingbird mix: Use 1 part regular white sugar mixed with 4 parts of hot water (aka 1/2 cup sugar to 2 cups of water). Stir to dissolve. You don’t want to use too much sugar or too much water in your solution. Store extra in the refrigerator. Do not use dye.

How to Clean Your Hummingbird Feeder

Mold and other debris can build up inside your feeder, making your hummingbirds sick. It's important to clean these regularly.
1
Start by disassembling your feeder. Let pieces soak in warm, soapy water. I added a little vinegar to mine.
2
I use an old nail brush and a straw brush to help get in any crevices.
3
Make sure to scrub any mold or debris off EVERY PIECE.
4
Scrub out the inside of the glass jar as well.
5
I use a straw brush to clean out smaller areas.
6
Rinse pieces thoroughly. Reassemble your feeder.
7
Make your own hummingbird solution with 4 parts warm water and 1 part sugar. Mix thoroughly until sugar dissolves. Once cool, pour into feeder.
8
Flip the feeder upside down to screw on the bottom of your feeder.
You're ready to go! Don't forget to clean and refill your feeder regularly.
Don't want to deal with cleaning? Plant lots of hummingbird-friendly flowers! They're maintenance-free.
Check out my other content @DIYDanielle on Jumprope.

Here’s a video of the process.

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