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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.

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. This is a quick look at my feeder before I cleaned it. It’s not too bad, but I don’t want my birds to have any health problems. I’m cleaning the Perky Pet Hummingbird Feeder. My favorite tool for this job? A bottle brush cleaning set.

Mold inside a piece of the hummingbird feeder.

Start by disassembling your feeder. Let pieces soak in warm, soapy water for 10-15 minutes. I added a little vinegar to mine. I use an old nail brush and a straw brush to help get in any crevices. Make sure to scrub any mold or debris off EVERY PIECE.

Soaking the pieces to the hummingbird feeder in soapy water.

Scrub out the inside of the glass jar as well. I use a straw brush to clean out smaller areas.

Tiny straw brushes work well to get into 
 and clean all the nooks and crannies of the hummingbird feeder.

Rinse pieces thoroughly. Reassemble your feeder.

Homemade Hummingbird Mix

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. Once cool, pour into feeder. 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. Store extra in the refrigerator. Do not use dye.

Making DIY hummingbird feeder mix.

Don’t want to deal with cleaning? Plant lots of hummingbird-friendly flowers! They’re maintenance-free.

Here’s a video of the process.

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How to Clean a Hummingbird Feeder: How and why you need to clean your feeder REGULARLY so your birds won't get sick.

See the Google Web Story: Here’s How- and WHY- You Should Clean Your Hummingbird Feeder TODAY!

How to Clean Your Hummingbird Feeder

How to Clean Your Hummingbird Feeder

Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $1-$5

Cleaning your hummingbird feeder can save the lives of your local hummingbirds. Dirty feeders can cause illness and even death. Learn how to clean your feeders, or plant hummingbird friendly flowers in your garden.


  • -Brushes for cleaning
  • -Soapy water
  • -Hummingbird feeder


    1. Start by disassembling your feeder.
    2. Let pieces soak in warm, soapy water for 10-15 minutes.
    3. Use a straw brush to help get in any crevices. Make sure to scrub any mold or debris off EVERY PIECE.
    4. Reassemble
    5. Fill with hummingbird feed which you can make!
    6. Repeat every couple of days. Mold can build up fast!

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