• Easy steps to a clean birdbath

    by  • November 19, 2013 • How to, Wildlife • 4 Comments

    How to clean a bird bath in twelve photos

    Keeping a birdbath sparkling clean is easy and it’s worth a bit of effort to keep your wild birds happy and healthy.  Algae may be a natural thing, but it’s not attractive when your bird bath is within sight of your windows like you want it.  It takes about 20 minutes or so to clean this one and 15 minutes of it is waiting!

    This cement birdbath has several turquoise insulators in it, the kind that used to insulate telephone wires from the wooden poles.  It’s surrounded by shrubbery and is within sight of my living room windows where I can watch the birds in all seasons.  The birds come to bathe here as well as to drink and I want my birdbath to be a sparkling jewel in my garden.  Every few weeks, here’s what I do:

    Take a dirty bird bath

    Take a dirty bird bath

     

    Empty the water

    Empty the water

     

    Add a 1/4 cup of household bleach

    Add a 1/4 cup of household bleach

    Diluted bleach kills the algae and salmonella and many more germs quickly,…you can see how fast and effective it is. The time is 10-15 minutes for it to work!

    Cover with a plastic trash bag

    Cover with a plastic trash bag

     

    Scrub, scrub with a brush

    After 15 minutes, scrub, scrub with a brush

     

    The bleach kills the algae

    The bleach kills the algae

     

    Spray out the dirty water

    Spray out the dirty water, with a LOT of water

    The water and bleach mixture doesn’t affect the surrounding plants when diluted with more water from the hose.  The effectiveness of the bleach action dissipates quickly after a few minutes.

    Spray the surrounding shrubbery

    Spray the surrounding shrubbery

     

    All clean!

    All clean!

     

    Happy birds, like these Lesser Goldfinches

    Happy birds, like these Lesser Goldfinches

    About

    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.

    4 Responses to Easy steps to a clean birdbath

    1. Thank you. I liked your birdbath cleaning method.
      December 30, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      50726 Falcon View Road Coarsegold

    2. Connie
      July 16, 2015 at 11:22 am

      I will try this as my birdbath/fountain gets so much algae. I have a question about adding bleach to birdbath water. A friend adds a few drops to his birdbath and he claims it not only keeps the algae down but the birds really seem to like it. He thought that perhaps the bleach got rid of mites and parasites that the birds have. I was skeptical because of the possible toxicity of bleach on birds. What are your thoughts on this?

      • Sue Langley
        July 17, 2015 at 8:25 am

        I wouldn’t pretend to know what dose to give a bird with unknown , if any, ailments, would you? I would think, birds would like to drink fresh water better than say, pool water or any water with any amount of bleach in it. Just go fresh! 🙂

        • Connie
          July 17, 2015 at 8:29 am

          I agree and thanks for your input. I know we have gone to lengths to get the chlorine out of our drinking water as we know it is not tasty or good for us. I would assume it is the same for birds and other animals but I wanted to run it by you in case you had heard of such a thing. Yes, go fresh!

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