• Easy steps to a clean birdbath

    by  • November 19, 2013 • How to, Wildlife

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    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

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    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.