How to Clean the Nasty Gunk out of Hummingbird Feeders

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How long has it been since you cleaned out your hummingbird feeder?

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Does your nasty feeder have hummingbirds looking at it cockeyed with contempt? Time to clean it out!

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Let’s start by twisting off the bottom and cleaning the ports. Remember in elementary school when you saw the classic vinegar+ baking soda= volcano experiment?

Sprinkle some baking soda in the ports and then some vinegar (I used white, but apple cider vinegar would work fine too). Yuck! Look at all the gunk!

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Swish some hot water in there too.

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Use an old toothbrush (NOT your husband’s current one!) to scrub off stubborn gunk.

Now for the inside of the feeder.

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Get some uncooked rice. Yes, you read that right, rice. I have also read of people using gravel, but really, just something hard to agitate against the sides will work.

Add the rice and a bit of hot water and shake, shake, shake! This trick works great for the hard to reach spots.

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Ewww! Yuck! So gross.

If some nastiness is still in there, you can try to reach it with that old toothbrush.

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Rinse thoroughly, then fill with some homemade hummingbird nectar.

Now the hummingbirds can drink out of a clean feeder and I’m not grossed out by looking at it!

How long has it been since you last cleaned out your hummingbird feeders? How do you clean yours?

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7 responses »

      • They go nuts over it – and after picking some of the red flowers and putting it in my house, and seeing ants all over them within minutes, I see how sweet they are!

      • Yikes! One of the hazards of bringing outside plants in as cut flowers or houseplants is the bugs. I brought a plant in recently, then found caterpillars on it!

  1. This is useful topic since I have read that hummingbirds also eat a significant amount of insects. So attract the hummingbirds smaller insects get done. Seems like a win-win to me. I do not like to use pesticide sprays if I can help it.

  2. Pingback: How to Make Hummingbird Nectar | Coffee to Compost

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