Keep Your Hummingbird Feeder In Tip-Top Shape With This Hydrogen Peroxide Hack

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Hummingbird feeders are a charming addition to any yard, but it’s not enough to just hang them up and watch the birds flutter around them.

They also require weekly upkeep, adding yet another thing to your chore list.

Specifically, you need to clean them routinely in order to keep them hygienic and inviting, but, luckily, there is something in your medicine cabinet that can help with that: hydrogen peroxide.

This tried and true brown bottle is often used as an antiseptic around the house, and is grabbed whenever there is a cut or scrape.

But it also makes for a useful disinfectant for feeders. Since these saucers are filled with nectar or sugar water to attract hummers, the liquid can easily go bad, especially during summer with rising temperatures.

Leaving that cloudy sugar water is an error you don’t want to make with hummingbird feeders. If you leave it, you’re essentially feeding moldy food to your feathered friends, which can lead to serious health issues.

Plus, hummingbirds are smart creatures, so they’ll probably avoid your feeder altogether until you disinfect it and replace it with fresh nectar.

Hydrogen peroxide can make that chore quick and simple — here’s how.

How to use hydrogen peroxide to clean feeders

Jaclyn Vernace/Shutterstock
Jaclyn Vernace/Shutterstock

If you routinely clean your backyard bird feeder, it’s often enough to rinse and scrub it with just hot water and an abrasive brush. But in order to ensure you’re providing a healthy and hygienic eating environment, it’s also beneficial to disinfect the feeder biweekly or monthly. This is especially true if you think the food went bad or if pests contaminated it.

First, clean your hummingbird feeder with hot water and a scrub brush. Do not wash it with soap since it can leave behind residue that will harm the birds once ingested. (If you must use it, you need to put the bird feeder in boiling water to properly remove the residue, but this can damage the item.) Then, pour a couple of ounces of hydrogen peroxide into the tube or saucer and swill it around so it coats all sides. Allow the disinfectant to bust any hidden germs or bacteria for at least 10 minutes, then pour it out, rinse it, and you’re done.

Hydrogen peroxide evaporates odorless and tasteless, so you don’t have to worry about it harming the hummers. This hack works because hydrogen peroxide is a natural disinfectant. It kills most bacteria and viruses, so it is strong enough to rid your feeder of any lurking germs.

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This article by Marco Rossi was first published by House Digest on 30 October 2023. Lead Image: Fotopro_929/Shutterstock.

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