Enhanced Living for Today

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Tips for Cleaning Your Bird Cage Safely

I have 2 little cockatiels that can make a pretty big mess in one day, so it takes less time to clean the birds cages if it is done on a daily basis. If I put off cleaning for a few days, the cage bars and trays are harder to clean.  

  • Pressed for time? Do a quick wipe down on the grill, cage bars, and perches where there is dried food and poop.
  • Cleaning more often saves money on avian veterinarian bills.  I don’t want my birds walking through their poop because of bacteria. They can catch a bacterial infection from poop.
  • Bacteria and mold can grow quickly in water dishes and on old food.  Your pet birds could get extremely ill from spoiled food and dirty water.  Give your bird a fresh supply of food daily, and clean water a few times a day.

Daily Cleaning:

  • For Daily cleaning, your bird can remain in his or her cage, come out to be on his perch, get on a play stand, or sit on top of another cage.  Some birds are very territorial, like my bird, Beenie, who doesn’t like me messing with his cage/nest.  Some birds might even want to help you clean their cage.
  • Beenie likes to chew up the dried up poop – like he’s helping me clean.  But he doesn’t like it when I put my hand inside his cage, take things out, or move things around.  If I am not careful, I might get my fingers bit.  Beenie isn’t very fond of hands either, because of a traumatic event he endured at his first avian vet visit.  Beenie is also very territorial and wants to guard his cage with imaginary eggs in it.
  • Beenie also likes to supervise my cleaning like a little overseer, to make sure everything that I am doing is OK, and see that I am cleaning everything quickly.  He cheeps at me the entire time so he can get back into his little nest and be safe from the birds of prey outside! He also watches out for my other bird, Baby, so I need hurry!        

For a daily quick wipe down, you are going to need:

    • Clean rags or paper towels for wet and for drying.
    • Plastic or natural material (loofah) scrubber or scraper.
    • Clean newspapers for tray
    • Trash can to dispose of dirty newspapers and old food.
  • You will be able to skip some days if the cage is cleaned daily.


  • Spray the poop on the grating to soften it so it’s easier to remove.  


    • Start cleaning at the top of the cage and work your way down towards the grating.  Spray your scrubber with your cleaner facing away from you bird.  Start scrubbing where there are dried bits of food, use your scrubber to loosen those and wipe away with your rag.  After cleaning, you might need to dry some parts of the cage with a clean rag.
    • Now we’re going to clean the grating.   You may need to respray the grating depending on the accumulation of poop.
    • Scrape it off with a plastic scraper so you don’t damage the paint on the cage.
    • Scrub the rest of it off with a natural scrub sponge with disinfectant.
  • Wipe it clean with a damp rag with safer disinfectant and dry with a clean rag.
  • Stack a few layers of newspapers or cages liners so all you have to do is remove the soiled layer.  
  • Keep or bring a trash can to your birds cage area so you have less mess to clean.

Once a Month Do a Thorough Cleaning:

For a Thorough Bird Cage Cleaning you need to:

    • Make time to clean your birds cage!
    • Be responsible.  Don’t risk your birds health and safety.
    • You should do a thorough cleaning at least once a month.
    • Schedule a day and time to clean your bird’s cage just like you would any important commitment.
    • Allow plenty of time to remove everything from the cage to examine it and clean it.
    • Look for any health hazards and toy hazards such as broken toys, perches and toys caked in poop.
    • Put smaller cages into the shower to spray and scrub; scrub and spray larger cages outside with a hose to rinse off the cleaning solution.
  • Use a steamer for a disinfectant-free bird cage cleaning.
  • [Resource] [Resource]

DO NOT USE UNSAFE CLEANERS ON BIRD CAGES OR BIRD DISHES:  I do not recommend using any kind of cleaners that are not safe for birds on their cages or dishes.  Unsafe cleaners will leave a toxic residue that your bird with touch with his tongue and feet. Chemicals are ingested through eating out of the dishes because the food touches the surfaces with the toxic residue, and it’s absorbed through your bird’s skin.  Please use safer, biodegradable disinfectants and cleaners for your bird’s cage.

    • Clean your birds dishes, daily and replace water more than once a day when needed.  Old water can grow bacteria that will make your bird sick. Replace your bird’s food once a day.  Old bird food can get moldy and rotten that will make your bird very sick. [Resource]
    • Use bird safe or Eco friendly dish soap and a disinfectant that is biodegradable that does not leave a toxic residue on their dishes.  Many of the dish soaps in the grocery store and drugstore leave a toxic residue after cleaning, rinsing and drying. [Resource]
    • Soap that you put in your dishwasher will omit a toxic gas during the dishwashing process.  Please keep your birds away from this.  I suggest using Eco friendly dishwashing soap that does not cause a toxic residue or emit toxic gas. [Resource]
    • Line the bottom of your bird’s cage or tray with newspapers.  Only use clean newspapers that are not shiny.  
    • Shiny and Moldy newspapers are very toxic to birds.  Use clean, dry black and white newspapers only especially if your birds run and play in the papers.  You can use colored newspapers under the grill where your bird cannot chew on them.   [Resource] [Resource]
  • NEVER moldy newspapers and Toss them into the recycle bin.   Only use color newspapers under the grill our of reach from your bird.
  • Use a cage grill to keep your bird from walking through bird poop. Get a cage that has a grill over the tray so your birds are not walking through their feces.  This is the best way to keep your birds feet clean.  Daily cleaning of the grill will stop build up.  Feces have bacteria that could make your bird very sick.  You can always put a lazy loft or piece of clean cardboard in the cage for your bird to rest his feet on.
  • Replace poop, covered newspapers daily.  If you don’t have time, put a clean dry paper over the poop covered area so the cage does not get damp and wet.  A damp, wet cage is very unhealthy for you bird and would give your bird chills making him very sick. Use several layers of papers to keep your bird’s cage nice and dry.  This is important especially during the colder months.
  • Use clean rags and towels every time you clean your bird’s cage.  I wash my bird’s cleaning rags and towels and hang dry them.  I do this so my birds won’t get any bacterial infections. This will save you money in the long run on avian vet bills plus the physical and emotional stress of the vet visit on your bird.
  • Getting a reputable, safe disinfectant is a must as well as using clean rags and towels.  I am so grateful for Sol-U-Guard Botanical because I don’t have to worry about harming my birds or myself.

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