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How to Clean Bird Baths

Snehal Motkar
A bird bath can be the best way to attract beautiful birds to your garden or yard, but it can happen only if your bird bath is clean. Here are a few simple yet effective ways to clean bird baths and invite birds to drink and have a splash in it.
Bird bath has become a must have accessory today. Though it is kept outdoors, it has a significant place in most homes. The purpose of a bird bath is not just to attract birds but to give a look of peace and tranquility to your garden.
Give it a thought and you will agree with what is said. Would you like to drink or take a bath in a green, dirty pool or to splash around in crystal clear fresh water? Obviously we all would choose the second option.
Another major issue with a dirty bird bath is that it creates a hotspot for transmitting diseases. Birds and other creatures visiting the bath become the transmitters of diseases. Mosquitoes are the quickest to spread diseases because they breed on stagnant water. You must protect the birds as well as your house by ensuring a safe and clean surrounding.

Steps to Clean a Bird Bath

An easy way to clean bird baths is to buy a light-weight bird bath with a removable basin. If you clean your bird bath regularly, it will be quicker and easier. Take a look at the things needed and the steps for cleaning your bird bath.

You will Need:

  • Garden hose and a source of clean water (a tap) nearby
  • Rubber gloves
  • Scrubber/Brush (It can be any type of brush but its size will depend on the size of the bird bath)
  • Bleach bottle
  • Plastic or wooden sheet to cover the bath
  • Bucket to mix the solution


  • Empty the bird bath. You can tip the bath on its side to drain the dirty water into the gutter, if your bird bath has a drain, unplug the drain to let the water out. Pick out dirty remains by hand. Do not forget to wear rubber gloves.
  • Scrub the bird bath. Put some clean water in the bath and start scrubbing gently. Scrubbing will help remove the dirt at the surface level of the bath.
  • Use a pressure hose to rinse the bath, and clear as much algae as possible. Though it won't clear out the entire green material, it will definitely remove some and weaken the hold of the remaining stuff.
  • Bleach the bird bath. Make a bleach solution because pure bleach can be harsh on the bath and the birds as well. Take a bucket full of water and add just 3-4 tbsp of bleach to it. Mix the solution and pour it in the bath. Make sure you do not splash the mixture on your clothes.
  • Allow the mixture to settle in the bath for at least 15-20 minutes to do its job. It is essential to cover the bath during this step to prevent birds from visiting the bath. Use plastic or a wooden sheet to cover it.
  • Rinse the bath thoroughly. Use a pressure hose and rinse the bird bath to ensure the removal of the bleach solution.
  • After the cleaning process, let your bird bath dry out completely. Depending on the weather conditions, it can take an hour or so for the bird bath to dry.
  • You have finally reached the end of your task. Fill the bath with clean water and put some copper pennies in the bath to prevent algae growth.

Some Tips to Keep Your Bird Bath Clean

  • The best way to keep your bird bath clean is to change the water regularly. It is recommended to fill freshwater in the bath everyday but if not possible, at least change it once or twice a week.
  • Place the bird bath in an open space where it won't get clogged with leaves and branches of trees, but if you are willing to remove them every day, you can place it anywhere you want to. But see to it that the bath lies in the shade to prevent algae growth and reduce evaporation.
  • Some people recommend use of commercial bird bath cleaners to minimize the use of bleach and scrubbing for the next wash. But it might damage the bird bath as well as affect the health of the birds by contaminating the water.
A clean bird bath can attract more and more birds to your garden. Cleaning will help protect the birds from diseases as well as maintain a good environment around your house.