One of the most significant responsibilities that comes with having a pet bird is cleaning its cage. Keeping a clean environment for your bird is the first step to preventative health, along with a happy psychological state and a balanced diet.
The question is not how often you should clean a bird cage, but what kind of cleaning you should be doing when. Setting up and following a regular cleaning schedule is essential to making the process as easy as possible each time you do it.
Since your bird's food and water dishes should be cleaned in hot soapy water, you may think the same solution is the best way to clean the bird's cage. However, soap can sometimes leave behind a film that will eventually attract more dirt and dust, meaning the enclosure will look dirtier more often.
Rather than going out to buy a special cage cleaner, grab your scrub brush and a bottle of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner. The powerful cleaner and degreaser is tough enough to cut through grime and pet residue, but the non-abrasive, and non-corrosive formula won't their cage.
Directions for Cleaning a Bird Cage:
Remove your bird(s) from the cage and from the room before you begin cleaning. Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner is still a detergent that can be irritating to birds' highly sensitive lung systems, and too much aerosolized spray of any detergent cleaners could cause harm to your bird.
When in doubt about a surface, always spot test first.
- Change the liner. Change the cage liner once a day, as it is unhealthy for your bird to walk around in its own discarded food and droppings.
- Wash dishes. Food and water dishes should be washed every day with hot water and dish soap to prohibit bacteria growth. If the dishes are dishwasher safe, throw them in the dishwasher.
- Spot clean. Spot clean any particularly dirty areas with a damp cloth or paper towels.
- Clean the cage tray. Remove the tray (and the grate, if there is one) at the bottom of the cage. Grab an empty spray bottle and mix 1 ounce of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner with 2 cups of water. Apply the cleaning solution to the surfaces and scrub with a damp cloth or non-abrasive scrub brush.
- Soak and scrub the perches and toys. Fill a sink with ¼ cup of Simple Green per 2 cups of hot water. Soak the accessories for about ten minutes, then rinse with clean water. You can use sandpaper to remove stuck-on droppings from wooden accessories. Again, some dishes and toys are dishwasher safe, and some softer ropes may be able to be washed with your laundry.
- Remove everything from the enclosure. Remove seeds, loose droppings, and cage accessories (perches, toys, dishes, grate, and tray).
- Rinse the cage first. Place the entire cage in your bathtub and rinse it off. If it's too big, rinse it with a garden hose outside.
- Apply Simple Green. Grab an empty spray bottle and mix 1 ounce of Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner with 2 cups of water. Coat the entire cage in the solution and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Scrub. Scrub the whole thing with a non-abrasive scrub brush or scrubbing pad.
- Rinse again. Rinse the cage completely more time, either in the bathtub or with a hose.
- Dry. Wipe the cage down with a dry towel or, if possible, leave it outside to air dry. Make sure it is completely dry before you put any accessories or birds back in.
- Clean the area surrounding the cage. Clean floors and walls will contribute to a healthier environment for your pets to live in. Use a broom or vacuum to remove food, feathers, droppings, and other debris that may have fallen out of the cage. Use your Simple Green and a damp cloth to wipe up any stuck-on gunk on surrounding floors and walls.
- Reassemble. Put in a clean cage liner, fill food and water dishes, then let your bird(s) loose in their clean home.
It is also recommended that you disinfect the cage and all accessories after cleaning.
Disinfection of animal quarters and kennels:
- To disinfect pre-cleaned animal quarters and kennels, apply Simple Green Clean Finish Disinfectant Cleaner.
- Remove all animals and feed from the premises. Remove all litter and droppings from floors, walls, and surfaces of facilities occupied or traversed by animals.
- Empty all troughs, racks, and other feeding and watering appliances.
- Thoroughly clean all surfaces with soap or detergent and rinse with water.
- Saturate the surfaces with the disinfecting solution for a period of 2 minutes (for Canine Parvovirus.)
- Ventilate building and other closed spaces. Do not house animals or employ equipment until treatment has been absorbed, set, or dried.
- All treated equipment that will contact feed or drinking water must be rinsed with potable water before reuse.