Bird cages are made of many materials, each with its own merits and downsides. Some people might want to detox their bird’s environment or maybe just freshen it up for the new bird they’re getting. Either way, disinfecting a bird cage is not rocket science but also not as straightforward as you might imagine.
Cautions and Disinfection Precautions
Before we get started with the disinfectants themselves, we should first touch on a few cautions about disinfecting bird cages.
1) Strong odors from chemicals may leave your bird susceptible to respiratory illness or irritation. If you can smell the chemical it’s too concentrated. Always use the correct dilution for any disinfectant.
2) Be careful with porous surfaces like wicker baskets and untreated woods. Most bird cages are made of stainless steel, plastics or other non-porous materials; but some cages come with wicker baskets or untreated wood that can absorb chemicals. Never use bleach on these types of surfaces.
3) Be careful with paint on the birdcage. Although most cages are treated with a non-toxic varnish, some might have leftover paint or even bleed old colors into the new environment. This can be toxic to your bird. If possible, remove any painted portions of the cage before using a disinfectant.
4) Never use a bleaching agent on your bird’s cage, its bird carrier or its accessories. If you have a painted surface, make sure to use a non-bleach safe product. Never mix bleach with ammonia – it creates deadly fumes!
5) Always wash and rinse any disinfectant off the cage before returning the bird. Sometimes, disinfectants do not come with thorough enough instructions to ensure that both you and your bird are safe. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
6) Be sure to use the correct dilution for any chemical you choose to use on your cage. This is especially important when treating porous surfaces that can absorb chemicals.
The Absolute Best Way to Disinfect a Bird Cage
If you were to ask a room full of bird owners what is the best way to disinfect a bird cage, I would not be surprised if most people told you that there was no single “best” way. In fact, it’s important for us as consumers to remember that the best way to disinfect a bird cage is whatever process you are most comfortable with.
We all have different levels of knowledge and experience when it comes to birds, so what might be better for me may not be right for you.
In terms of overall health safety while cleaning your bird’s cage, I would recommend the method outlined below.
Cleaning and Disinfecting a Cage
1) Remove your bird to another room for safety. Never handle birds while wearing chemicals on your hands or clothing. You don’t want to accidentally poison anything or anyone!
2) Thoroughly wash the entire cage inside and out with soapy water, then rinse all surfaces completely. If you have a painted surface or porous basket, be sure to use a non-bleach safe product and rinse very well.
3) Now that your bird’s cage is clean and dry, it’s time to disinfect! There are several ways we can do this:
- Using an Extension Pole with Paper Towels – This is the easiest method. Simply wrap paper towels around the end of the extension pole, wet them with disinfectant and scrub away!
- Using a Rubber Dishwashing Glove – If you don’t have an extension pole, this is still an easy way to go. Just make sure you rinse well after using this method because it holds the chemical against the cage.
- Using a Hand-held Sprayer – If you have a smaller birdcage, many people prefer to spray off the cage with a hose or handheld sprayer. This method requires more elbow grease and a little bit of strength, but it can be very effective!
4) After allowing the chemical to dry (which could take up to an hour), give the entire bird cage and its contents a good feeding before allowing your bird to return. This step ensures that any chemical residue is gone and won’t harm your feathered friend!