How To Clean Your Bird Bath

How often should you clean your bird bath?

The recommended time between bird bath cleaning depends on a few factors including, weather conditions, where the bird bath is situated in the garden and how many birds visit on a daily basis. Falling debris is a common reason why bird baths become dirty and need cleaning, keep an eye out for any leaves falling from trees into your bird bath. During the summer when birds visit and use your bird bath on a regular basis may also be a good time to increase the cleaning schedule. We recommend cleaning your bird bath at least once every week, this will reduce the level of bacteria build up and make the job much quicker and easier to complete.   
Cleaning your bird bath shouldn’t be strenuous, so it is important to get the right equipment for the job before starting. The majority of the equipment needed are regular household items you should have to hand, so you don’t need to invest in any specialised cleaning equipment.

You will need:

  • Access to clean, running water
  • Rubber gloves
  • Brush for scrubbing
  • White vinegar


  1. Empty the bird bath of all water and any debris including, leaves, berries and fallen seeds. Your bird bath should be completely empty before starting the cleaning process.
  1. Make your cleaning solution by combining 1 part white vinegar and 9 parts water, making sure the solution is well mixed together.
  1. Begin to scrub your bird bath using your cleaning solution and a brush for scrubbing. You can use anything to clean your bird bath from a specific bird bath brush, a scouring pad or washing up brush. Be sure to reach all areas that birds use, including the inside and the lip where they may stand and wait. For bird baths that are particularly dirty, it is sometimes a good idea to leave the solution to soak. This way it shouldn’t need too much scrubbing, as the solution should remove the top layer of dirt for you. If you are going to leave it soaking for a few minutes, make sure that you cover the bird bath to stop any birds from using it.
  1. Once you are satisfied that all the dirt has been removed and every bit of the bird bath has been cleaned, you can rinse with running water. Do this until you are able to swill the bath with water without any foaming occurring and the water is running clear.
  1. You then need to leave the bird bath to thoroughly dry. Keep your bath in the garden in a place where it is likely to dry best, maybe there is a particularly sunny spot or a section that catches the wind. Whilst your bird bath is drying you could take the opportunity to tidy around the area. You could deadhead any plants or flowers, that are dying, or you could pull any weeds that are coming through the paving or stones.
  1. Once your garden bird bath is completely dry you can refill it with clean water and wait for the birds to come! Adding a bird table to your garden is also a great way to attract more birds.

Some top tips for cleaning your bird bath:

  • If you have a jet washer you can use this to clean after applying your cleaning solution, just check your bird bath is safe to be used with a jet washer.
  • Make sure you also clean the fixtures of your bird bath too. The fixtures can also become warn and harbour dangerous bacteria.
  • You can buy specially made solution to keep your bird bath water cleaner, if you prefer. This can reduce the need for you to clean and replace the water in your bird bath so regularly.