Cleaning is always a more pleasant activity if you don’t wait until the feeder is clogged with old, moldy seed and covered with droppings! Frequent cleaning makes the task much easier each time.
Our Haven and Selective feeders are not designed to be taken apart to be cleaned. Don’t pull out the seed ports! If you do, you’ll stretch the hole in the tube and the ports won’t stay in after that. If you have let the feeder go dirty for some time, we recommend soaking the feeder in a bucket or a large sink with a mild soap. The seed that has accumulated in the bottom can be difficult to remove, but soaking will help loosen it up. During the summer, using the spray nozzle on your garden hose may help dislodge the seed. We also recommend using a feeder cleaning brush.
When you refill your feeder it also helps to discard any seed that’s left in the tube and then refill with fresh seed. If you want to disinfect the feeder, you can use 1 part bleach to 10 parts water and rinse with that, or you can use 1 part vinegar and 4 parts water and soak for a short period of time. (This disinfectant is also excellent for wooden bird houses after the nest has been removed and they have been cleaned with a brush.) Let the feeder dry well before adding new seed.
We also have a new product called Feeder Fresh. Just add a small amount to the bottom of the feeder and it will absorb any moisture that may occur, preventing molding and stuck seeds.
For other feeders such as platforms and hoppers, usually a brisk brushing on the inside to remove remnants of shells and seeds works well, then followed by a scrub in the sink or at the hose with a little dish detergent. You may disinfect these feeders the same way as tube feeders. And again, allow dry thoroughly before refilling! Putting the feeder out in the sun will help dry it and also help to disinfect it. Happy Birding!