Cleaning a Birdbath

Silver Post Medal for All Time! 418 Posts
June 26, 2012

Keep Birdbath CleanI change the water in our birdbath every 3-4 days. To keep moss from building up in the bowl, I brush the bowl good and then tip it up and slosh the dirty water out. Using the hose, I spray the remaining dirty water out and fill it with fresh water. To have the brush handy, I keep it on top of the hose reel.


We've had this birdbath for about 10 years and this is my first year keeping it clean with the brush and it is working very well.

By littergitter from NC

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6 Questions

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July 28, 2011

What do you use to clean a bird bath? This is a bare concrete, shallow bird bath with a 12 inch circle of rust colored, slimy gook on it.

Baking soda? Salt? Vinegar? I just want to make sure it will rinse all the way off and not have any danger of hurting the wild critters.

Thank you!

By Jane


July 28, 20110 found this helpful

Elbow grease will be your best tool. Soak the red stuff a bit in plain water if the bath has dried, then use a good strong scrub brush to scrub it loose. (It is a form of algae.) Rinse well, and scrub again, if necessary.


If you can empty and refill the bath daily, or even every other day, you can stay ahead of the algae; and the birds will appreciate the fresh water!

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July 29, 20110 found this helpful

I clean mine with clorox and a scrub brush and rinse it well with the hose.

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July 29, 20110 found this helpful

I put sand in the bird bath and use a scrub brush.

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August 1, 20110 found this helpful

I soak my birdbath in a 10% bleach solution for an hour or 2 then scrub with a stiff brush and rinse thoroughly. I also spray it to refill and clean it out whenever I have the hose out to water my plants.


Sometimes a couple of copper pennies placed in the bottom will help to deter or slow the algae growth.

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August 15, 20210 found this helpful

I had my husband drill two holes in the bottom of my cement bowl (to let rain water drain out) and picked up a glass bowl at Salvation ArmyI can lift it out and clean it easily without having to tip the base over. I put a rock in the bowl so the birds have something to stand on if the prefer. They really enjoy it and its so easy to clean,

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Bronze Request Medal for All Time! 65 Requests
June 18, 2010

I have a birdbath that I love, but due to some other circumstances, it's been sitting in the garden, dirty and attracting nothing, but flies, I'll bet. I thought bleach would work, but someone told me that even the tiniest bit of bleach can hurt animals. Does anyone have a nice and healthy way to clean a bird bath? I love to see them and miss their little bird bodies bathing!

By metroplex from Houston, TX


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June 18, 20100 found this helpful

I think a little bleach is fine, as you will be rinsing it out and the bleach evaporates anyway. Just keep a scrub brush handy. I hide one behind some plants, and keep it brushed every few days.

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June 22, 20100 found this helpful

I wouldn't use the bleach, I don't think. For my birdbath, I just keep a brush handy that's made for cleaning barbecue grills and this does the trick. I change and refill the water sometimes several times a day in hot weather and depending on how many customers I have bathing, etc.


I scrub the bath out every other day or so, whenever it needs it. It's really pretty easy to keep clean if you stay on it and the birds just love it so much. :-)

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June 22, 20100 found this helpful

I was told to use one of the laundry spot removers like Oxyclean or something similar. This product is mostly hydrogen peroxide and will not harm the birds if used properly.
Add the oxyclean and water to the bath, let it set for a few minutes, making sure no birds drink while the solution does its work. Then rinse well and refill.

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June 23, 20101 found this helpful

Please go to Birds and That is a wonderful site that can answer all or any of your questions. Good luck.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 207 Feedbacks
June 23, 20100 found this helpful

If it is really dirty,j ust scrub with hot water and a little dish soap. Just be sure to rinse very well. You can also soak with white vinegar and water.


That will kill algae and will not harm wild life. I use white vinegar to clean my hummingbird and oriole feeders, too.

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September 30, 2011

I have a cement bird bath that has black stains on the bottom. What can I use to clean this?

By Carol M.


October 1, 20110 found this helpful

Try using baking soda to scour the black stains, the rinse well. This will not be harmful to the birds.

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April 14, 2010

I have a large 3-piece birdbath in the backyard. It has been there for several years and needs cleaning. It has mildew or mold all over it. It is made of cement and antiqued with a light grey color over the original white. I would like to clean it without damaging the concrete or original paint. Any suggestions?

By Mary Watson from Cocoa, FL


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April 17, 20100 found this helpful

Clean the birdbath thoroughly with white vinegar and a scrub brush or scrub it with a 50/50 mixture of bleach and water. If you own a pressure washer, you can make quick work of cleaning your birdbath with very little effort.


If you use bleach or vinegar, make sure to rinse the birdbath completely, removing all of the cleaning residue. Let the birdbath dry completely. Good luck.

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May 20, 2010

I have a lot of bird baths and most of them are made from cement and stone. They are very heavy and my biggest pet peeve about them is that they sit in the sun and they turn green with algae.

ravens on birdbath

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