How to Clean a Birdhouse

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Birdhouses provide cavity-nesting birds with a place to nest and rear their young. But when the babies have fledged and left the nest, they always leave a mess behind. That’s why you need to clean out your birdhouses for the next round of breeding. Most commercially made birdhouses are constructed with a removable or hinged roof, side or bottom panel that facilitates cleaning.

How to Clean a Birdhouse
(Dana Dowling/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Bucket
  • Scrub brush or rags
  • Unscented liquid dish detergent
  • Unscented household liquid chlorine bleach
  • Old toothbrush
  • Garden hose
  • Old clothes
  • Eye protection
Step 1

Check the birdhouse for unwanted residents such as mice or squirrels. Such creatures have been known to take up residence in untenanted birdhouses. Chase out any that are present. Put on rubber gloves. Undo or open the removable or hinged roof, base or wall panel to gain access to the interior. Remove all nesting materials from the interior of the birdhouse and discard them.

Dana Dowling/Demand Media
Step 2

Fill a bucket with warm water to which you add a tablespoon of unscented liquid dish detergent. Wash out the birdhouse interior with the solution, using a scrub brush or old rags. Use an old toothbrush to scrub hard-to-reach corners and the entrance hole. Then wash down the outside with the detergent solution. Discard the solution down a drain when you’re done.

Dana Dowling/Demand Media
Step 3

Pour 9 cups of warm water into the bucket and add 1 cup of unscented household liquid chlorine bleach. Wear old clothes and eye protection when working with bleach solution. Wash the birdhouse interior and the outside with the bleach solution. Discard the used solution down a drain. Thoroughly rinse the interior and outside of the birdhouse with plain water from a garden hose and allow to dry. Replace or close the roof, base or wall panel you removed or opened. Make any other necessary repairs.

Dana Dowling/Demand Media

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