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How to clean a birdbath

Woodpecker Perched on BirdbathMy mom loved birdbaths. She enjoyed growing flowers, and often had a birdbath in her gardens.

A couple of years ago to remember my mom on Mother’s Day, I bought one when I was at the co-op garden store. It was an impulse item.

It’s fun to have a birdbath on my patio and occasionally watch birds enjoying it.

However, I was concerned this spring when a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections occurred in people that had contact with wild songbirds and bird feeders.

Twenty-nine people in 12 states were affected. Illnesses occurred on dates ranging from December 26, 2020, to April 29, 2021. As of May 28, 2021, the outbreak was over.

I did an Instagram post and advised people to clean their birdbaths once a week, wear disposable gloves when cleaning a birdbath, and wash your hands when you’re done. Also, don’t let pets play under the birdbath.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Rita R. Robison (@rita.robison)

However, recently, another question came up. My birdbath is ceramic. It gets dirty and rinsing it out with water from a hose doesn’t get it clean.

I wondered what I could clean it with. When I was a kid, we won a gold fish at a carnival. About a month later, we cleaned the bowl with bleach because the water was turning green. The fish, floating on top of the water, was dead. We were devastated.

I found a kitchen brush that was getting worn, so I used it to scrub out the dirt out of the birdbath. Of course, the brush is now dedicated to cleaning the birdbath only.

A solution of one part distilled white vinegar to nine parts water can be used to scrub a birdbath. Rinse the birdbath well after using the vinegar solution and let it dry. Then, refill with water.

Enjoy your birdbath.


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