How to Clean Your Bird's Cage: A Guide to a Fresh and Happy Aviary


Cleaning your bird's cage is not just a chore; it's a commitment to your feathered companion's well-being. At Squawk Box, where we are passionate about enhancing the lives of pet birds, we understand the importance of maintaining a clean and hygienic environment. In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to ensure your bird's cage remains a fresh and happy haven. For more information on setting up your bird’s cage, checkout our blog How to Setup Your Bird’s Cage

Cage Cleaning Basics: A Daily Routine

Brushing Off Debris

Start your daily cleaning routine by brushing off debris from the cage bars and floor. This simple yet effective step prevents the buildup of dirt and droppings, ensuring a visually appealing environment for both you and your bird.

"By being proactive with your daily cleaning routine, you can save a lot of time and stress in the future." - Brett, Squawk Box

Freshening Up Bedding

Your bird's comfort is paramount. Replace soiled bedding daily at the bottom of your bird’s cage to provide a clean and cozy space. This contributes to your bird's happiness and well-being. The choice of bedding plays a crucial role in maintaining a cozy environment, and knowing the right types of bedding to use can make a significant difference.

Only use paper based bedding for your bird. This type of bedding is absorbent and is easy to determine when it's soiled. It's crucial to choose paper bedding that is free from harmful chemicals and safe for your pet. Newspaper is a good choice as it is now lead free and totally safe for birds. You can also use paper towels. A note about wood based bedding: this is not recommended as it can be difficult to examine your bird's feces. It is also more difficult to tell when the bedding needs to be changed.

Remember, cleanliness is key. Change the bedding regularly, especially if it becomes soiled, to maintain a fresh and hygienic living space for your beloved bird.

Replace Food and Water

Regularly check your bird's cage for old food scraps. Remove any uneaten or spoiled food to maintain cleanliness. Clean the food and water dishes with dish soap daily to ensure your bird has access to clean and nutritious meals.

Wiping Cage Surfaces

Use a mild, bird-friendly disinfectant to wipe down cage surfaces. This not only removes potential bacteria but also keeps the cage smelling fresh. Taking care of fresh messes makes cleanup much easier as bird poo can be extremely difficult to remove once dried.

"Since birds are meant to be in the wild, a clean environment, free from their own mess is crucial." - Amanda, Founder Squawk Box

Types of Bird-Safe Cleaners

  1. Vinegar and Water Solution: A mixture of white vinegar and water is a safe and effective cleaner. The acidity of vinegar helps break down bird droppings, and it's non-toxic when properly diluted. Mix one part vinegar with two parts water for an efficient cleaning solution.

  2. Citrus-Based Cleaners: Citrus extracts, when diluted appropriately, can serve as powerful natural cleaners. The citrus scent is pleasant and helps mask any lingering odors. Ensure the cleaner is natural and does not contain harmful additives. Simple Green lemon is a good choice.

  3. Mild Dish Soap and Water: A mild, unscented dish soap mixed with water is a gentle yet effective option. Ensure it's thoroughly rinsed off after cleaning to avoid leaving any residue.

  4. Avian-Safe Disinfectants: Some cleaners are specifically formulated for avian environments. These disinfectants are designed to eliminate bacteria and viruses without harming your bird. Check product labels to ensure they are bird-safe.

  5. Air Dry: Allow the cage to air dry completely before reintroducing your bird. This ensures that any remaining traces of the cleaning solution have dissipated.

Daily cage maintenance ensures that your bird is always in a happy and fresh environment. It also prevents large buildup over time that can be very difficult to clean. By being proactive with your daily cleaning routine, you can save a lot of time and stress in the future.

Weekly Deep Clean: Ensuring a Thorough Refresh

Removing and Sanitizing Accessories

Take a deeper dive into cleanliness by removing and sanitizing accessories. From toys to perches, ensuring they are free from debris contributes to a healthy and safe play environment for your bird. It is also important to switch out old toys with new toys on a monthly basis to promote good bird behavior. Check out our article: Understanding Bird Behavior for more information on how to keep your bird stimulated.

Scrubbing Cage Bars and Tray

Invest time in scrubbing the cage bars and tray with a bird-safe cleaner. Get into every nook and cranny to ensure a spotless finish.

Proper Cleaning Procedure

  1. Remove Bird and Accessories: Before starting the cleaning process, remove your bird and any toys or accessories from the cage. Place them in a safe and temporary space.

  2. Apply Cleaner with Gentle Cloth or Sponge: Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the cleaning solution and gently wipe down cage surfaces. Pay special attention to areas with accumulated bird droppings. You may need a more powerful scrub brush on tough spots. Never use iron wool, or other abrasive cleaning tools as you may remove paint from your cage.

  3. Rinse Thoroughly: If using a soap-based cleaner, rinse the cage thoroughly to remove any soap residue. The residue left on surfaces can be ingested by your bird during preening.

Inspecting for Wear and Tear

As you perform the deep clean, take a moment to inspect the cage for any signs of wear and tear. Promptly replacing damaged parts ensures a secure living space for your feathered friend. Here’s what to look form during these inspections:

Common Types of Wear and Tear

  1. Rust and Corrosion: Metal cages are susceptible to rust, especially in areas where the paint may have chipped. Rust not only compromises the structural integrity of the cage but can also be toxic to birds. Inspect bars, corners, and joints for any signs of rust.

  2. Loose or Missing Screws: Vibrations and movement can lead to screws becoming loose or falling out altogether. Ensure all screws are securely in place, tightening them as needed. Missing or loose screws can compromise the cage's stability.

  3. Worn Perches: Birds spend a significant amount of time on perches, leading to wear over time. Inspect perches for signs of wear, including smooth or uneven surfaces. Provide fresh, untreated perches and replace worn ones to maintain a comfortable space for your bird.

  4. Damaged Latches and Doors: Check that all latches and doors are in good working condition. Birds may attempt to manipulate them, leading to wear or damage. Ensure that doors securely close and latch to prevent any accidental escapes.

  5. Bent or Misshapen Bars: Over time, bars may become bent or misshapen due to various factors. Ensure that bars remain straight and properly aligned to maintain the cage's structural integrity.


Maintaining a clean bird cage is not just a task; it's a crucial aspect of responsible bird ownership. A spotless aviary not only ensures the health and well-being of your feathered friend but also creates a happy and inviting space. By following these cleaning tips and incorporating them into your routine, you are not just cleaning a cage; you are fostering a healthy and harmonious relationship with your avian companion. Here's to a fresh and joyful haven for your beloved bird!

Stay tuned for additional blogs for more bird tips and tricks. Also, be sure to checkout Squawk Box for all your bird needs. Each month we ship out a variety of toys and treats to keep your bird happy, healthy, and entertained.

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  • can i buy one box of toys to try out

    marie ditoro
  • an i buy one box of toys to try out

    marie ditoro
  • I enjoyed the read . Owner of a 20 yo U2. Well written .

    Joyce Beedenbender
  • Thank you for all your advice in keeping our pet birds in the best environment possible

  • Great article


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