How to Clean Wooden Bird Perches

The best way to quickly clean a wooden bird perch is to wipe it down with a damp cloth a couple times per week. For a deeper clean, scrub it down with soap and hot water and then rinse it off thoroughly.

Every bird needs a good perch, but not every bird is as tidy as we’d like. To prevent the spread of bacteria and maintain a sense of cleanliness, you will need to regularly wash your wooden perches.

While some perches you may be able to pop in a dishwasher or easily wash by hand, this isn’t the case with wood. To wash your wooden bird perches in a way that sanitizes them without damaging them, you need to be a bit more careful.

How to Thoroughly Clean a Wooden Bird Perch

While wiping down the perches with a damp cloth will keep grime from building up, it’s a good idea to give them a more thorough washing about once a month.

Use Soap and Hot Water

Most regular dish soaps will work on your wooden bird perches. There’s no need to shell out for some expensive soap or cleaner. Lather well and wash the entire surface of the bird perch, paying special attention to where your bird most often sits.

To get the caked-on grime, use a coarse sponge or scrub brush. With a bit of elbow grease, these will be enough to get the residue off without damaging the wood.

Make Sure to Get the Crevices

Any harsh corners or crevices will be harder to clean. Any loose grime can avoid an initial rinse, and these corners are good hiding places for bacteria. Pay close attention to these corners to avoid missing any filth.

Rise and Dry Thoroughly

Many common soaps, while not dangerous, can cause mild irritation to animals. To avoid making your birds uncomfortable, rinse all the soap off your wooden bird perch.

After rinsing:

  • Run your hands over the perch’s surface to feel for any slimy soap residue
  • If you find any slick patches, give them an extra rinse
  • If the soap doesn’t come off right away, try rubbing your finger over the soapy patch while running it under water

To avoid your wooden perches warping, rotting, or growing mold, you should also give them a thorough drying. Using a clean, dry cloth, wipe off as much of the water as possible. Leave the perch to dry off once you’ve gotten most of the water off that way (preferably in a cool, dry area).

What Should I Avoid When Cleaning a Wooden Bird Perch?

As we mentioned previously, there are some cleaning products you should avoid. Some products can damage wooden bird perches or, even worse, harm your bird.

Household Cleaners Harmful to Birds

Many common household products are harmful or even toxic to birds. You’ll want to avoid these products when cleaning anything your birds interact with. Do NOT use any products containing:

  • Bleach
  • Ammonia
  • Chlorine
  • Phenols
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene (better known as PTFE)

These chemicals are common in cleaning products and are very harmful to birds. While companies commonly disclose if their products contain these chemicals, they are not legally required to in the US.

If a cleaning product doesn’t say it contains one of these chemicals, it is not safe to assume it doesn’t contain it. Look up whether or not the product contains these chemicals and do your own research.

You should also avoid using furniture polish on wooden bird perches, since most furniture polishes are unsafe for birds.

Avoid Scratching the Wood

While a splinter probably won’t kill your bird, it’s still a good idea to avoid scratching your wooden bird perches. You won’t want to use metal implements like steel wool to clean your wooden bird perches.

If you’re having trouble getting something off your wooden bird perch, consider scraping it off with your fingernail or a flat, plastic object.

How Often Should I Clean My Wooden Bird Perch?

There’s no hard-and-fast rule for cleaning your wooden bird perch. If your bird is messier, you may need to wash it more often. If they’re tidier, you may clean it less often. It’s a good idea to wipe your wooden bird perch down once or twice a week with a damp rag. This way, you can reduce buildup without an exhaustive effort.

Once or twice a month, you can do a more thorough cleaning. This will keep bacteria from building up and create a more sanitary environment for your birds. This can help reduce the risk or spread of disease.

If your bird makes a big mess on the wooden bird perch, it’s a good idea to clean it up right away. Staying on top of these messes will make cleaning easier, keep your bird healthier, and prevent cleaning from becoming overwhelming.

Can I Steam Clean a Wooden Perch?

Yes, you can steam clean a wooden bird perch, but make sure your bird is far away from the steam. It’s best to put them in a separate room or steam the perch somewhere your bird can’t get to you. Inhaling vapors of any kind can be dangerous to birds, and steam can seriously burn your bird’s nostrils and throat.

Steam can also damage unfinished wood and water-based paint. To ensure the longevity of your perch, you should only steam wooden bird perches that are finished (with a bird-safe finish). For all the effort, you’ll most likely get a better, safer clean if you just hand-wash the wooden bird perch.

Caring for your bird means caring for the things they interact with. Cleaning a wooden bird perch will help prevent your bird from getting sick. Making sure you clean it properly will keep your bird safe from any harmful chemicals or splinters and help preserve the perch’s durability.

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