Can Hummingbird Feeders Go in Dishwashers? (The Ultimate Guide)

Open dishwasher with clean utensils in it

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It is important to clean a hummingbird feeder properly to ensure hungry hummingbirds have access to safe and healthy nectar. 

On the other hand, hummingbirds will soon be flocking to the nectar feeders of conscientious birders who maintain their feeders free of debris.

Can Hummingbird Feeders Go in Dishwashers?

Because most hummingbird feeders feature glass or plastic components, why not throw them in the dishwasher for even easier cleaning?

Even though this appears to be a straightforward solution, hummingbird feeders are not normally manufactured from the same grades of plastic as dishwasher-safe plates and bowls.

Placing a hummingbird feeder in the dishwasher can cause it to distort or shatter, making it dangerous to use and potentially resulting in catastrophic leaks and other issues.

A dishwasher is also a place where little portions of a feeder can get lost or damaged, and it can even produce blockages that can harm the device.


Always follow the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer for your hummingbird feeder. Unless the feeder clearly states that it is dishwasher safe, manual cleaning is the most effective maintenance method. It is vital to clean hummingbird feeders correctly to supply these adorable birds with fresh, safe nectar.

Lastly, cleaning your feeders and yard regularly will make your property even more hummingbird-friendly.

Steps for Cleaning a Hummingbird Feeder

It is simple to clean a hummingbird feeder, no matter how filthy it may appear to be.

Ideally, you should thoroughly clean your hummingbird feeders each time they are refilled to reduce the possibility of contamination of the nectar.

Here are the steps of cleaning a hummingbird feeder:

1. Take Everything Apart

Remove all of the feeder’s attachments, including bee guards, moats, and other add-ons, before reassembling it.

This will allow you to thoroughly clean the whole feeder, even the tiny nooks and crevices where mold and germs can hide.

2. Soak for a While

Soak the feeder in hot water for a few minutes to loosen and dissolve any crystallized sugar formed.

There is no restriction on the kind of cleaner you use. You can use any cleaning solution, including diluted bleach, dilute vinegar, and mild dishwashing detergent.

Simply filling the feeder with ordinary water will be enough if the feeder is not too filthy.

3. Scrub the Surface

Use old toothbrushes, feeding port brushes, pipe cleaners, or bottle brushes to thoroughly clean all feeder parts, if needed, to enter into tight openings or to clean narro tubes.

You can also clean any perches, hangers, or hooks that hummingbirds may use to perch on.

4. Rinse

Remove the feeder from the water and thoroughly rinse it with clean water. Ensure that all feeding ports are well rinsed and that the water is flowing freely.

You also need to rinse all minor cracks, crevices, corners, or seams to ensure that there is no soap or cleaning solution left behind.

5. Dry 

Leave the feeder to dry, especially in direct sunlight, which will aid in the breakdown of remaining soaps and neutralize remaining fungus or mold particles.

The feeder would be entirely dry before being refilled in an ideal situation, although a tiny amount of moisture is acceptable.

6. Put Everything Back Together

Reassemble the feeder with care, ensuring that all of the pieces fit firmly together as intended.

Fill the feeder with new nectar, being careful not to overfill it, and place it back up in its original location so that hummingbirds can locate it easily for their next meal of nectar.

Hummingbird feeder maintenance is simple and requires little time, but it may do a lot of good in protecting hummingbirds from potentially lethal toxins. When the weather is really hot, clean your hummingbird feeders every two to three days.


If you live in a colder climate, cleaning hummingbird feeders every 4-5 days may be sufficient, as long as there are no other indicators that the feeder is unclean.

How Often Should You Clean Your Hummingbird Feeder?

Now that you’ve learned how to clean a hummingbird feeder, you might be wondering how often you should go through the motions of cleaning.

According to the National Hummingbird Association, hummingbird food should be refreshed every 3 to 5 days, and you should clean the feeders at least once every week.

However, there is no specific timetable in place. The frequency with which you clean is determined by several factors, including the number of birds and climate.

  • Number of Birds: Determine how many birds come to your feeder each day – is it a small group of regulars or a large group? The greater the number of visitors to your hummingbird feeders, the more frequently they need to be cleaned. 
  • Climate: Nectar can ferment at an alarmingly fast rate because of the high temperatures and humidity during the peak summer months. When this occurs, hummingbird food must be replenished, and feeders cleaned more regularly to avoid mold growth.

In addition to the factors listed above, you should clean your feeder as soon as possible if the nectar seems foggy, suggesting that it has soured, or if you notice any black spots on the feeder.



Vinegar is another simple and natural technique for cleaning your hummingbird feeder.

Many of the same processes can be repeated, except for replacing two parts of water and one part of distilled white vinegar for the soap and water solution in step 1.

After that, you can allow the container to dry fully before refilling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Best 1 Hummingbird Feeder Safe to Put in the Dishwasher?

Yes, it is really simple to clean. Remove the bottle, and the base will fall apart in two sections, allowing you to reach both sides of the feeder ports with equal efficiency.

The glass bottle and high-impact food-grade styrene components are dishwashers as safe as the rest of the set.

What is the Significance of Cleaning the Hummingbird Feeder?

Cleaning a hummingbird feeder regularly (every three days or so) is quite vital. Mold may build in hummingbird nectar if a hummingbird feeder is not thoroughly cleaned after each use.

Because hummingbirds are so small and have such small organs, any amount of confinement in the hummingbird’s food might result in disease and death for the little creatures.

Do Hummingbirds Consume Ordinary Water?

Bird baths are popular places for most birds to relieve their thirst, although hummingbirds don’t drink much plain water.

The nectar that hummingbirds consume provides them with virtually all their hydration and nutritional requirements.

Do Hummingbirds Return to the Same Location Each Year?

It is true that hummingbirds have an incredible memory and will return to the same feeder year after year. The hummingbirds may depart and never return if these feeders are not available.

Final Thoughts

Placing a feeder in the dishwasher should be sufficient to clean the feeders outside thoroughly. Only sterilization, or an attempt to destroy any microbes, would effectively clean the inner area of the feeder. 

Several commercial products based on iodine claim to reduce overall microbial growth on plastic products. 

When finished with the solution, make sure to rinse the container thoroughly!

Nice washing!

Dawn Caffrey

Dawn Caffrey

Hummingbirds just make me happy - in fact, I read somewhere that they represent happiness in Native American totems.
Let me tell you what I found about feeders from treating the hummingbirds in my back yard.

About Me

Hummingbirds just make me happy – in fact, I read somewhere that they represent happiness in Native American totems.
Let me tell you what I found about feeders from treating the hummingbirds in my back yard.

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