how to clean bird perches

I’ve been using rope perches for my cockatiel’s for quite some time but I hate cleaning them! Are you too looking for a better technique to wash those rope perches? Well look no further, here are a few options.

I mention the dishwasher first because this is my new favorite way to clean the perches. I do an initial wipe down to get off the big stuff and then I stick the perches into the dishwasher. I use the pots/pans cycle or the heavy wash and my dishwasher has a Sani-Rinse option to rinse really well with hot water and a Hot Temp option to use really hot water during the wash cycle. I don’t put any soap in, just use the plain hot water. I’m really concerned about any toxic soap residues being left behind and I’m sure hot water kills bacteria. But if you insist on using some kind of disinfectant I’ve noted some options at the end of this post.

Prior to the dishwasher I used the washing machine. WARNING: Only use a top load washing machine. Or you may end up with a broken washing machine like this sad bird owner:

If you do decide to use your washing machine you should use an old pillow case or the mesh sweater bags to keep the perch and hardware contained. You may also want to throw in some towels to add some padding so the hardware doesn’t bang around and dent your washing tub.

Another alternative is to power wash the perches. In this case I would recommend taking the entire cage outside and leave the perches in the cage while you do a thorough power washing of everything.

The most manual way to clean your perch is to soak it in a tub or bucket and then use a wire brush or any brush with hard bristles to scrub the perch.

If you want to add some soap power to any of the options noted above here are some ideas:

Hope this helps you to keep your bird perches clean. If you feel that I’ve missed an option or if any of these work for you please share in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Another alternative is to power wash the perches. In this situation, I would advise moving the entire cage outside and leaving the perches inside while you give everything a thorough power wash.

Here are some suggestions if you want to give any of the previously mentioned options a little more soap power:

I’ve been giving my cockatiels rope perches for a while now, but I detest cleaning them! If you’re searching for a better way to clean those rope perches, you’ve come to the right place; here are a few ideas.

I start by talking about the dishwasher because it’s my new go-to method for cleaning the perches. After giving the perches a quick wipe down to remove any large debris, I place them in the dishwasher. I use the heavy wash or the pots and pans cycle on my dishwasher, which has two settings: Hot Temp for using extremely hot water during the wash cycle and Sani-Rinse for thoroughly rinsing with hot water. I use just hot water without adding any soap. I’m quite worried about any harmful soap residues that may remain, even though I know that hot water kills bacteria. However, I’ve included some options at the end of this post if you insist on using a disinfectant of some kind.

The most labor-intensive method of cleaning your perch is to soak it in a tub or bucket and then scrub it with a wire brush or any other brush with hard bristles.

The answer is “as needed,” though how frequently you clean your bird’s perches will depend on your bird and the configuration of your cage. Many birds clean their beaks on their perches, so if the perch is under a section of the cage that is frequently used, dropping may end up there a lot. At that point, the perches need to be cleaned if there is any obvious buildup.

Flat perches receive bonus points for providing comfort to my cockatiels during their golden years, but they lose points for requiring constant upkeep. The natural design of a standard perch is exquisite because the bird’s droppings and leftover food fall to the cage floor. Mother Nature has figured everything out for us, as usual.

But the cockatiels will be standing in a pile of their own excrement and whatever veggies were served that day if I don’t clean the flat perches every day. Round perches do not necessarily stay clean even though they do not “collect” debris in the same manner as flat perches do.

My cockatiels are spending an increasing amount of time on their flat perches as they get older. Even though I continue to give them a range of standard perches, their worn-out feet eventually return to the flat ones.

If perches seem clean, try giving them a once-a-month cleaning with hot water and dish soap in addition to wiping them down twice a week with a moist cloth. Even easier is cleaning the perches with a handheld steamer. It will eradicate the bacteria and enter tight spaces, and the best part is that you can clean the perches without taking them out of the cage. For safety purposes, you MUST take your bird out of the steamer since steam can burn them severely.


How do you disinfect wood for bird perches?

A bleach solution or white vinegar is the best thing to use. If the wood has a bark, you should remove that because it can be harboring pests. Manzanita and grapevine can usually just be scrubbed. After the disinfectant, some people will bake the wood in an oven.

Can you clean bird perches with vinegar?

It is important to know what cleaners are safe to use around birds, as some chemicals can be toxic. If you have any doubts, it is best to use natural alternatives such as vinegar or baking soda.

How do you get bird poop off a perch?

For perches that “appear” to be clean, wipe them down with a damp cloth twice a week and try to make it a habit to scrub them down using hot water and dish soap once a month. Easier still is using a handheld steamer to clean the perches.

How do you disinfect bird branches?

Before installing in any cage: Scrub the branches with detergent (dish soap) and clean water. Soak the branches in a dilute chlorine bleach solution (2oz bleach to 1 gallon of water) for 20 minutes. For large branches (too large to be soaked) put the solution in a misting bottle and spray the entire branch well.