Picture of How to Clean a Bird Bath Without Scrubbing
Fortunately, it can be simple to clean a bird bath without scrubbing if you follow the proper steps. This technique will take 20-30 minutes total, though for much of the time you'll be able to attend to other tasks as the bird bath cleans itself. While the basic technique is suitable for bird baths of any material, it is most effective on concrete bird baths. If your bath is unique and delicate, take precautions to protect it before trying this technique.

Materials you'll need…
Hose with pressure jet setting
Chlorine bleach
Black plastic trash bag
A very dirty bird bath!
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Step 1: Dump the Water

Picture of Dump the Water
The first step in cleaning a very dirty bird bath is to get rid of the contaminated water. This water is often filled with organic material such as feces, algae and dirt, and it is safe to use to water nearby flowers or plants. Dump the water out in an area where it will be recycled to help the rest of your garden, but treat the basin of your bird bath carefully to avoid damage. If the basin of your bath does not detach, simply tip the pedestal to drain the water onto nearby plants or grass.

To safeguard your birds from this dirty water, avoid dumping the basin near bird feeders or spilled seed that ground-feeding birds may sample.

Step 2: Rinse the Basin

Picture of Rinse the Basin
Using the pressure setting on your hose nozzle, rinse the bird bath for 10-15 seconds to remove any stuck on debris, feces or loose dirt. For a very dirty bird bath you will not see much change from this rinse, but removing surface material will help the bath be cleaned more thoroughly. If your bird bath has a textured basin, be sure to tilt your hose at different angles to get in every space.

If your bird bath has a delicate surface, avoid the highest pressure setting that may loosen a mosaic or chip a surface finish. Instead, use lower pressure or wipe the surface lightly with a soft sponge.
Teachable1 year ago
rafters1 year ago
Like my instruct able
emasterson2 years ago
One way to keep your water from getting algae as quickly is to put some lavender in it.
Melibokus2 years ago
No, chlor is poisen to concret !. Bidges are damed in winter by salt. Only ceramics in toilets are resistant to oxidating chlorine.
But the idea is lovely. I would paint the bird feeder inside with ship paint to make it easyer to clean.
Bridges are to do with the rebar, the steel tends to get attacked by salts and rust, then the concrete cracks off the outside.

There wouldn't be rebar in a bird bath.

It's highly unlikely that bleach would affect concrete here in any significant way.
Hi wolfkeeper , my dictionary has no "rebar" , what is that. To concrete and chlor. As it is know there a connection Ca + Cl , CaCl2 , and this salt adds 10 H2O !! with ascending volume, so that water diffundes to the steel , witch Fe reacts to rust with ascending volume.
It would be more comfortable to use a liquid depending on H2O2, and not Cl. That is what I mention. (excuse if I used unspelling words, I believe these "terminus technicus" are understandable all over the world, to those who are willing )unryhme

The steel (rebar) is in bridges to give tensile strength, but bird baths don't need tensile strength, so in most cases won't have any steel in the concrete; as rebar makes the bird bath a lot more expensive and doesn't add much strength.

If there's no steel rebar then you should be able to use bleach safely.
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Hi badams2, excuse that not you found the chemical nonsence . You would have the nobliance to beg me pardon.
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wonkabrains (author)  Melibokus2 years ago
Thanks! I like the idea with the ship paint. I might just try that!
I think it is the better way to "smooth" the surface, with a coating, for pools ore boats. And , as I know, Cl +1 is a reason to get cancer. It is not a joke to work with it. As I am chemist I am cautious. Excuse my orthographics, It is not a language seminar her. But the "corrector" is much better as in the first time. ( I tuck my english nearly 60 years ago. But thats internet and globalisation, Now all the world has to change to internationalism. :-)
lemonie2 years ago
Why does it need to be cleaned?

wonkabrains (author)  lemonie2 years ago
The algae that builds up over time can contaminate the water so it is healthier for the birds if the bird bath is clean.
algae may look unsightly but it's not dangerous unless the water is stagnant. My wife always wants me to add chlorine to the pond in the front yard because there is some algae and the water isn't crystal clear but that would harm the mini eco system of plants, frogs, a turtle and several fish that is thriving . If the algae gets to long and thick I pull it out and toss in the garden, planters or compost. That being said, this is a very nicely done instructable, I especially like the safety tip of covering the birdbath while its soaking, although birds (and alligators) can drink from a chlorinated pool the concentration your using could definitely cause harm
SIRJAMES092 years ago
in reference to using a high pressure washer on stone bird baths:

I guess I learned something new....I did not know that it could damage a stone bird bath....TY for educating me on that. 8)
SIRJAMES092 years ago
one more thing to note:
bleach has a "slimy" feel to it....if it feels slimy then it needs more rinsing....

on a concrete bird bath a high pressure wash makes the cleaning/rinsing go faster without hurting the birdbath.

Good Ible, well written, very informative & best of all, very accurate. 8)

TY for sharing. 8)
wonkabrains (author)  SIRJAMES092 years ago
That will work for the concrete pretty good, but be careful that you don't try that on the stone baths because it might chip the stone. Thanks!
Mar HK2 years ago
Drying the bird bath will also get rid of some of the remaining chlorine traces. If you already rinsed well, it's probably not much, but it wouldn't hurt.
wonkabrains (author)  Mar HK2 years ago
Thats where the sun drying comes in, so the little bit of bleach and water will harmlessly evaporate.
wonkabrains (author) 2 years ago
Thanks everyone! It works much easier than pressure washing and is also better for the bird bath it self, as wire-nut said. I think I might experiment on the bleach vs hydrogen peroxide and vinegar and see which is better. Thanks for the comments!
You may also try some hydrogen peroxide and a dash of vinegar.
wire-nut2 years ago
Also on older stone and alike a pressure wash may be too strong. And may need to use some thing less powerful or a lower pressure wash.
Very nice. Much easier than I thought. :)