Spring Cleaning in the Making

by Monica Gonzalez

 

 

Date last edited:  06/20/12


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting started is the hardest part! There's no getting around it, cleaning up after a parrot is never ending ~ let's call it a "Labor Of Love"! Once you get started you will clearly see the results are so rewarding! The birds enjoy watching you twist and turn and crane and grunt as well. **Great entertainment for them.**

There are a few things you can keep in mind to make the job easier. The key to cleaning is not to let it build up, strategic perch and toy placement and diligent maintenance. Note: Spring Cleaning may be stressful for our avian companions. Know your bird and their limitations. If cleaning up in your bird's area will stress him/her please have an alternate place to keep your bird during that time. Read on for a few helpful hints on spring cleaning in a bird environment.

Read on for a few helpful hints on spring cleaning in a bird environment.

HOT TIPS:

Strategic placement of perches, toys and food bowls. Watch and analyze your bird to see where the "drop zone" is! Keep an eye out when they walk around the tops of their cages or where they perch the most. Put something underneath those "hot spots" (plain newspaper, clear plastic runners for around or under the cage - you can find reasonable sheets of vinyl flooring at a Home Depot or Lowe's. You can cut them to your size). This will aid in keeping the cleaning to a minimum!

TOY CLEANING:

High impact plastic toys can normally be placed in your dishwasher on their own, for cleaning. Porous items like cotton rope, leather and worn wood parts that are soiled should be discarded. Do not try to save or reuse these items. It is not worth the risk of deleterious bacteria. Many people do not realize that porous toy parts can be a place for bacteria to build and grow. The life of your bird could be at stake. Dispose of old worn rope, leather or wooden parts. Cut the threading and restring the items that are in good condition. Always keep in mind to use bird safe products. Rope should always be untreated and free from chemicals and dyes. Use Natural Cotton Rope (unbleached), Sisal Rope (untreated), Vegetable Tanned Leather (vegetable tanned is the only leather that is free from harmful toxins).

Always know who you are purchasing your toy parts from and that it is a reputable source. Your pet bird will thank you for it! Note: Plastic parts that show wearing should always be discarded in the trash without hesitation. All of these products are readily available at: www.avianaturals.com

SAFE CLEANING:

Spring cleaning can be overwhelming. The first step is pacing yourself. Do one section at a time with a main goal.

Cage Cleaning: Today there are many products on the market that aid humans in their goal to keeping the bird area sparkly! Vapor Machines, Power Washers, etc. These are machines that take the labor intensive work and reduce the time factor. Cleaning cages more often will reduce the need for major cleanings.

Remove all the items out of the cage. Toys, Food Bowls, Perches, etc. All these items can be placed in the dishwasher for cleaning. Items that are too large like perches or cage grates can be brought into the shower and let the hot water soak the debris and it will be easy to wipe away. Scrape off the bulk of the debris first. Then clean it, and rinsing it thoroughly. Always remember to follow these steps prior to disinfecting.

Remember to have several containers for rinsing when moving from cage to cage. One set of sponges and rags per cage. (Cotton rags can be purchased at a thrift store or a Home Depot for a few dollars. Usually sold several in a package). The risk of cross-contamination is high. After each item is cleaned. Start a fresh batch of your cleaning solution and a separate container for rinse water.

You may use Citricidal, Avicine or Oxyfresh Cleansing Gel and keep it in a spray bottle to disinfect cages. There are other products on the market that can be used that are safe around birds like Oxyfresh & Avicine. Always allow time for air drying. Keep in mind it usually takes approx. 10 minutes for a disinfectant to do its job well. Or if using a particular product like Oxyfresh or Avicine, read the label for instructions. Please follow them carefully. Weather permitting, you can power wash the cages outside (keeping the feathered family inside due to risk of predators).

Kitchen Cleaning: Baking Soda is wonderful for removing stains off counters, stoves, refrigerators, floors, carpets, etc. Wood and Plastic Cutting boards can easily hide bacteria after cutting meat items. Keep a **separate** cutting board for chopping your bird's vegetables and fruits. You may add 10 drops of Citricidal, rub into the board. Leave on for 30 minutes to disinfect, then rinse well. Allow time for air drying. Remember aerosols, chemicals are toxic to birds.

Cleaning Equipment & Supplies: The risk of cross contamination after cleaning item to item is high. Where available, use disposable items like disposable gloves, Q-Tips, cheap toothbrushes, sponges, or non porous items that can be easily cleaned like a metal scraper, glass bowl for holding soapy water, etc.

Disinfect rags in a well ventilated area (outside, in your garage - an area far away from your birds). You can use a bleach solution to disinfect the rags. Rinse thoroughly after soaking!

Natural Cleaning Remedies:

Tea Kettle Lime Remover

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 1 cup water
Mix ingredients together; add to tea kettle; boil for 15 minutes; let stand overnight; rinse with cold water.

Window & Glass Cleaner

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
Apply with cloth or spray bottle; dry with clean cloth.  (For heavily soiled windows, add 2 tablespoons corn starch to mixture; mix well)

Note: Does not work well with Plexiglass

Burned/Baked On Food

  • 2 tablespoons liquid dishwashing detergent
  • 3 teaspoons baking soda
Add ingredients to enough water to cover the burned on food; boil for 15-20 minutes; wash normally.

Furniture Polish

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 quart vegetable or mineral oil
Combine lemon juice with vegetable or mineral oil; wipe on with a cloth; remove with a clean cloth.

Drain Cleaner

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
Pour baking soda and vinegar down the drain; let sit for 10 minutes; flush drain with 1/2 gallon of boiling water.

Extra-Strength Drain Cleaner

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup salt
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
Pour ingredients into clogged drain; let stand for 20 minutes; then flush with 1 gallon boiling water.

Mildew Remover

  • 1 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • Spray bottle
  • Lemon juice
Spray mildew with hydrogen peroxide; scrub with lemon juice to inhibit new mildew formation.

Happy cleaning!!

 


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