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Dish soap good enough?

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We have a stone birdbath, and I periodically fill it with water from the hose, dump in a cup of bleach, cover the whole thing with a large leaf bag, and let it be for about half an hour.  I come back, remove the bag, swish out the bleach water trying not to get it on my perennials, and use a stiff brush to scrub up the remains of anything still there.  Sometimes, I scrub first and then bleach.  At least with stone you need to get the algae out and whatever else builds up if you get a lot of bird traffic.

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I have a huge 18 gallon tub I got at Wally World, and I put dish soap and water in it. I drop my feeders in so they are completely submerged and let them soak for a few hours at least. Then I get a small scrubbing brush and go over them really good, and then rinse. I do this all the time so theres never any build up on them. When I get done they look brand new. I would think it depends on how dirty your feeders are. If they are really really dirty then you might need some bleach added in. If you just want to use soap then I would think you need to do it more often and make sure they come out super clean with no residue left behind.

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There are articles that approve of soap/water solutions, weak bleach solutions (1 part bleach to 10 parts water), weak white vinegar solutions.  I use all of these.  I use the vinegar solution (soaking for two hours) for my hummingbird feeders, and I add a tiny bit of unscented dish detergent.  For the bird feeders, I mostly use vinegar solution unless there's poop on the perches etc., then in that case I use the bleach solution (soak for one hour).  ALL MUST BE RINSED VERY THOROUGHLY.  I know that may not have to be said, but I have to say it for my own peace of mind.  If I use a bleach solution I follow it up with a weak vinegar solution to deodorize it so it doesn't have that bleach smell.  IMO that smell doesn't come away enough for my liking even with thorough rinsing in water.

Oh, I also place the feeders in the hottest water possible for the material/construction of the feeder.

I also dry the bird feeders after washing with a blowdryer to make sure there's no moisture left in any crack or crevice.  Not everyone does this or believes it's necessary, but.. again.. I do this for my own peace of mind.


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