Keep birds safe by maintaining your birdbath.

How to Clean a Bird Bath Made of Hard Plastic

by Melissa Lewis

Birdbaths are more than just lawn decorations. They are water sources for birds to bathe and drink. Because infected birds can spread diseases, such as trichomoniasis, avion pox and salmonellosis, keeping a birdbath clean is an absolute must. You might be surprised to learn how often you should clean -- and change the water in -- a birdbath. A plastic birdbath is one of the easiest baths to keep clean.

Dump the water from the birdbath and wipe the inside of the basin with a wet rag or plastic scrub brush. Clean the outside of the birdbath in the same manner if it appears dirty. Rinse with a stream of water and refill the basin. Do this every one to two days to maintain fresh, clean water conditions for the birds and to help keep algae and mold from forming.

Mix one part chlorine bleach with 9 to 10 parts water in a clean 1-gallon, or larger, bucket one or two times a month, or if the birdbath becomes moldy or grows algae. Also, empty the basin of any water, and move it to a driveway, utility sink or another area away from vegetation, including grass, because bleach can cause damage to plants.

Pour 1 pint to 1 quart of the bleach solution and scrub the inside of the basin with a plastic scrub brush. Use more of the solution as needed. Rinse well when you are finished.

Items you will need

  • Wet rag
  • Plastic scrub brush
  • Garden hose
  • Bucket
  • Chlorine bleach


  • If you could not move your birdbath away from vegetation, rinse them and flush the soil with 1 inch of water to drive the bleach away from the roots.

About the Author

Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images