Cleaning and disinfecting cages are very different. Cleaning is done to remove poop, fruit, etc. Disinfecting is done to remove the bacteria from your birds' perches, toys and cage bars. 
Listed below is everything you need to know about disinfecting your birdcage.

Step-By-Step

1. Remove all organics from the cage

Everything needs to be removed from the cage and cleaned before disinfecting can occur. This means the cage must be wiped down so that there is no poop, dried fruit, etc on the bars, perches or toys. The cage must be COMPLETELY empty.

2. Submerge toys and perches in disinfectant for a minimum of 10 minutes

  • Rotate at least 2 disinfectants to avoid bacteria resistance (change which disinfectant you use each time you disinfect cage)
  • Rope perches can be machine washed or put in the dishwasher

3. Rinse with water to remove disinfectant

It is important to rinse everything with water to ensure that there is no disinfectant on the toys and perches after they dry.

4. Allow everything to fully dry before returning it to the cage

  • Air Dry
  • Towel Dry
  • Sun

Safe Disinfectants:

Setting your birds perches and toys in direct sunlight is a convenient way to disinfect them. However, this is only effective from May 1st - October 31st (in Ontario). Make sure to flip everything after a half an hour in the sun to ensure that each side is fully disinfected. 

Unsafe Disinfectants

  • Disinfectants with strong perfume
  • Disinfectants that leave a chemical residue
  • Ammonia
  • Bleach
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Formaldehyde (found in general household cleaners)
  • Perchloroethylene (found in carpet and rug cleaners)
  • Phenols (typically found in cleaners with “sol” in the name)
  • Phthalates (used with scented products, like air fresheners)

Is it really Disinfected?

Wood is harder to disinfect because it absorbs bacteria. One of the most effective ways to disinfect wood perches and toys is by placing them in direct sunlight (see "safe disinfectants" for more information)

Metal and Plastic is easier to disinfect because it does not absorb bacteria or moisture.

How Often Should I Disinfect My Cage?

You should wipe the poop off of your cage every day and clean the cage with an appropriate cleaner at least twice a week. Disinfecting should be done twice a month.

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