How to Clean A Bird Cage for Medium to Large Parrots

How to Clean a Bird Cage

Cleaning a large bird cage can be daunting. Learn bird cage cleaning tips to ease the work.

Parrots Are Messy!

Parrots are very messy pets, both inside of their bird cage and surrounding area.  For one thing, those beautiful feathers are down right messy.  Keeping up with feather dust, floating feather sheath, and dander is one thing. But, more than that, birds love to toss bird food and chew up bird toys then drop the shredded parts on the floor. Oh, did we mention bird droppings!

A dirty bird cage is host to yucky bacteria and fungus so it is is imperative to keep  the cage and its surrounding area clean.  This article is about how to keep your medium to large parrots birds living area clean and how to clean a bird cage.

Top Four Cleaning Challenges

  1. Food droppers – Wild birds have an important job of fertilizing the earth.  Parrots are partly responsible for the lush rain forest.  Their frequent poop and food droppings disperse seeds and fertilizer. So, see, that mess has a purpose.
  2. Flying feathers  and dander – The average bird has about 5,000 feathers each with millions of fine, floating parts.  Every time your bird preens and then shakes to get it’s feathers just so, dander, shreds of feather sheath and dust fly off like a powder puff.You can’t get away from feather dander.
  3. Flailing toy parts – A healthy parrot needs to chew and shred.  Wood chips , shredded parts and beads will end up all over the floor and bottom of the cage.  We like to recycle large chunks in a Foraging Bucket.
  4. Fecal Whiz: The larger the body the more frequent the poop.  Your bird will poop about every 20 minutes all waking hours. The acidic poop should be cleaned up with an enzyme cleaner.

Manage the Mess Instead of Letting the Mess Manage You!

    • Daily showers are essential to minimize dander and dust - especially for dusty birds like Cockatoo’s and African Grey Parrots. Get a shower perch.  It’s much easier to wash the dander and dust down the drain rather than wipe it off the walls and constantly dust mop your hardwood floors!  Plus, daily bathing conditions your bird’s skin.
    • Super thick, large Bird Cage Liners save a lot of time because you can simply roll them up and toss all of that dust, dander, poop and shredded bird toys in the trash.  Thick waxed bird cage liners like 30 lb. Waxed Paper Sheets – 24″ x 36  resist bacterial growth since they don’t absorb moisture from droppings or splashed water.  If you lay a stack of 5- 7 tray liners inside the bird cage tray, you can quickly remove the top soiled one each day greatly reducing the mess on cage cleaning day.
    • Poop Clean Up with Poop Swoop Cage Wipes lets you wipe up messes each day to lighten the load on weekly cage cleaning chores.

Bird Cage Cleaning Supplies

 Popular Brands Approximate Cost 
Short Bristle Scrub Brushes Crevice Brush and Large Brush $8 – $10
Metal Grate Scraper  $3 – $5
Enzyme Bird Poop Remover Poop Off Spray or Wipes, Poop Swoop Wipes, Aviclean  $10+
Disinfecting Cage Cleaner Pet Focus  $15+
Broom and Dust Pan  $15+
Hand held Hepa Filter Vacuum Dirt Devil  $50+
Steam Mop with microfiber pad Shark – Eureka – Bissell – Haan  $99 – $175


  • Short Bristled Scrub Brushes:  It’s helpful to have both a small crevice brush and a larger stiff, short nylon bristled brush to remove dried poop from cage grates, bars andand crevices.
  • Metal Blade Grate Scrapers remove dried on poop from bottom grate quickly and easily
  • Bird Safe cleaning solutions.
    • Enzyme Bird Poop Remover is perfect for daily and weekly cleaning.  It almost instantly dissolves and removes acidic bird poop.
    • Disinfecting Bird Cage Cleaning Formula is recommended for monthly or more cage cleaning, depending on the size of the bird and how much food and poop splatter is on the cage.
  • Small hepa filter vacuums quickly suck up feather dust and dander and dried food debris.  Very fine sheath and feather dust is trapped in the hepa filter
  • A steam mop for hard floor surfaces quickly and efficiently cleans up the mess on vinyl, laminate and tile flooring.  Use the metal bladed poop / grate scrapper to loosen as much poop off a tile floor as possible to speed cleaning.  Metal bristles make quick clean up of grout lines.

Setting A Cleaning Schedule

Daily Cleaning (10 minutes) Weekly Cleaning (20-30 minutes) Monthly Cleaning(30-60 minutes)
  • Change tray paper
  • Sweep or vacuum mess around bird cage
  • Clean water dish and fill with fresh water
  • Provide fresh food
  • Wipe droppings off with Poop Swoop Wipes
  • Scrub droppings off of bars and bottom grate with grate scraper
  • Remove droppings or food splatters with Aviclean Cage Cleaning Formula
  • Remove tray, scrape off droppings and clean debris
  • Add 7 – 10 new cage liners to tray and re-insert
  • Thoroughly wash cups
  • Inspect all toys for safety
  • Thoroughly vacuum and/or steam mop hard surfaced floors
  • In addition to the weekly cleaning regime do…
  • Remove plastic bottom of cage and disinfect with Pet Focus, rinse and dry
  • Soak, scrub and rinse perches with disinfectant
  • Scrub and Wipe the interior of the cage down thoroughly to insure your bird has clean surfaces to climb on and that food doors are clean.

About Diane Burroughs

Diane Burroughs, founded in 1998. A bird lover who is owned by African Grey's, a Moluccan, a Parrotlet and a Red-Bellied Parrot, Diane is dedicated to improving the lives of pet birds with vet-approved parrot tested supplies and expert bird care articles.

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