How To Disinfect A Bird Cage

It is so important to keep your cockatiel’s cage clean, as this is where he eats, sleeps, and plays for most of his or her life. Let’s look at how to disinfect a bird cage, as this is one of the key aspects to keeping your cockatiel healthy.

This post may contain affiliate links.

how to disinfect a bird cage

One of the most important aspects when it comes to keeping your bird healthy is having him in a cage that is free of dust, droppings, fumes, mold spores, and bacteria.

It is terrible to see a bird living in a dirty cage with a floor full of old droppings with all the perches encrusted in droppings or food dishes that are never washed out properly. It can’t be too pleasant for the bird. Just imagine yourself having to live under those conditions. This is not even how wild birds live, so you can’t expect your domestic bird to accept these conditions.

Remember that birds also create a lot of feather dust which needs to be removed, or they will be breathing it in.

How To Disinfect A Bird Cage

Cages should be washed once a week and thoroughly disinfected once a month with hot soapy water. They should also be disinfected if there has been illness.

Droppings and food on the grates of the birdcage can be cleaned with a mixture of 50 percent water and 50 percent white vinegar or Poop-Off, preferably while your bird is outside of its cage. First, remove all the visible particles. Spray the solution on, allow it to settle and soften the grime, and then wipe it off with damp paper towels.

It is easier to wash your cage in the bath after removing all the perches and toys. You could also spray the cage down with a handheld shower head and hot water to loosen hard debris on the cage.

Use a small brush to clean all the corners of the cage and rinse well. Next, you can spray an avian disinfectant over the cage. Make sure you mix it according to the directions on the packet.

A more economical approach is to use one part bleach to ten parts water. Just be careful with bleach as it can corrode your cage. Cover all the surfaces with disinfectant and keep the cage wet for about ten minutes then thoroughly rinse with hot water. Dry the cage thoroughly before replacing your bird.

Never use products with fumes or bleach near your bird as they are toxic.

Make sure to clean all your perches and toys in the same way too before replacing them in the cage.

how to disinfect a bird cage

Cage Liners

These cage liners are made of non-woven wood pulp fabric and are environment-friendly and dust-free, which is safe for your birds. They are also water absorbent to help control moisture and odor while keeping the cage try clean and dry.

Cage liners need to be changed every day. It is a simple task, as you just change the paper at the bottom of the cage, instead of having to wash the bottom off every day.

Kitty litter and wood shavings should be avoided as they all contain dust particles that your birds could breathe in. The dust could also irritate your cockatiel’s eyes.

Safe cage liners include black and white newspaper, white paper towels, or commercial paper like the one above which you could also get at a pet shop.

Newspapers are the most common as they are so affordable. Check with the printers that non-toxic ink is used first though.

Tip: I normally pre-cut newspaper to fit on the bottom of the cage and layer it, so that every day I just pull off the top sheet, and voila, a clean cage.

If you are worried that the bird will chew the paper, it is generally partially digested if it is swallowed. If it is a big problem, then you can put the paper under the grate at the bottom of the cage, but then you will have to remember to give the grate a scrub regularly or use wipes to keep it clean.

Remember to wash out water and food dishes thoroughly each day when you replace the food and water. This is non-negotiable.

The two products above will make cleaning your cage a breeze. Simply click on the pictures to find out more about them.

Keeping your bird’s surroundings clean and hygienic will enable your feathered friend to lead a long, healthy, and happy life. Now you know how to disinfect a bird cage, which is something all bird owners will need to have to do on a regular basis.


  1. I completely agree with the importance of keeping a bird’s cage clean and hygienic. As a bird owner, I make sure to clean my bird’s cage once a week and disinfect it once a month. However, I have always wondered if using bleach to disinfect the cage is safe for my bird. Are there any natural alternatives that are safe for my bird but still effective in disinfecting the cage?

    1. Hi Akumendoh.

      I have also read that a lot of people use Grapefruit Seed Extract sold as Citricidal as a natural alternative. You could look into this as it is also a great disinfectant.

  2. Omg yes! Finally an article that gives me insight on how to properly clean and maintain my chicken’s cage (he’s blind so I have to keep him in a large cage, otherwise all of the other hens would come fight him and potentially end his life, which is what I don’t want). He’s not a cockatiel, but he’s still family of the bird specimen. Therefore, I’ll be looking more in-depth towards those cage pads because they seem like such an amazing and efficient idea. 

    1. Hi Stephanie and yes this guide will do for all different types of bird cages, even chickens/roosters. Thanks for stopping by. 

  3. I remember back in the days when all this equipment to disinfect a bird cage wasn’t available, so now I am happy that keeping it clean is a lot easier than before. Although I could use just regular newspapers, as you said, I don’t think I will be using that, because I have no idea on when this is toxic or not, can you tell the difference?
    So I will be on the safe side, and buy the commercial paper in a pet store, thanks for the advise!

    1. Hi Lizzy. The only way to check what ink they use on newspapers is to check directly with them. You can also purchase rolls of unprinted paper from them a lot cheaper than liners. 

  4. Wow, I never realized how important it is to keep a bird’s cage clean until I read this post. It’s truly terrible to imagine a bird living in a dirty cage filled with old droppings and encrusted perches. It’s definitely not a pleasant environment for them, and it’s not how wild birds live either. I appreciate the tip of pre-cutting newspaper to easily replace cage liners daily.

    One question I have is, what are some signs that indicate it’s time to disinfect the cage more frequently, aside from illness?

    1. Hi Miadinh,

      If there is no illness, I would suggest doing it once a month, unless you have more than four birds in a cage then twice a month would be best.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This website contains affiliate links, which means that commissions will be paid to the owners of this website if any purchases are made. This is at no extra cost to the buyer of the products.