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Siskins with only Goldfinch eating seeds off hanging wooden bird table

How to clean a bird table

Don't neglect your wooden bird table once its setup as its going to need servicing once in a while to keep it in prime condition.

How to clean a bird table would be with a bowl of hot water with diluted washing up liquid, with then a metal wallpaper scraper to remove stubborn congealed wild bird food, that's harden onto the wood. Focus of cleaning would be on the feeding platform, but its imperative to clean bird table of soap residue to dry.

You'd very much have to treat your bird table of any kind, much like a bird feeder or similar, a bird feeding station on a pole.

Its has to be clean then, but to do it every week or so is going to save you the trouble of tackling the more hard to clean left over bird food.

Similar on how to clean a wooden bird feeder, only a bird table is a little easier to as its larger, so easier to get at - while its not recommended you disassemble the bird table as it can be difficult to put back together.

I will say a bird table can be disassembled in part, for example if its made with a bird feeder contained within the feeding platform - or made with a cage surround to allow only small garden birds to enter though.

Make use of a handy metal scraper for peeling wallpaper off, as to remove dried up bird food or poop in an easier way.

Bird tables that are finished in paint, stain or coated in a preserve can see the fading, or more so the weathering process sped up if washing it hard with a brush or cloth. So only use the hot soap water to soften the congealed food, rather than attempting to brush it.

Forget about using a brush or even a scourer then on bare wood, but either one can be used to clean up poop off the roof made in slate.

Clean bird table regularly

To clean a wooden bird table as best as you can, its only made possible if you do so regularly, say every week or two.

Allowing the wild bird food to just sit there on a wooden bird table over a period of time would see it not only harden up, but rot into the bird table feeding platform.

No skipping a regular cleaning routine then as doing so can cause serious issues to your expensive bird table later - including rot bleeding deep into the grain.

What can happen is the bird food can congeal, that is where food hardens up like cement - so can be really difficult to remove later. But that can be overcome with use of a wallpaper scraper.

To maintain a tidy bird feeding platform sitting on top of the bird table then would require a regular clean up.

Simply pour over hot boiling water with washing up liquid on the base, to then quickly scrape of access food with a scraper.

Scrape off Feeding Platform

To wash what would basically be a painted or treated bird table feeding platform can in turn, result in the paint or preserve fading as its washed with soapy hot water.

Worse still is actually using a brush of any kind to scrape the build up of food left behind.

Only use a standard wallpaper scraper than as an alternative to a hard or soft bristle brush, cloth or even a scourer.

You can only use this scraper on a flat surface, which is what a bird table feeding platform is - so you'd have no difficulty scraping off most left over bird feed.

Technique for scraping the bird table platform would be done in such a way, it doesn't risk pealing up a layer of paint.

Go slowly then while scraping the whole area to pick up food in corners or cracks.

Be sure to soak the bird table feeding platform first and foremost, so that hot water is given time to bleed into the hard to remove food.

Not forgetting perches

While the focus of cleaning a wooden bird table on a stand, mounted bird table or an easier to clean open bird table - primary focus would indeed be on the feeding platform.

Often forgotten though is the perches around the bird table feeding platform.

It may be a complete surround, but at least a few sparsely separated wooden pieces would occupy all four sides.

Here is where wild birds land to perch as they feed on the food located in the centre.

Now its safe to say these perches are probably safe as is, but as wild birds tend to carry decease, there's certainly no harm in giving them a thorough clean.

As you clean the bird table feeding platform then, make sure enough soapy water is splashed over the perch surround.

Nothing else to do after this as you only need to allow it to air dry. But do make sure all soap residue to washed away.

Diluted detergent only

No special treatments or anti-bacteria detergents required this time, as you only need to dilute washing up liquid in a bowl of hot water, just as you would.

Soapy hot water then is used to wash the feeding platform with no additional detergents needed before or after.

You only need to pour on the hot soapy water over the feeding platform, giving it a enough time to soak up into that hard, congealed leftover bird food.

After a short 5 or so minutes you can begin the process of scraping gunk off the flat feeding platform.

Its certainly possible to do this the once but its possible you'd need to repeat the process over again to remove more stubborn gunk.

Be sure to use the designated water bowl to clean the bird table, while a refill of hot soapy water wouldn't normally be needed.

No brush requirement

Its imperative you never clean a wooden bird table of any kind with a soft or hard bristle brush of any kind - with exception of manufacturer's instructions.

Painted bird tables fade over time as they are exposed to the elements; its due to wet weather and UV beaming down on it 365 days of the year.

While you can't really damage a wooden bird table by cleaning it with a brush, you can certainly speed up the process of weathering by washing it with a brush.

Brushing painted, stained or treated bird tables can see the colouring on either coating bleed onto the brush, while its then see to colour the water in the bow.

Exception of the use of a soft or hard bristle brush is on metal fixings or a slate roof to remove bird poop - but never directly on wood.

Leave it to the wallpaper scraper then to remove access bird poop or wild bird feed.

Go softly on painted bird tables

I can't emphasis how important it is not to clean a painted bird table with a brush, as its hard enough with use of a scraper only.

Bird tables that have been painted are done so with only the one coat, to make sure the paint bleeds deep into the wood grain. Thankfully the one coat is all that's needed which in turn, can make it easier on your to clean.

Painted bird tables using two or three coats of paints though creates a thick layer, this layer can then be washed off easier than ever.

To remove stubborn leftover bird feed on the feeding platform which has been painted then, go gently with a scraper only.

Its easy to peel off layers of paint with a scraper still but easier to wash it off with a hard brush - use a scraper only then but always go carefully .

Scourer on metal fixings

Never a time an actual scourer is needed to assist in cleaning a wooden bird table, with a few exceptions.

Scourer is going to come in useful to clean any metal parts on the bird table including metal fixings that have any build up of bird poop, the most likely outcome.

However, a scourer can still be used on a treated bird table with too stubborn gunk build up, but wipe it in a way that doesn't scourer the timber at all.

Brand new scourers while more effective than used ones, it certainly won't hurt to use an old scourer as they tend to be more softer, whereas brand new scours are to hard for this purpose.

Exterior of a bird table can make use of a scourer mind if your scraper can't get into cracks - but so to can a slate roof benefit with a wipe of a scourer.

Remove cleaning residue

Doesn't take long to clean a wooden bird table at all, in fact in the time you've filled up a bowl of water with washing up liquid to the time you are done, must be less than ten minutes.

In the process of cleaning a bird table with the attention on the flat bird table feeding platform - under the roof or exposed to the elements - soap residue is going to build up in crevices while building up in open grain.

To allow a wooden bird table to dry up at this stage can have consequence.

Consequences being the white residue leftover from the soapy water is allowed to dry up on the surface - and so to in any open cracks.

What you must do then is clear the bird table of all soap before you are allowed to air dry.

First thing to do is pour over the remaining soap water in your bowl over the bird table, while splashing it under the roof to hit it hard on the feeding platform.

Now with your empty bowl, remove all bubbles before filling it up with fresh hot water.

Once again proceed to splash the bowl of clean hot water over the bird table from a far, as to hit it with full force to remove that soap residue.

Cleaning a bird table summary

How to clean a bird table then would be to plan ahead, by making sure to clean the bird table as often has you can to prevent stubborn left over bird food build up.

Do so then every one to two weeks but you must take caution as to prevent damaging a painted, stained or treated in preserve bird table.

First thing to do is remove all loose bird feed with use of a wallpaper scraper, while going gently over the feeding platform located under the roof or if its exposed to the elements.

Once clear of access wild bird feed its time to take a bowl of hot water with washing up liquid in, to throw over the feeding platform.

Allow up to 5 minutes for the soapy water to take hold of the stubborn bird food gunk, to then begin the process of scraping it off with the wallpaper scraper.

Metal scraper is sure to defeat any bird food refusing to move, but simply soak the feeding platform a second time to repeat the cleaning with a scraper once again.

To clean a wooden bird table, never use a brush of any kind, only use a metal scraper.

You must still go gently as you clean the bird table with a scraper, because its very much like a sharp knife. So going rough can see you peel up a layer of paint or worse still, dig out a chunk of wood

Once all muck as been removed, simply finish it off by throwing over clean hot water to remove soap residue.

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