How to Clean a Suet Cage Bird Feeder

If you want to feed suet to birds, you need to know how to clean a suet bird feeder. Get expert tips on how to keep your suet feeder clean.

The Best Way to Clean a Suet Feeder

how to clean a suet feederCourtesy Lori Schimpf
Red-bellied woodpecker enjoying a suet feeder

With the heat of summer on its way out, it’s also time to pull your suet feeders back out of storage. Clean them up and load them up with fatty fuel.  Birds & Blooms reader Chongo Graves of Aptos, California, submitted a question to ask our experts. “How should I clean my suet cage feeder?”

Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman say, “Keeping feeders clean is an important element of bird feeding. Wire cage feeders for serving suet get very messy, so they need regular cleaning, more often in hot weather. Start by soaking the empty feeder in warm water mixed with mild dish detergent and a little vinegar. After it has soaked for an hour or two, wipe off any accumulated gunk with a soft brush or a sponge. Rinse the feeder thoroughly before you refill it and put it back out for the birds.”

Learn how to clean your hummingbird feeder.

Make sure to clean your suet feeders every few weeks to keep birds healthy. In winter, gently clear away any snow and ice that accumulates to make it easier for birds to access their food.

Another key backyard tip for feeding suet: Raw suet softens at 70 degrees, potentially sticking to bird feathers and going rancid quickly, so it should be offered only in cooler months.

To prepare for suet season, find everything you need to know about serving and making nutrient-packed suet for birds. Then read about birds that can’t resist suet. Plus, if you’re in need of a new suet feeder or homemade suet recipes, we’ve got you covered.

Next, learn how to clean a bird bath.

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Lori Vanover
Lori Vanover is the senior digital editor for Birds & Blooms. She has a bachelor's degree in agricultural and environmental communications from the University of Illinois. Lori enjoys growing vegetables and flowers for pollinators in her backyard gardens. She also is an avid bird-watcher.