Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cleaning with Hot Water and Soap?

It has been awhile since I've done a blog about 'cleaning'... how much can you say about the topic? For those of us with birds, it is simply a part of our daily lives!


A few months ago, I was surprised to read that good old hot water and soap is on the 'outs' as a cleaning method. I even had one person warn me that it was dangerous and to stop using it. (And to think that most of us still use it for our dishes and baby items... goodness!)


I was shocked to read that many simply rinse a bird's food and water dishes with hot water, but never use soap. They do occasionally swish with vinegar. If they do the same for their own dirty dishes, I can promise you I will turn down their dinner invitations!


For gosh sakes, it really makes me wonder sometimes. Has common sense fled the planet?!

It is a sad day when soap and hot water are deemed dangerous.


As you know, I have used the dangerous soap diluted in hot water in my home for many years on both my own dishes and the birds. The type of soap I use for the birds is "Murphy's Oil Soap" partially because it works well on wood, and mostly because it contains 98% natural ingredients. It is well diluted in plenty of that old fashioned, out-of-date hot water! But if I were to run out of it, I would not hesitate to use the clear, scent-free soap that I use on my own dishes!


So I thought I should get up on my soap box (oops, pardon the pun), and show some new cleaning pictures. While lots of soap and water were used in these pictures, no birds were harmed!

(Really, it is just a great excuse to post some new pictures of the budgie-boys... how cute are they?! They are smooch-able cute!)


So, what does the bird room look like on a typical day when I get home from work? Coco's area looks well used:
And the budgie-boys try their best to keep their area just as tidy!


Time for a little cleaning! Within 15 minutes, it will be brand-spanking, sparkling clean!

STEP #1: The Scraper:

This is what Coco's area looks like after it has been scraped:

STEP #2: The Sweep:


This is what the budgie area looks like after scraped and swept (but prior to vacuuming):


This is Coco's area after a scrape and sweep (prior to vacuuming):


Scraping and sweeping by hand is fast... maybe about 5 minutes if I don't get distracted by birdie-helpers!


Add another 5 minutes for a good vacuuming, and I'm ready to spray down their areas with a bottle containing lots of water and a little bit of soap:



What to do... what to do while waiting for the spray to soften so that I can easily wipe their areas clean? What better opportunity for a quick little bath! It is also a time when I swap out the water dishes, replacing them with the ones that were cleaned the previous night (you guessed it...) with hot water and soap!



You will notice that some of the budgie perches have a little 'ick' on them, but that will be taken care of in the next step!



This is a mixture of soap diluted in lots of hot water. A good old fashioned wash cloth (used only for this purpose, and thrown into the washer for sanitizing) is excellent at getting into all the corners. I first wipe the perch surfaces before cleaning the flooring.


Every nook and cranny can easily be cleaned - good as new!



Coco's area gets equally clean, although it never stays that way for very long!

And now, my favorite time of the day: mommy-birdie time!

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8 comments:

Arlene said...

Funny how we survived the old fashioned soap days. Where do these ideas come from?
Do you rinse off the water/soap solution; or is diluted enough. This sounds like the way to go for cleaning. And don't they look happy. ;)

louara said...

I am so happy to see an article like yours. What the heck is wrong with soap & water? It does the job safely and effectily each and every time. The only soaps I avoid are those fragrant ones, Like the perfumy dishwashing soaps on the market now. I always give my birds cage a good rinse afterwards in the kitchen sink.

Robin Cherkas said...

The two of you are just plain 'mavericks' using that old fashioned soap and water - lol! @Arlene, the solution is diluted enough that it is not necessary to rinse when I am just wiping down their flooring and perches (there are no suds). If I remove things such as toys and wash them, then I use a more soap, meaning suds, and then rinsing of course. @Louara - you are SO old fashioned - LOL!

Arlene said...

There's always hope when there's water and soap. :)
Of course you have a huge cage and the fort to wash so I'll bet it works great for you. I'm going to get some. I'll use it everywhere.
Thanks for the tip Robin.

Anonymous said...

What can you do for mites if you aren't suppose to use the hanging ones? I think I might have a problem, and while my family is not affected, anyone who visits and sleeps in the BR where our aviary is at, is covered with bites. HELP!! I am really stressing over this.

Robin Cherkas said...

Anonymous, most of the mites that affect birds do not affect humans. If you suspect your birds have mites, your vet can give you the proper medication, and every bird will need to be treated. The most common treatment is one drop of ivermectin on the back of the bird's neck, and may need to be treated. Follow your vet's advice as to the medication given. If the birds do have mites, then all of their cages, toys, surfaces and areas will need to be cleaned to remove the mites. Since bird mites are generally bird-specific, I would have to wonder if something else is going on, because if the birds do have mites, you should see visible signs on the birds themselves. Two culprits to investigate are bed bugs, which are making a comeback, and fleas. If it only affects people who sleep in that room, I would suspect bed bugs.

HungryBird said...

I use soap and water as well. What kind of plastic fencing did you use to make the budgie enclosure?

Robin Cherkas said...

It is called hardware cloth, and is available in rolls in the garden section.

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