seymour pigeons (rumorofrain) wrote in outdamndspot,
seymour pigeons

cleaning a bird cage?

So I've got these two small parrots who live in a big, palatial cage. Everything scrubs off of it nicely with vinegar water and a scrubby sponge, but where the bars are welded to the frame there are these little gaps where crud accumulates.

Every couple of weeks I get out a handful of toothpicks and pick all the crud out of the cracks. It works, but it takes a while and some places are hard to reach.

The bird boarder who takes care of our birds while we're on vacation has the cleanest, sparkliest cages. How does she do it?!?! She can't possibly spend her whole day toothpicking gunk out of the crevices of all of her birdcages.

Other pertinent details: I can't really drag it outside and hose it down (too big, and there's a flight of stairs between my apartment and the outdoor hose), nor is it practical to take it apart. It's far too big to lug into the shower.

So I'm appealing to you, o wise internet folk. Any cage cleaning tips for me?
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Would it be possible to take a dremel or metal file and file away/smooth the holes and dips? What about getting a metal dentist pick to use instead of toothpicks?
Nope, they're actual holes that go all the way through, so no amount of smoothing will get rid of them.

Also, my bird cage is powder coated, so I can't file it or the coating will come off, revealing the potentially unsafe metal underneath.

A plastic or metal pick is a great idea, though! Thanks!

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A really effective soak would unfortunately require breaking down the cage and lugging the pieces into a bathtub, which the OP isn't willing to do. :-/

My mom does that at least once a month and bought a good cage without sloppy welds, but not everyone can/will do that.
For the record, my cage is very well constructed with no "sloppy welds." The way it's constructed simply has gaps where the bars are sandwiched between frame pieces.

Also, it's not that I'm "not willing" to break the cage down and soak it, it's that it's not practical to do every week, it would put unnecessary wear and tear on the cage, and I don't feel comfortable leaving the gunk in there for a whole month between cleanings. I'm looking for a better way.

I appreciate that you're someone who gets angry when people don't take proper care of their animals. If you're concerned about the care I take of my birds, I'd be happy to discuss that with you in another venue. Otherwise, please keep the snarky comments to yourself, thanks.
is it the "flight cage that everyone has"? if so, i think i know what you mean by holes.
Yes indeedy. :)

As an update to this post, I've been using a toothbrush to clean the holes, and it works beautifully. A scrub from below and a scrub from above and the holes are gunk-free.
yea, the design of the welding is a real pain in that way. i was trying to think of a way to help keep debris from getting in there, maybe getting those plastic seed protectors that look like clear walls keep food from falling into that section...

today is deep clean day on my cage.... whoo hoo
I do a pretty deep clean weekly, using diluted vinegar, a scrubby sponge (a "Dobie"), and a toothbrush. It works like a charm. I would think it would be more of a pain to clean whatever was covering the welds than to scrub out the gaps with a toothbrush. Interesting thought, though - if you come up with a good solution for covering those gaps, let me know!
That's a great idea! Thanks!
How about one of those cheap electric toothbrushes?
I use a steam cleaner which does a good job of getting gunk out of crevices (I got it for about $40 from Costco, but I've seen one at CVS also) I still end up using vinegar or something when I want a good clean (after or before steaming - not during!) because it seems to leave a film sometimes (may be my water?)
Thanks for the tip! I'll keep my eye out for one of those.
it's handy for crusted on nasty not-budging bird poops, which hopefully I'll not have again, because my boyfriend is not happy any time he sees any poo in our apartment so I'm trying to be more vigilant about cleaning immediately :) I've used it for some other random cleaning stuff too.