I hate cleaning cages. I'd much rather be spending my time training or hanging out with the birds. I don't actually mind the "ick" of cleaning poop so much as taking the time to do it. But it's a fact of life when it comes to bird ownership and something that must be done. This is why I am keen on good cleaning products that reduce the amount of time/effort I need to spend cleaning.
Recall my Must Have Cleaning Devices for the Parrot Owner article reviewing cleaning gadgets. Well in addition to good gadgets, you also need good cleaning supplies. Paper towels do just fine, but on a tight budget washable rags are a good idea. I find that dish soap and bleach work very well for a thorough cage cleaning, however, it smells awful and takes a long time to prepare. Worse yet bleach stains and requires gloves for use. I'm so worried about the fumes that I have to lock my parrots out in the stairway. There has to be a better way.
Since I got Truman's Cage from Kings Cages I was already familiar with the brand. I've been using a bunch of their products for a while now and one of them is the Royal Cage Cleaner spray. This spray makes cleaning a whole lot easier. I just spray it on and wait 5 minutes, come back before it dries, and wipe off with a wet paper towel.
Frankly, I prefer my steam cleaner because it is an entirely chemical free way to clean and sterilize the cage. The trouble is that it has a very narrow stream so it takes forever, especially when it's a wide spread mess. For hard to reach crevices like in the grooves of a perch, I'd definitely go with steam cleaner. But on cage bars, grates, and particularly seed catchers, the spray is awesome.
I tried a different cleaner before, don't remember the name, but it was a citrus based cleaner. It smelled good and is supposedly very safe but it would leave a lot of residue after cleaning. I like the Royal Cage Cleaner better because it has very little residue. Wiping with a wet paper towel once gets most of it and a little more effort and it's all gone.
For the absolute worst messes I use a combination of my steam cleaner and spray. First I spray the area to dissolve the poop. Then I wipe what I can and blast the rest out with the steam cleaner. Works like a charm. For spot cleaning, $10 for the spray is well worth it. One bottle lasts me about a year because I combine with the steam cleaner.
I have one bottle of free Royal Cage Cleaner to give away. The contest is very simple. Just leave a comment below or on the Trained Parrot Facebook page telling me about what you currently use for cleaning your parrot's cage. Contest ends midnight Tuesday November 26th and a winner will be chosen at random and announced Wednesday. The only restriction I have here is that free shipping is in the US only. International winner must pay international shipping or decline the prize and another winner will be selected. Winner to be selected from either comments section or facebook comments at random. Thanks for reading and participating.
I have not tried this product yet, right now all i am doing is using water and once a week i take the big cage outside to hose and scrub it down completely. I ave been searching for a product to use that is easier but I just dont know how much of a difference it will make
This works well for cleaning. The steam cleaner is excellent for cleaning AND sanitizing. Please do not use poop-off or royal cage cleaner expecting it to sanitize - it is a product specifically designed as non-toxic to birds to use for cleaning - that is, dirt removal. A steam cleaner or other bird safe non-toxic sanitizer must still be utilized AFTER the dirt is removed to sanitize - that is, remove harmful bacteria, pathogens, etc.
To state this more clearly:
Clean = remove surface dirt and stains
Sanitize = kill and remove as much bacteria, pathogens, etc. as possible while not resorting to the extreme and impractical methods required for sterilization
Sterilize = wipe out everything on it making the thing absolutely free of anything and everything
The methods for each are different. Sanitize/Sterilize cannot be accomplished until the clean is accomplished. Why? Because even the smallest amount of dirt/poop/whatever is a place for harmful bacteria/stuff to hide in and not be killed by a sanitize/sterilize. Additionally, it is a place where that not quite dead yet harmful stuff can grow again and even build up resistances to your sanitize/sterilize method.
Steam cleaning, as Mike uses, is an excellent method for sanitizing. I use this method sometimes. It has the flaws that your birds have to be far away so you do not harm them and also you can harm yourself or other objects with the high heat required to produce the steam.
A method I personally like is using a product called Oxyfresh. It is the trade name for stabilized chlorine dioxide, and is, based on the scientific literature I have studied, the most effective (if used correctly) sanitizer commercially available to laymen after formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde is toxic to everything under the sun, so do not EVER use it or expose yourself or your birds to it.
Stabilized chlorine dioxide is, as far as I can tell based on the literature I have studied, non-toxic to animals, including avians. It also has the benefit of being a macrobiotic, which means that it kills a LOT more things than most other products. It is also scentless, so people like me with sensitive lungs/sinuses can clean without worry of inhaling fumes that make them ill (I suffered a severe chest/lung injury some time ago and switching to this product drastically improved the quality of my life - I can clean without wearing a mask and my house is actually freer of harmful substances since it kills more stuff). As a result, I have swapped most cleaning around my house to this chemical. I personally have found it will remove finishing on wood surfaces, so be warned if using it on non-bird stuff. It is also a deodorizer if used correctly (actually removes - not masks - odors).
The product is primarily used for dental hygiene for people who are allergic to the regular sanitizer that dentists use. It is also regularly used by vets for dental cleaning and hygiene for cats and dogs. Hospitals use this chemical as one of their primary sanitizing and sterilizing products.
The Oxyfresh company has various household products they sell for various personal hygiene and household cleaning uses. I cannot speak to most of them, having not tried them. The product I primarily use is the largest bottles of their Cleansing Gele. I use the Cleansing Gele in its pure out of the bottle form for its advertised purposes for myself. What I do for my birds and for general household sanitizing is mix a small amount of the gel with water in a sterilized spray bottle. This solution is, in my opinion, an effective sanitizer that I can use even when my birds are around. You do want to wipe it off and sometimes rinse afterwards depending on what you are doing. I also will use it to soak plastic and metal parts from toys, perches, etc. in a water/gele mixture to remove dirt, deodorize, and sanitize. Deodorizing basically is applying the chemical and letting it sit for a while. In order to scrub bowls and perches, I spray it onto the brush, scrub the item in question, and then rinse clean with water.
I am in no way affiliated with the Oxyfresh company. Just sharing my knowledge and experience to help improve others' lives, and especially to assist with the quality of life and longevity of life of everyone's' avian (or other animal) companions. Very shortly after I began regularly using it for my birds I noticed a high increase in their general well being. Very shortly after I began using it for general household cleaning I noticed a significant increase in myself and the other members of my household's general well being.
One other thing. If you have aquaria, this is still going to kill your fishes because of the whole ppm water infusion the way fish absorb chemicals from the water through their gills thing. Therefore, as with any chemical you introduce into the atmosphere, you must still be very careful about spraying in the same room as an aquarium.
P.S. Sorry this looks so weird except in the actual forum. I am not sure why it is not registering my carriage returns in the view comments on trainedparrot.com but looks fine in theparrotforum.com.
Not sure what the brands I am using. My daughter works at PetSmart and brought home a spray with enzymes that worked great dissolving bird droppings and all pet wastes. I felt it was a little pricey so I am trying a cheaper brand. This is not working as well. My search continues.
I use Pet Focus. It cleans and disinfects. I've been using it for years and love it. I did a head-to-head trial with Poop-Off some years ago and found Pet Focus cleaned better and faster. It comes in a concentrate as well as in a spray bottle. I use the concentrate and dilute it into a spray bottle, so it lasts forever. I would try something new, but I would do a head-to-head trial with it to see if it cleaned as well as Pet Focus.
I clean Cooper's cage with a vinegar water mix outside with the hose. I spray it down, let it sit, scrub with a brush, then rinse. I keep repeating until it is clean. I gets cold in the winter being in NY.
I can't comment on that specific product because I've never seen it before let alone actually used it but so far I haven't really found anything that works any better than diluted washing up liquid made up with hot water in a spray bottle (put the soap in last to prevent foaming and gently swirl to mix).
It takes two seconds to make, gets left on for roughly the same amount of time depending on how dirty the cages are- hopefully not very dirty if your spot cleaning as you should be, and it costs a lot less. Of course you do need to ensure there is no residue on the cage but unless you've made the mix very soapy then it really doesn't take much extra time at all. I'm not sure if the kings stuff can be left to dry but personally I wouldn't leave it on anyway-others may be happy to do so which would make things a little quicker.
Of course if you start disinfecting everything then that takes you to a whole new level in how long cage cleaning takes owing to the time it takes for disinfectants to actually do their job.
Whilst I'm not trying to discourage anyone from buying specialist cleaning products and I'm certainly not saying it doesn't do the best job, I would say that for me I would rather not spend on expensive cleaning products when cheap soap and water does the job really well. That way I can put the money saved to enable me to add to my "vet bill" bank account.
I do buy specialist disinfectant though rather than using bleach (which from what I've read about the cage cleaner you would have to do anyway). One tiny bottle lasts me forever keeping that cost really low but then I'm not religious about disinfecting so long as the cages are clean. I believe that for a healthy bird exposure to some bacteria is actually good for them as in it keeps the immune system working efficiently and that overuse of disinfectants will eventually lead to bacteria building up resistance in the same way antibiotics are becoming less efficient bit by bit.
I still enjoyed reading the review though despite me having no intention of trying it should it be available over here. I hope you will consider reviewing more products in the future if you have time, whether that be a new toy, cage, cleaning product etc.
I use a variety of unscented baby wipes because things like Clorox and other surface-cleaning wipes may be harmful to my conure. I always make sure the wipes are strong in how they clean, and how the fabric is made. I currently use "Up and Up"'s brand of unscented baby wipes!
Mostly my steam cleaner but for really stuck on mess I use poop off, expensive and doesn't smell great (to me). Also vinegar and water as it is a deodorant and disinfectant and all natural and won't harm my precious babies.
My fids get the vinger/water solution treatment for their more frequent cleanings, and I use a bleach solution to deep clean. They each have their own cleaning supplies to avoid cross contamination as well. XD
I have an itty-bitty Budgie , but she makes quite a mess for such a tiny bird!
Her cage metal is textured, so usually it just takes a paper towel dampened with hot water to get the mess off, but if she eats a lot of fruit, I have to take her out of the cage and do a steam scrub with a brush. She really hates that!
And the winner is: madiyogi99
Here is the process I used to select the winner. I assigned a number to each comment post here. Then I continued the numbering for the posts on this topic on facebook. I ran a [url=http://www.random.org/:3f0evbil]random number generator[/url:3f0evbil] to choose a number in the range of the total posts and corresponded that number to which post won. The number returned was 9 which corresponds to the 9th comment left on this reply page (sorry facebookers, those posts held higher numbers). Congratulations madiyogi99, you won a free bottle of Kings Cages Royal Cage Cleaner.
Toys go in the washer or dishwasher with a second rinse. Feeders and chick waterers are changed daily. I use lemon water for routine wiping of dirty feet on cage and perches. Four times a year the cage gets shoved out on the back porch, cleaned with dish soap, hosed down and left in the sun to dry. If the stain does not come off the perches they get replaced or sanded and lemoned.
I used to use newspaper at the bottom of the cage until Tommy started using it as a hiding place.
Now I use white freezer paper with a little alfalfa hay. Poor lutino Sweetie soaked the ink off the newspaper. She was a real dirty bird.