I don't know about pennies, but I know bird specialty stores carry a birdbath cleaner. Use that cleaner and replace the water every day to avoid having to do the more serious cleaning.
Yes, pennies really DO keep the water clean longer. I read about it in Birds and Blooms magazine, so I tried it successfully.
good tip...and it's not harmful for the birds? What does it create...copper oxide?
Steve-I'll check on that cleaner thanks-I have been using baking soda. Steph-glad you knew about the pennies, sounded just weird enough to be true. I also wndered if you guys use a squeegee or something to pushout the dirty water? My bowls are either attached to the base or made of concrete and very heavy-having a hard time tipping them to rinse well and wondered if there is an easier way.
I do know that many "bottom paints" used on boats contain copper...it reduces algae growth etc. So the "logic" is there.
A number of years ago we were at a natural hot springs and the owners there were using a power washer to "clean" the sides of the pool....underwater. It worked like a charm. This trick would work in a bird bath too as it would be easy to flush the debris out with a garden hose...or the power washer itself.
I use vinegar and a small brush and it cleans very nicely.
I have a concrete bird bath too! I empty it everyday, use a soft bristle brush and some elbow grease to get rid of the yuck. Don't for get to clean/ scrub what they perch on too. That can get real slimy. Use a hose on a hard spray after. I'll give the pennies, baking soda and vineger a try, sounds like a good idea.
I use CLR (50/50 mix), an scrub and rinse. Works well on a concrete one, and my handmade tiled/and grouted one. Tilex would probably also work well, just rinse a lot, so you don't poison the birds.
Rebecca-perch? nothing came with the birdbath, should I have something? When they are in there they just splash around or seem to cling to the ridges on the sides. Is there something else I can or should be doing? (I am new at this)
Pennies need to be dated prior to 1982.
Dee! Sounds crazy, but I use smooth flat rocks in the bird bath, so they can sun / splash and not get their feet wet. That's why they cling to the sides. I also fill large terracotta saucers with water, different levels / stack .And over lap twigs on the edge for a perch. Seem to love it ! Hope this helps out?
Dilute Simple Green with water and rinse well!
Rebecca D, I think Simple Green is a wonderful product. I use it to diluted to clean my air filters because it is so superior to similar products I have used.
I never thought of using in the birdbath because I didn't want it to hurt the birds. I guess if you rinse it enough the birdbath will be OK no matter what is used.
Thank-you everyone for your feedback and input-I have found it both helpful and interesting. I am sure my bird friends will be thankful for my newfound knowledge as well.
please dont use the clorox 2 or tilex or any of that,vineger yes,pennies help it stay cleaner a little longer,they sell birdbath cleaner that keeps it clean awhile longer,Paint it with mildew/stain primer like you would use in your kitchen before painting,I did in my birdbath,i rarely had dirty slimey water,those cleaners someone posted up above with hurt the birds if thats not rinsed out throughly with pressure washer,not hose,it doesnt have the power enough
It also helps to let the (cleaned) birdbath stay dry in the sun for a day. The sun is a natural "cleaner".
I put about a half cup of bleach in the water, scrub well with stiff brush then rinse thoroughy with heavy pressure of water hose. that amt. of well diluted bleach won't hurt the grass if you're pouring the dirty water out onto the lawn. We get algae quickly in our birdbaths so this works well. I also use the granulated 'Mosquito bits' that kill their larvae. It won't hurt the birds or critters that might drink out of it.