How often do you clean and disinfect the cage?


New member
Jan 6, 2014
1 male Quaker
Hello, I recently came across this advice from a parrot rescue page. They suggest changing papers daily and sanitizing the cage twice weekly. I'm sorry but...really? That seems overboard to me, not to mention wasteful. I could understand changing papers weekly, only more frequent if you provide any wet/sticky foods inside the cage. I try to keep all that messiness (chop, fruit, etc) on a perch outside the cage that can be cleaned much more easily.

What do others do/think?

Cages should also be kept cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis. Using newspaper as the substrate for your cage is easiest and will allow you to monitor fecal output and consistency (for health purposes) and are also easy to change out. Papers should be changed daily and cages should be sanitized at least twice weekly. A white vinegar and water solution is a good sanitizer that is not only inexpensive, but safe to use in your birds cage (birds should be removed from the cage during cleaning).


Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
Western, Michigan
DYH Amazon
I'm sorry, but really! Cleaning should be done regularly!

Although Parrot poop does not have a heavy smell, it still does have some. And, an uncleaned Parrot cage is a statement about the general cleanliness of your home or apartment.

How often is a matter of choice, but there are limits and they should be followed. FYI: Parrot poop becomes ever more difficult to clean /remove with age.


Supporting Member
Mar 28, 2019
New England
Sunny the Sun Conure (sept '18, gotcha 3/'19). Mr Jefferson Budgie & Mrs Calliope Budgie (albino) (nov'18 & jan'19). Summer 2021 Baby Budgies: Riker (Green); Patchouli, Keye, & Tiny (blue greywings).
Papers really probably Ought to be changed daily. I admit, I do not always do this. At this point I am probably changing papers maybe every other day and even sometimes going to three days. My birds do have huge cages and do not choose to spend any time on their cage floors, regardless of papers. (Also, my conure prefers to avoid pooping in her cage, if she can convince me to come get her instead. She likes to poo on me or any other surface, preferably IN the bathroom if she can get me to take her there, and then likes to Yell at me until I wipe it up and discard the tissue. So her papers are often not too messy.) BUT really I Ought to be changing papers every day anyway. Changing the papers is Not a difficult chore!

As far as sanitizing the cages. I think it depends what you mean by that. At this point, myself I do Not remove my birds and scrub everything down with a solution weekly. I think that would be excessive. BUT. I do keep scrubber-scrapers nearby, I keep an eye on the cages, and I often just reach in and knock off any buildup. I do this anytime I notice buildups, and also daily before changing water / food / papers. (Wash my hands afterwards of course.)

Beyond that, I will also take a good quality Micro Fiber cloth with HOT water to clean the cages, their perches & toys, etc... I'm pretty random about this, but probably more than twice a month. The birds usually remove themselves from their cages while I do this, but they don't have to, as it is only water. (I find that microfiber and HOT water is usually all I need for most cleaning purposes. HOWEVER. There are no children in my house and I keep the hot water heater in the red, so my hot water is Steaming Hot from the tap. Normal hot-tap-water would probably Not be sufficient in most cases, and vinegar is a good choice for cleaning, as long as you rinse it well afterwards .)

As far as the food and water, this has to be changed daily, and the dishes -- especially the water dishes or any containers with non-dry food -- especially must be kept clean at all times.

OH! Also my birdies like their shows in the form of spray-shower IN their cages. They like to get totally soaked, which also thoroughly soaks the cages. Once they are finally done, I wipe down the cages with micro fiber cloth. AND when I do, I pay extra attention to any spots that seem to need cleaning. THIS might be the reason their cages rarely need "sanitizing", and also why I don't know how often I do it. Sunny demands showers randomly, some weeks almost daily, some weeks only once or twice. (The budgies don't usually request, they usually just wait till Sunny makes the demand.)

So basically if you keep cages Clean as you go along, you may not need a full "Sanitizing" every week. But if soaking and wiping down your cages does not happen frequently, then perhaps you should add to your calendar & make sure you do so often, and weekly would probably be a good idea.
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Staff member
Super Moderator
Aug 21, 2010
San Diego, California USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
I generally change cage paper every two days, coinciding with feeding fresh veggies + fruits. Never let degradable foods linger more than a few hours to avoid odors, mold, attraction of flies/ants.

Cages/toys/perches spot cleaned daily. I'll trot the cages outside every few weeks for high pressure spray and allow to dry.

I have two flight cages, only one currently in use. Elevated 3 feet above ground, so floor is lined with painters plastic. Swept daily, changed weekly.


Well-known member
May 8, 2017
Green cheek conure - Sydney (Syd) Hatched 2/2017
I clean every evening after Syd goes to bed in another room. So he has a spotless cage each day moving perches and toys to new places a couple of times a week. I have it down to 15 minutes usually. It seems to perk up his interest in toys just seeing them from a different angle. Once a month or sooner if I think it needs it I dismantle his cage steam clean it all and change toys cleaning the old ones before storing them. Having said all that he is pretty messy with fresh food going all over the floor of his abode. I think he just tests the cleaning service. Trouble is he hasn't agreed a raise in 4 years!


Jul 1, 2014
Currently I have none, but I have the capacity to adopt a minimum and maximum of two budgies - preferably a bonded pair or two males.
In my experience , cleaning the papers every day is important. Yes you can occasionally skip one day every week or 10 days but it is important to be regular.
Disinfecting the cage can happen once every 10 to 15 days. May be periodic dusting is needed once in a while between, but full fledged disinfection, not so much.

But again this may vary across species and species like Eclectus may need more maintainance.

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