Living with a parrot, you know how messy he can be. Plus, he's also extremely sensitive to the everyday cleaners you'd normally reach for when cleaning his cage and other things he's used for target practice. Luckily the ingredients for a bird-safe cleaner may already be in your pantry.
Your delightful feathered friend looses a bit of his delightfulness when it comes time to clean parrot poop off of perches, floors and the inside of his cage. When in search of a soap product, look for vegetable oil base liquid soaps. They are safe bets to mix with water to clean a mess your bird has made.
Vinegar and Lemon Juice
Vinegar and lemon juice contain mild acids that will dissolve parrot poop and make cleaning other messes like dried food much easier than just using water. In her book on conures, Anne C. Watkins touts a basic vinegar and water solution as an efficient cleanser for wiping down a bird cage and cleaning up his droppings. Lemon juice is also a natural disinfectant, a plus when keeping your parrot's surroundings clean and healthy.
If you don't get a chance to clean up droppings right away, they become more difficult to remove once they've dried. Salt and baking soda both effectively scrub away messes without scratching the surface you're cleaning. Mixing either salt or baking soda -- or combining them -- with just enough water, vinegar or lemon juice to form a paste will create a scouring cleaner that will be non-toxic for your bird.
Less Mild Alternatives
If you find you need something a bit more strong than lemon juice and salt, mix 1 part borax with 4 parts baking soda to create a disinfecting scouring powder. Isopropyl alcohol is another effective disinfectant and cleaning agent that you can use if all else fails. Don't use borax or alcohol to clean your bird's cage or perch while he is in or on it, as both are more harsh than other natural cleaning agents and can cause health issues.
Rinse, Rinse, Rinse, Repeat
Thoroughly rinsing any surface that your parrot comes in contact with after you've cleaned it is essential, even if you've used a natural cleanser. Cleaning agents that are considered non-toxic still have the potential to cause illness, whether mild or serious. Completely dry the surfaces, too, allowing them to naturally dry in the sunlight if possible. Ensure you've successfully washed away not only the mess you were cleaning, but the cleanser as well to keep your bird buddy safe and healthy.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.