How to Give Your Bird a Bath? Easy Instructions

Translated by Nick R

Bathing is fundamental for any animal species. All animals bathe in one way or another, maintaining good hygiene. But what happens when your bird doesn’t bathe regularly? What should you do? Here I teach you.

About bird bathing 

All birds seek bathing by instinct, whether in the wild or domesticated. Of course, in captivity, it is necessary to do it frequently since they are exposed to more diseases and parasites given that their space is more reduced.

Frequency of bird bathing 

Bathing birds is essential to avoid diseases mostly caused by bacteria and external parasites such as mites, as well as other infectious agents that can affect the plumage, skin, eyes and even internal organs. Therefore, your bird has to take a bath 2 to 3 times a week.

In the world of birds, there will be some that bathe themselves, while others are a little ” piggy ” and this is where you need to act immediately by bathing it. We recommend that the bird bathes itself, but you can reinforce regular bathing by doing it yourself.

Bathe your bird 

1. Measure the temperature for bathing your bird 

When bathing your bird, there are several things to keep in mind, the first being measuring the temperature. The temperature is fundamental because if it is too cold, the bird could “catch a cold” or develop a respiratory condition.

The temperature of the environment should be warm, preferably above 18°C (64°F). If you live in a country with seasons, do it in summer when the temperature is warmer. If you live in the tropics, choose the warmest hours of the day, such as midday.

2. Prepare the bathtub for your bird’s bath 

Necessary accessories to bathe your bird 

You need several elements to make bathing your bird easier. Prepare the following items:

  • Circular bathtub (depends on the size of the species).
  • Bird shampoo.
  • Two containers, one of 1L and another with a spray of smaller capacity.
  • Stand where you can place your bird and make it feel comfortable (perch, trunks).
  • Towel.
  • Fruit vinegar (optional). The vinegar helps to control external parasites before suffering an infestation that causes acariosis.
What about the soap? 

You may be thinking, where’s the soap? Well, in this case, it doesn’t apply because soap removes the natural oils from the feathers, drying the skin and making it difficult to rinse with water. Don’t use soap!

Water temperature 

The temperature of the water is fundamental, unlike room temperature, the temperature of the water with which you fill the bathtub must be warm (between 20°C and 25°C). If the water is too cold, you can make your bird sick and if it is too hot you can burn it; keeping in mind that birds maintain a body temperature between 40°C and 42°C.

3. Bathe your bird 

Now you’ll learn how to bathe your bird and teach it how to do it by itself. You will need to bathe it several times before it does it by itself, but once your bird has learned how to do it, it is ideal that you monitor its hygiene periodically to guarantee its regular bathing.

As you bathe him, your friend will gradually learn to do it on his own. Follow these steps:

Bringing your bird into the bathtub 

You have two alternatives to bathe your friend. On the one hand, to bathe it inside your house or, in the other hand, to bathe it outside; if you have trained it well. Don’t disregard the temperature of the environment and the water.

Put it near the bathtub and let the bird submerge. If this doesn’t work, try entering it very carefully, without scaring it. You should let the bird submerge and wet its face in the bathtub so that it can acclimatize.

Curious fact: 

Did you know that birds love water that looks like a puddle? This makes them associate it with their natural habitat, where they enjoy the water sources they find on the ground and in bodies of water. Therefore, the bath and drinking troughs should be circular and shallow.

After the dip…

Use the spray to bathe your bird 

Follow each of the following steps:

  1. Fill the large bowl with fresh water at the temperature already mentioned until it covers its legs and apply the special bird shampoo all over its body from the neck down.
  2. Rinse your friend with only water in the container.
  3. Add two drops of fruit vinegar per liter of water to the spray container ( do not overuse vinegar). Next, spray it all over its body, except for its face. Start from under the wings very carefully, opening them completely, then from above in the same way and for 5 minutes in each of the two processes.
  4. Spray under the keel and tail, then over the legs.
  5. Rinse with the spray filled with water only, spray his body to remove the shampoo, and then let him soak his head in the tub by himself.

I recommend using the spray without vinegar once a week so the pressurized water can remove the dirt from the plumage more effectively. While vinegar is best used only once a month to keep parasites and bacteria away from your friend. Remember to use the least acidic vinegar.

More recommendations for bathing your bird.

4. After the bath, dry your bird 

Finally, once your friend is completely clean, you must dry it carefully.

First option 

You can wait for a nice sunny day to do its job by air-drying your friend’s plumage for about 20 minutes.

Second option 

Take a towel and carefully dry him under his keel and wings, only wrapping it around him without rubbing, as moisture in these places can cause bad odors and affect his health. Then dry above the wings and finally under the tail (without rubbing).

Third option 

All of the above. Let it dry in the sun for about 5 minutes, while shaking it, and then start drying it with a towel.


To finish I recommend that, before putting your friend back in the cage, you have done a thorough cleaning of it, discarding the remains of food, feces and meticulously cleaning each of the elements inside.

You may be interested in: Learn how to do cage cleaning.

Now that you know how to bathe your friend, go on, and give him a dip!