Home » What Cleaning Products Are Safe Around Parrots?
what cleaning supplies are safe for parrots?

What Cleaning Products Are Safe Around Parrots?

(Last Updated On: March 7, 2023)

Parrots have sensitive respiratory systems, so owners must be cautious about which products they use to clean cages and the home. Certain chemicals release toxic fumes that cause respiratory distress.

Parrots can be harmed by cleaning products that contain ammonia, bleach, chlorine, phenols, or PTFE.

So, use natural solutions like white vinegar and baking soda. Alternatively, use parrot-safe cleaning products like Poop-off, F10, GuanoFix Plus, and Johnson’s Veterinary Clean ‘n’ Safe.

When shopping for cleaning products, don’t assume that pet-safe means bird-friendly. These labels are often written with traditional companion animals in mind.

Safely Cleaning A Parrot’s Cage

If you live with a parrot, you must regularly clean its cage. In addition, as the parrot will likely fly around the home to exercise, you’ll need to keep your home clean.

Many store-bought cleaning products are dangerous to birds because they release fumes, and swallowing chemicals may make your parrot sick (or worse).

So, what cleaning supplies are safe for parrots?

It’s not necessarily a case of choosing one cleaning brand over another, although that may apply. However, we must understand what ingredients are used in cleaning products.

Safe Cleaning Products To Use Around Parrots

As parrots spend most of their days in cages, hygiene is essential. A parrot will eat and defecate, and the cage will become a breeding ground for pathogens like germs and bacteria if left uncleaned.

The safest option is purchasing cleaning products from an exotic pet store free from dangerous substances. Recommended specialist cleaning products include the following:

  • Poop-off (the official cleaning choice of the San Diego zoo).
  • Johnson’s Veterinary Clean ‘n’ Safe Disinfectant Spray.
  • F10 Disinfectant.
  • GuanoFix Plus Avian Disinfectant.

If these cleaning products are too expensive for your budget or unavailable, you may need to improvise with traditional household items. Here are some examples of parrot-friendly cleaning products:

what cleaners are safe for birds?

Dish Soaps

You’ll rarely go wrong with dish soap to clean a parrot’s cage.

The majority of over-the-counter soaps are bird-friendly. A handful of caveats still apply, so select a mild soap, dilute it heavily, and use it sparingly.

Dish soap is used on parrot’s food and water dishes. Use a soft cloth, and don’t scrub too hard because this risks leaving small grooves in the dish, allowing harmful bacteria to grow and multiply.

Wash any dishes thoroughly, which removes traces of bubbles the dish soap would otherwise leave. If a parrot swallows dish soap, it may experience digestive issues.

A parrot-safe alternative to dish soap is Castile soap, which is a natural product made from various oils, mainly olive oil. Dilute it to a ratio of 1 part Castile and 10 parts water.


Is Fabuloso safe for parrots? It’s uncertain whether Fabuloso is bird-friendly, so err on the side of caution and avoid this product around parrots.

How about other brands with natural, non-toxic ingredients? Is Perfect Green safe for parrots? There’s no reason to suspect this wouldn’t be harmful as the product contains nothing overtly dangerous.

Are Method cleaners safe for parrots? The good news is that method cleaning products won’t release toxic chemicals or fumes that could damage avian lungs.

F10 Disinfectant

F10 is a disinfectant widely utilized in veterinary clinics, animal shelters, and animal care facilities. The F10 range kills various pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and fungal spores.

Active ingredients like quaternary ammonium compounds and biguanides kill microorganisms. F10 disinfectants are considered bird-safe when the manufacturer’s instructions are followed.

Only use F10 in a well-ventilated area and let it dry before allowing birds on treated surfaces.

Virkon S

Virkon S is a disinfectant used in animal husbandry to control the spread of disease-causing pathogens.

The active ingredients are potassium peroxymonosulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, and sulfuric acid, which combine to kill viruses and disrupt the cell walls of bacteria and fungi.

Virkon S can disinfect bird cages and surfaces but allow them to dry after usage.

White Vinegar, Grapefruit Seed Oil, or Apple Cider Vinegar

White vinegar is nature’s way of eliminating bacteria, so dilute some and wipe down the parrot’s cage. Wash it off afterward, and allow time for the scent to evaporate.

We’re talking about pure vinegar, not malt vinegar, which isn’t bird-friendly. Use apple cider vinegar (ACV) instead if you dislike vinegar, diluting ACV to a 1:1 ratio.

Grapefruit seed extract can be used but won’t kill bacteria in a parrot’s cage.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is bird-friendly, but it’s also a potent abrasive. Sprinkle this on the cage floor, then wipe it away with a damp cloth or towel. Don’t leave baking soda around for the parrot to peck at or swallow.

Alternatively, mix baking soda with water and add it to a spray bottle—mix 3 tablespoons of baking water in 3 cups of warm (never hot or boiling) water. Apply 3 tablespoons of lemon juice for extra potency.

Steam Cleaning

A dedicated steam cleaner allows you to clean a cage without harming a parrot’s lungs and air sacs. Steam cleaning will strip away poop, decaying food, and mess that dish soap and water can’t.

Steam cleaning can be used in conjunction with other approaches. Disinfectants and heating in the home can dry out a parrot’s skin, but too much humidity through steam leads to mold growth.

Toxic Household Cleaners for Parrots

You’ll need to explore the components of each product and ensure that it doesn’t contain anything untoward. You need to avoid using any products that contain the following:

  • Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).
  • Chlorine.
  • Ammonia.
  • Phenolics (phenols).

Let’s take a closer look at each of these ingredients:


As discussed in Seminars in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine, parrots can get upper respiratory conditions. Unfortunately, aerosols can cause and aggravate respiratory problems, sometimes fatally.

Parrots don’t have a sense of smell to rival a cat or dog, but it’s still superior to humans. So, the use of aerosols can be distressing to a parrot.

Inhaling fumes, especially CFCs, can be life-threatening. Never spray antiperspirant or air freshener in a parrot’s room. Instead, use a roll-on deodorant and natural scent products.

Be mindful of spraying other cleaning products, like furniture polish.

The fumes can make their way into the parrot’s cage. If you must use these cleaning materials, move the parrot elsewhere temporarily and allow fresh air into the room.

Once the scents have dissipated, you can return the parrot’s cage to its normal location.

safe cleaning products to use around birds

Carpet Cleaners

Carpet shampoos often cause problems due to the fumes they emit. Chemicals like Perchloroethylene and Perchloroethylene are commonly used in dry carpet cleaning products.

If you get a carpet professionally cleaned, let the room air out for at least 24 hours, ideally longer.


Parrots must be housed away from bleach due to the fumes emitted, namely hypochlorous acid and chlorine gas, which are extremely dangerous.

The aroma of diluted bleach is intense, and the risk of respiratory problems is ever-present.

Laundry Detergents

Leading detergent brands contain carcinogens, air pollutants, and hormone disrupters, which compromise the air quality of our homes.

Some owners line parrots’ cages with towels, providing them somewhere soft to play, land, and sleep. However, wash anything you put in the cage with a parrot-safe cleaning substance.

Most laundry detergents contain synthetic fragrances, so personal laundry should be done with unscented tide pods to reduce the risk of detergent remnants. Also, avoid fabric softeners.

It’s also worth giving everything an additional spin to wash away residual chemicals.

Window Cleaners

If you use commercial chemicals to clean your windows, don’t use a product that contains ammonia because it’s deadly to parrots. It takes about 1 week for ammonia to dissipate.

If ammonia is combined with chlorine-containing water, chloramine gases will be released.

Use baking soda, white vinegar, and organic apple cider vinegar to clean a parrot’s cage and windows.

Use homemade parrot-safe cleaners to keep your home clean and sanitary. You can also use bird-safe cleaning products like Poop-off but put the parrot in a separate room before starting.