Sunday, March 25, 2012

Toenail Polish for Hummingbirds and Bottles to Get Fingers Stuck In...

I love springtime, but it does make for more cleaning. Perhaps it's because everything outside seems so fresh and new, and smells so wonderful, that it makes us take a good look around, and say... "eeewwww!"

Between cleaning out closets (time to put those jackets away, and yes, find the car keys) I always have to find time to work outside.  While trying to get the flowerbeds in order, I noticed that the hummingbird feeders that had been given to us by very dear friends had gotten... well... rather gross. Apparently they had been left out in the sun, sealed up, with a bit of water still inside. Again, "eeewwww."

I had never realized exactly how hard these were to clean until I watched my husband try to get the mold and mildew out of those feeder bottles. Now, this man can rewire a light fixture in under 5 minutes, and can fix a car (sometimes in less than a day), but cleaning is not exactly his forte. Of course, he wanted to see if I could do better.  Nothing like a little competetion before the second cup of coffee to get me going in the morning!

Now, when I have a challenge, especially with someone watching, I can get a bit creative.  The biggest problem with these bottles is that the opening is so tiny I couldn't get more than a pinky finger into them.  After several more (or less, mostly less) successful attempts to get those bottles clean, I found a great solution.  I used a little bit ~ about a tablespoon ~ of dishwashing liquid and about the same amount of coarse sea salt, poured into the bottle with a cup of really hot water. Using a finger as a stopper, I shook that bottle until the salt had scrubbed the mildew out of the bottle. It took a few rinses to get all the dishwashing liquid out, but the feeder bottles are clean!

A little coarse sea salt and some dishwashing liquid...
shake it in a bottle too small to get a brush in, and the salt
will help scrub the inside clean.

Now, we have two kinds of feeders (thank you Margaret!), one simple glass bottle with six of the red plastic flower feeders around the bottom, and the other a beautiful artistic copper and glass piece. Unfortunately, the hummingbirds fight over the red plastic one and generally leave the beautiful one alone, mostly because the flowers on the copper one are not bright red, but a pretty antique peach. While I love this feeder, I would like the birds to use it, as well. A simple solution: my favorite bright red nail enamel on the metal flowers.  I will have to let this cure at least a week before it can go outside, but the red is so bright that now the hummingbirds shouldn't have to fight over the larger one!

I will have to let the polish cure for a few days before it can go outside
but hopefully the hummingbirds will like the bright red flowers!

One more thing ready for spring!

1 comment:

  1. That's a great idea to paint the flowers with fingernail polish. I am so glad you are taking care of the hummers!