Stainless Steel or Plastic? What’s The Best Parrot Food Bowl?
I’m just going to say it straight away…
Stainless steel is a much better parrot bowl choice than plastic.
Now, you’re probably wondering why stainless steel is the better option, you could also be wondering why people still use plastic bowls for their parrots even when stainless steel is better.
Well, we’re about to get into that… right now!
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Why People Use Plastic Parrot Bowls
So many bird owners still use plastic food and water bowls, even with the huge variety of bird-safe stainless steel bowls available to choose from.
A few possible reasons include:
- They are unaware of the dangers of plastic bowls
- They are currently getting stainless steel bowls
Probably the most common reason people still use plastic bowls is that they are included in most cages when purchased.
Having these bowls included with a newly purchased cage gives some owners the idea that they are safe.
I should know, I used the plastic bowls included in the cage for a while when I first adopted my cockatiel.
I then learned how bad they are and switched to stainless steel immediately.
The reason these harmful plastic bowls are included in bird cages instead of stainless steel bowls is because they are cheaper.
As greedy as that sounds, it’s true.
It’s much cheaper to give plastic bowls for free than it is to give stainless steel bowls away for free.
I can hear you asking “But why are plastic bowls so bad?”.
Let me answer that for you…
Why Plastic Bowls Are BAD For Parrots
This is what a regular plastic parrot bowl looks like, this was included in the cage I purchased:
I don’t use this bowl anymore but I still kept it for some reason.
As you can see from the image above, the plastic bowls have 90-degree angle corners, which are very difficult to clean.
Chances are, you won’t be able to clean these corners well enough to prevent germs from spreading.
This is what my stainless steel bowl looks like:
Stainless steel parrot bowls do not have those pesky corners and can therefore be cleaned much more effectively.
If you don’t already have some, you can buy a pair of these stainless steel bowls on Amazon.
These are the same ones I use 🙂
Germs and bacteria can easily hide in the deepest parts of the corners of the plastic bowl, which can make your parrot sick if they ingest it.
Even the deepest scrubs are often not enough to effectively remove 100% of germs from plastic bowls.
It’s just too hard to reach those corners.
Dry foods, wet foods, and water can all generate bacteria within the bowl they are left in, it’s simply much easier to remove germs from stainless steel bowls.
How To Wash Your Parrots Bowls
Here’s a short step-by-step guide on cleaning your parrots’ bowls so they are 100% germs free and clean:
- 1) Empty food or water from the bowl
- 2) Rinse the bowl with hot water
- 3) Add dish detergent to the bowl and fill it up with soapy water
- 4) Give the bowl a hard scrub using a scrubber with soapy water
- 5) Let the soap soak in the bowl for at least 5 minutes
- 6) Thoroughly rinse the bowl with hot water
- 7) Rinse the bowl again to ensure all soap is removed [IMPORTANT!]
- 8) Dry the bowl with something that hasn’t been used on anything else
- 9) Restore fresh food or water to the bowl
Can you see how much more difficult cleaning would be using a plastic bowl?
Both bacteria and soap would have a high chance of lingering in the corners of the plastic bowls, which is dangerous for parrots.
Stainless steel is much safer and easier to clean.
Consequences Of Germ Filled Bowls
Eating or drinking from bowls contaminated with bacteria is dangerous for parrots, they can suffer from a range of different illnesses if they regularly ingest harmful bacteria.
Bowls left unwashed for long periods can contaminate the food or water stored within, making them dangerous to consume.
Having a dirty or contaminated water bowl can also make your parrot not want to drink, which can possibly lead to them dying of thirst.
Parrots would rather not drink at all than drink dirty water, especially if the water is visibly dirty or slimy with biofilm.
Biofilm is the slime we feel after the water has been in the bowl for a while, it’s a harmful bacteria that must be removed.
It can easily be removed following the 9-step bowl cleaning process above.
The cleaning process is much easier to follow using stainless steel bowls, simply switching to the safer option can save you an unpleasant trip to the vet.
Stainless steel bowls are 10x better than cheap, nasty plastic bowls.
This is because stainless steel is much easier to clean than plastic.
Plastic bowls have hard-to-clean corners while stainless steel parrot bowls have rounded corners, which are much easier to clean.
The corners of plastic bowls are ideal hiding spots for harmful germs and bacteria.
That bacteria, if ingested by your parrot, can cause sickness and bacterial infections.
Many people use plastic bowls because they were included in the cage they purchased, which gives them the idea that they are ok to use.
This idea couldn’t be further from the truth, which you now know.
Just because they are included in bird products, does not necessarily mean they are good for your bird.
I mean, just look at those happy huts or those other birds nest type toys, those are definitely not good for your parrot, yet they are available for purchase.
Again, not all bird products are products you should buy for your bird, this goes double for plastic bowls.
Do you still own plastic bowls?