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    brandy681's Avatar
    brandy681 Posts: 295, Reputation: 26
    Full Member

    May 31, 2007, 10:52 PM
    Is dye in bird toys safe? How to clean bird toys?
    I am usually the one that helps other people with their cockatiel or bird questions but this time I am the one that needs help. I have cockatiel birds and I have many bird toys that I buy from Walmart and PetsMart and the other day when cleaning my bird cage I decided to wash the toys with water and when I did A LOT of dye started coming off the toy and I wanted to make sure that it is safe. I know this is probably stupid because it must be made of food coloring that is safe but when I kept wiping it with a towel the dye kept coming off. Now I have had cockatiels for years and I usually throw the toys away and replace them instead of washing them but this particular toy I just bought a month prior. Also I have another toy that I bought about a year ago and I left it in the cage when I hosed it down and I didn't see any dye coming off but again I wasn't paying much attention. I know that it is safe to wash them but I wanted to make sure that the dye coming off will not hurt my birds and I also read where you need to disinfect bird toys and all I use is hot water. I don't want to harm the birds so is there any safe bird toy cleaner that I can use because my birds chew on the wood and that is why I am concerned about the dye as well as a cleaner I can use. Thanks for any help that you can provide me with and I will leave a positive rating who all that provide any little help as possible!
    DocWill's Avatar
    DocWill Posts: 239, Reputation: 40
    Full Member

    Jun 2, 2007, 11:49 PM
    I kept this question in mind because I wasn't sure myself, So I saw my friend a well known bird vet. She calls me names and I don't really like her much because she is mean! But she did mention the dyes used in most bird toys are are food color based. She also said rubbing alcohol is what she uses to clean with. I didn't know the answers to these either. Learn something new all the time.

    She has been avoiding the ER because she owes me beer money. I am the rock scissors paper champ!
    stargazer10's Avatar
    stargazer10 Posts: 68, Reputation: 6
    Junior Member

    Jun 3, 2007, 12:01 AM
    I always just use like dish soap and hot water and let them soak. I think as long as you rinse the toy well after soaping it up and dry it completely before putting it back in the cage, it is not going to hurt the bird.

    As for the dye, I'm thinking that there wouldn't be as many bird toys which are dyed on the market if it wasn't safe. The dye hasn't killed my parakeet!
    DocWill's Avatar
    DocWill Posts: 239, Reputation: 40
    Full Member

    Jun 3, 2007, 12:25 AM
    Cool to know dishsoap works with proper rinsing, I personaly don't know a lot about birds. I have a good friend that is a Bird Vet an I joke with her constantly I wouldn't let her treat my cats, she says fine I wouldn't even let you feed my birds, lol
    She is probably right I wouldn't know how!
    jennapbt's Avatar
    jennapbt Posts: 131, Reputation: 19
    Junior Member

    Jun 6, 2007, 09:43 PM
    Yeah I've done that many times with my toys. It freaked me out the first time I went into the bathroom and saw a sink full of this swamp colored water. I just squeeze the toys real good w/ a towel and put them back in the cage. They have never been caused any problems just the faded look :P. I used just regular hand soap and hot water and let them soak.
    brandy681's Avatar
    brandy681 Posts: 295, Reputation: 26
    Full Member

    Jun 7, 2007, 02:17 AM
    Thanks so much for the reasurrance and for letting me know... I know that I seen the faded look also on the toys and the dye on the sink kind of worried me.
    Capuchin's Avatar
    Capuchin Posts: 5,255, Reputation: 656
    Uber Member

    Jun 7, 2007, 04:41 AM
    In general, the reason we use more toxic coloring is because it has other desirable properties i.e. it's a more permanent dye.

    If safe dyes were more permanent we would use safe dyes all the time! The fact that yours is coming out suggests that it would be safe.
    mrssittingduck's Avatar
    mrssittingduck Posts: 151, Reputation: 24
    Junior Member

    Jun 16, 2007, 03:09 PM
    As stated the dye on wooden toys in edible food coloring which is non toxic..

    However when it comes to plastic toys and drinkers we have a different problem,
    Most plastics are colored with various different dyes and chemicals and some contain cyanide which is as most of you know a highly toxic poison.. different color plastics contain different chemicals to produce the colors they want,

    In order to rid plastic toys of their toxicity it is a simple process, you soak them in boiling water, or use a very hot water and a mild bleach solution,

    Also we have the problems of the anti algea bird drinkers that are on sale nowadays these need to be thoroughly soaked in disinfectant or mild bleach solution and scrubbed out before use as they could lead to problems,

    This has been a topic that has been printed in the cage and aviary birds magazine before now and not just hear say, so please make sure all plastic toys and drinkers are washed well before use in order to get rid of the coating that can come off in the water or when wet i.e. after a bird baths it can get the toy wet...

    Wooden ones are not a problem at all...

    Hope this helps, will try and get a link to a topic we had on site about these :)
    mrssittingduck's Avatar
    mrssittingduck Posts: 151, Reputation: 24
    Junior Member

    Jun 16, 2007, 03:15 PM
    Help And This Time I'm Not Joking, Birds Ill - UK Birdkeepers Message Board

    Here is the link to the info onsite :)


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