I use a mild bleach solution on the waterers for chicks and grown birds, too. Of course I rinse well, but since there is already chlorine in most water supplies I don't see anything wrong with the minor residue in the waterer. Actually, we used to have a cistern that we used to fill the chicken waterer and we put a bit of bleach in to keep it from growing stuff while it sat. No ill effects.
thanks for all the info. i have an fyi that may help in other areas also. we just moved from nw missouri 8 months ago to texas. in the area we lived in, in Mo., most of the wells were on the bad side. it was a normal practice to dump bleach into the well to 'sweeten' it. on the well system we are on in texas we get the 'rotten egg' smell from the hot water heater. it is caused by the chemical reaction to the aluminum sacrificial annode that comes in ALL water heaters. (yes, we replaced heater a month ago and it is coming back). the temporary fix is to put bleach or hydrogen peroxide into the tank to neutralize the hydrogen sulfide gas the annode reaction produces. there is also an electrical sacrificial annode that sells for about $230 that won't produce any reaction. there are several websites that cover the info in more depth. not all wells will produce the bad smell of course.
many thanks to silkiechicken for the pm.
Here's what I do: Firstly, have the waterer off the ground so turds don't get tracked into the water. That alone helps immensely. Next, I pick up my waterer, take it to the mud room sink (not the kitchen sink where you could pass alone salmonella) and I dump all old water out. I then rinse the unit inside and out with hot water briefly. I then grab my handy dandy water sprayer bottle which is filled with undiluted household bleach. I turn the faucet off, dump out all water, and then mist the waterer with bleach. I give it a few seconds and then start a little hot water on it and begin swishing it around in a circle. This only takes a few seconds. I then thoroughly rinse and fill the waterer with fresh water. I've done this with 3 old chicks on up. It takes seconds, and you have the peace of mind of knowing that waterer is safe.
As a home brewer of fine SC homebrew beer, I can tell you that 2 TBSP of bleach to 5 gallons of water is enuff to sanitize my equipment. I think a small amount of bleach to water will sanitize anything. I use dish detergent to wash my waterers and just rinse several times.