Cleaning the guinea pig cage or hutch is something you must expect to do on a regular basis. If you are a parent and the guinea pigs are your children's pets, you have to assume responsibility from the start because it is one of those jobs children often dislike doing (except for the first few times!)
In this article we will explain the best way to clean the cage, how regularly it needs to be done and we give you a tip on the best cage to buy if you want one that is easy to clean.
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How Often Should You Clean a Guinea Pig Cage?
A guinea pig's cage will need a daily clean to get rid of the poops and then a more thorough clean every 3-7 days depending on the type of bedding you use.
Baby guinea pigs will have smaller poops than more mature guinea pigs so you will find they may may need cleaning out a little more often as your guinea pigs grow up. Also, if you have 2 guinea pigs sharing a large area, this will mean the cage won't become soiled so quickly. You might find that they urinate or poop mostly in one area of the cage or hutch which makes the daily clean much quicker.
I don't know if this happens with all guinea pigs but when ours go back to their cage after it's been cleaned they show their appreciation by running around excitedly and popcorning. I think this demonstrates how much they enjoy a good, clean environment!
How to Spot Clean the Cage
The daily spot clean involves removing the poops and any bedding that has become soiled and damp. It depends on the bedding that you are using in the cage as to how easy this is. Some bedding, such as Fitch or Carefresh is very absorbent and won’t get damp too quickly.
If you use fleece, it has a tendency to get damp quicker but it is much easier to clean the poops as they sit on top of the fleece. You can either pick them up with your hands (you could put on rubber gloves if you prefer) or use a small dustpan and brush (only ever use for your cavies though).
In summary, to spot clean the guinea pig cage:
- Remove as many poops as you can
- Remove the wet, soiled bedding
- Add more bedding if necessary
How to do a Full Cage Clean
Before you begin to clean the cage, you will first need to put your guinea pigs in a safe enclosed area while you clean the cage or hutch. Make sure they are safe from any household pets and not in any danger of escaping. The pet pens are great for this or you can put them in a run.
Remove Soiled Bedding
Remove all the bedding and get rid of any poops, hay etc so that the cage is empty. If you have a recycling bin in your garden, you can put any soiled hay or wood/paper based bedding in there. If you use fleece, you must give the bedding a good shake outside to remove as much hair and hay as possible.
Clean with Water & Pet-Friendly Disinfectant
The disinfectant pictured above is the one we use. You can check out the price of this disinfectant on Amazon
You will need a bucket of water and and some pet-friendly disinfectant. Regular household cleaner should not be used as the chemicals in these products can be dangerous to your guinea pigs.
If you are cleaning a wooden hutch, you will need a scrubbing brush and perhaps an old toothbrush to give the wooden flooring a good scrub. The toothbrush will get into the corners and edges to give a thorough clean. This is especially useful when cleaning a wooden ladder.
If you’re cleaning a plastic cage, you will be able to do this with a cloth or kitchen paper but the toothbrush may also come in handy for certain areas such as corners. Spray the disinfectant around the cage (or on to the cloth) and clean thoroughly. Make sure your guinea pigs aren’t close by as it’s not good for them to breathe in the spray from these cleaning products.
If you have fabric hidey holes or fleece, you will need to shake out any poops or hay and put these into the washing machine for a thorough cleanse.
Put Fresh Bedding in the Cage
You should ensure that every part of the hutch or cage is absolutely clean and then leave it to dry. You could speed up this process by giving it a quick wipe over with a dry cloth to get the worst of the dampness out of the cage.
Once the housing is completely dry you can put in the fresh clean bedding and return the guinea pigs to their hutch or cage.
What is the Easiest Guinea Pig Cage to Clean
The easiest Guinea Pig housing to clean is a cage. Hutches take a bit more work and as they are usually outside you are sometimes battling against the weather too.
There is no self-cleaning option but probably the most easy cage to clean would be the Guinea Pig Habitat Plus.If you're interested in buying one of these cages you can check the price of the Guinea Pig Habitat here on Amazon.
We recommend this product because the top of the cage comes off easily and exposes the whole of the cage making access easy. You can also buy fleece liners made especially for this size so if you buy 2 you can easily just remove one give a good spray and wipe and pop in the new one while the other one is in the wash. This makes the whole process so much easier.
The readymade fleece liner that fits these cages perfectly are made by Guineadad and you can check the price of GuineaDad fleeces here on Amazon.
You can find out lots of information on how to wash fleece liners and keep them smelling fresh and clean here...