Cleaning a hamster’s cage is not one of the glamorous or fun parts of owning a hamster, but it’s one of the most important things you can do to ensure they life a happy, safe, and comfortable life. Ultimately if you had to spend every day of your life in a small, confined space you would want it clean, so it’s important to give the same luxury to your furry friend.
In the following article, we’ll provide answers on the best way to clean a hamster’s cage, how often you should do it, what’s safe and what should be avoided, as well as a few other of the most common questions asked about regular cleaning.
To make this article easier to read and get the information you need, we’ve added a table of contents below. Feel free to click on any of the links below to be taken directly to that section in the article.
And without further ado, let’s talk about the best way to clean a hamster cage.
What is the Best Way to Clean a Hamster Cage?
If you’re going to clean a hamster cage, you should do it regularly and do it right. We’ll talk about how often to clean a cage in the next section, but in this section we’re going to talk about how to do it right.
Time needed: 15 minutes
Follow the steps outlined below for the best and easiest way to clean a hamster cage:
- Remove the hamster, all the toys and accessories
The first thing to do is to remove everything out of the cage that you don’t want cleaned, including your furry friend. In a section further down, we’ll talk about where to put your hamster while you’re cleaning their cage, but for everything else, including their toys and accessories, you’ll want to keep them close by so you can clean them as well.
- Throw out all the existing bedding
When cleaning the cage, you should always throw out any of the bedding that is already there. It just makes sense that you want to start fresh with an entirely new set of bedding that isn’t spoiled or old. After you clean the cage, you’ll add a new layer of fresh bedding to their cage.
- Clean the cage with warm, soapy water
After the cage has been emptied of your hamster, toys, accessories, and bedding, it’s time to clean it with soap and water. Always make sure to use hamster safe soap or soap that is safe for small animals. Normally this type of soap is free of fragrances and chemicals that are harmful to your furry friend. Then create a soapy liquid mixture and use it to scrub and clean every inch of the cage, including the bottom, top, and sides.
- Rinse the cage completely free of any soap
After cleaning the cage with the soapy water, rinse it completely free of any soap. While the soap should be hamster safe, you still don’t want your furry friend ingesting any of it when you put them back in their cage. You should rinse it at least two times to be sure it’s completely free of soap.
- Dry the cage and put the bedding back in
After rinsing the cage, you should dry it with a towel and ensure it’s completely dry before putting anything back inside. Once it’s completely dry, place a new layer of fresh bedding in the bottom.
- Place your hamster, toys, and accessories back inside
Finally, place your hamster, their toys, and any accessories, such as water bottles and igloos back into their cage. And you’re all done!
Cleaning a hamster’s cage is a fairly easy and seamless process, but it’s important to do it correctly to make sure your hamster is safe, comfortable, and happy in their new sparkly clean environment.
How Often Should You Clean a Hamster Cage?
You should do a light cleaning of your hamster’s cage at least once a week and a thorough cleaning with soap and water at least once every 2 weeks. You may need to do spot cleaning once every 2 days, but a thorough cleaning is only needed bi-weekly.
One of the most common questions about cleaning a hamster’s cage is how often it should happen. It can depend based on your hamster’s habits, how many hamsters are in the cage, and a few other factors, but it really comes down to ensuring your hamster has a clean and comfortable home to live in each day.
As a general rule of thumb, you should always do spot cleaning as soon as you see a need. That means when you see a soiled area, wet bedding, or spilled food/water you should remove that bedding and replace it with new, fresh bedding.
Besides spot cleaning, you should do a light cleaning once a week. That means cleaning any dust, dirt, or residue off of their cage and fixing up their water bottle, igloos, hamster wheel, and other accessories. Think of this once a week cleaning as a type of tidying up. If something looks out of place or in need of a cleaning go ahead and do it once a week.
And finally, you should do a deep cleaning once every 2 weeks. That means following the steps outlined in the section above by removing your hamster and all their toys and accessories, scrubbing the cage with soap and water, rinsing, and completely replacing the bedding with a fresh layer. This will ensure the cage never gets too dirty because after all your hamster is the one who has to live in it 24/7.
How often to clean a hamster cage really depends on how dirty it gets, but if you follow the steps above and be proactive about cleaning you can rest assured that your hamster will always have a clean home to live in each day.
Can You Clean a Hamster Cage with Clorox Wipes?
You should not clean your hamster’s cage with Clorox wipes because those wipes are toxic to your furry friend and their little bodies. Instead use a solution of water and a hamster safe soap to clean their cage.
A general rule of thumb when it comes to hamsters is that when you put something in their cage, they will attempt to ingest it. That includes toys, accessories, and even chewing the bars of their cage. But you may not think about Clorox wipes because you remove the wipe when you’re finished cleaning, however the chemicals from the wipe will linger on their cage bars, toys, and accessories.
And when ingested those chemicals can cause serious health issues. Just imagine if you or your child licked a Clorox wipe. That seems unfathomable and unsafe, but if you use a Clorox wipe to clean your hamster’s cage, you can be sure that your hamster will likely ingest those chemicals.
As a result, it’s best to use a hamster safe cleaning solution or soap to clean their cage instead of Clorox wipes. You can keep the Clorox wipes to clean other items in your home, but when it comes to your hamster you should choose a safer cleaning solution.
Where to Put Your Hamster When Cleaning Their Cage
When cleaning your hamster’s cage, you should put them in a safe place and that can include a number of different areas, including a small gated off area, their hamster ball, or bathtub with the drain plugged. As long as they are confined and safe, it’s a good spot.
A common question when it comes to cleaning a hamster’s cage is where to put them when you’re doing a deep clean. Since cleaning their cage only takes about 15 minutes, you don’t need to find the perfect spot, but instead a spot that will keep them happy and safe for the small amount of time it takes.
There’s no perfect answer here because ultimately it depends on one factor, which is their safety. And ultimately that means they are confined and can’t escape and get lost in your home and they are safe from other animals, such as cats or dogs. If you find an unconventional spot that meets that criteria, it’s a good spot to keep your hamster when cleaning their cage.
Some good spots may include:
- Small, gated off area
- Hamster ball
- Large storage box
Really the list could go on and on, but it ultimately depends on what you have in your house. Just make sure that the spot you choose is confined so your hamster can’t escape and safe from other animals. And most importantly, you should never leave your hamster outside when cleaning their cage due to the possibility of wild animals catching sight of your furry friend.
Can a Hamster Die From a Dirty Cage?
While it’s unlikely, if a cage is dirty enough it can harbor bacteria that can lead to serious illness or death. That’s why you should regularly clean your hamster’s cage to prevent any sickness from occurring.
It seems unlikely that a dirty or cluttered cage will cause a hamster’s death, but it’s not unheard of because of bacteria. Dirty cages that aren’t cleaned very often become breeding grounds for harmful bacteria, which can lead to sickness in your furry friend. And if it becomes bad enough, that sickness can ultimately lead to their untimely death.
One thing that’s often forgotten about with hamsters is how their small bodies are affected by things that wouldn’t necessarily affect a full sized adult. While you may not get sick from a hamster’s dirty cage, if you had to live in your own bathroom without plumbing, you would probably get sick as well if you weren’t diligent about cleaning.
That’s why it’s so important to regularly spot clean their cage, do a light cleaning once a week, and a deep clean once every 2 weeks. To clean a hamster’s cage thoroughly, you can follow the instructions outlined earlier in this article.
If you’re interested in reading more about cleaning a hamster cage and related products that were discussed in the sections above, check out the following links for additional reading:
- Complete Guide to Hamster Behavior – The Pet Property
- Hamster Safe Soap – Amazon.com
- Hamster Bedding – Amazon.com
- The Best Place to Put a Hamster Cage – The Pet Property
And there you have it! By finishing this article, you should know exactly how to clean your hamster’s cage, how often, what’s safe, what’s not safe, and where to keep your hamster when cleaning. Really there’s not a lot to know about cleaning a cage, but it’s important that you follow the proper steps and avoid potential issues that can lead to sickness or your hamster’s untimely demise.
Just remember that the most important thing to remember is that you should always have your hamster’s safety and comfort as a top priority. That means no Clorox wipes and choosing a safe spot to keep them when you are cleaning their cage.
It’s fulfilling being the guardian of a hamster, but also comes with a lot of responsibility. But by asking the right questions and doing the research, you’re well on your way to being a great hamster owner.