In the whirlwind excitement of bringing home your tiny furbaby, cage cleaning and maintenance may not be the first things to spring to mind as a new piggy parent. Admittedly, guinea pigs are only little floofs, and you may even have chosen one because they’re less high-maintenance than a dog or a cat. That said, you’ll still need to dedicate daily and weekly time to keeping their piggy palace fresh and tidy.
Not only is a well-maintained environment more pleasant for you and your piggies, but a clean living space is also vital for your guinea pig’s health. In particular, a clean cage keeps respiratory conditions at bay, which otherwise could add up to some expensive vet bills. Or, even worse, shorten the lifespan of your poor piggy.
Here at Kavee, our brand was born out of a realisation that piggies deserved better living spaces than what was previously available on the market. Through developing our own unique range of piggy products with animal welfare at the forefront, we like to think that we know a thing or two about proper cage maintenance!
So read on for our top recommended practices for guinea pig cage cleaning.
How do I Clean my Guinea Pig’s Cage?
Cleaning your piggy’s cage doesn’t have to be an overly time-consuming chore. You’ll just want to follow a few specific steps in order to keep your cavy’s cage spick and span, as well as being mindful of the products that you use.
The best way to keep your piggy’s cage clean
You can clean your guinea pig’s cage in just 5 minutes following the simple step-by-step process below:
- Take your guinea pig out of their cage and set them down in a pet-safe area.
- Give your piggy someplace safe to hide while you clean their cage (preferably with some fleece liners or pee pads in case of any wees and poops during this time).
- Remove everything from their cage, including all of their hideys, toys, leftover hay, food bowl, and water bottle.
- On non-laundry days, tilt their fleece liner so that any poop, leftover food and dirt are gathered into one spot.
- Use a mini vacuum to pick up the poop on the liner, then finish up with a brush and dustpan for any loose hay piles.
- Next, spray down the coroplast base (plus any toys) with a pet-safe cleaning product. Tip: for a natural cleaner, use a distilled white vinegar and water solution.
- Pop their fleece liner back in the cage. On laundry days, follow the above steps but replace with a new liner at this stage and put the soiled one in the wash.
- After this, place their toys, hideys, and hay back in their cage.
- Make sure your piggy has plenty of hay. They’ll also require a fresh water bottle, as well as a clean food bowl that’s been topped up with some new leafy greens.
What to use to clean your guinea pig’s cage?
If you own a piggy, then you’ll know that they are sensitive souls. And their respiratory and immune systems are no different! Guinea pigs aren’t as hardy as us humans, so you should factor this into your cleaning routine accordingly, making sure that it is both thorough yet suitably gentle for your delicate floof.
In particular, you should avoid any harsh cleaning products that contain ammonia, bleach, and synthetic fragrances. These can contain hundreds of nasty chemicals that aren’t always safe for your furry little friend. Chemical cleaners aren’t good for you to breathe in, and they certainly aren’t good for guinea pigs.
Vinegar is also a great cleaning solution for guinea pig cages, which is both natural and pet-friendly. It works really well on the coroplast of our C&C cages, and you can also add it to your fleece laundry loads to help sanitize and deodorize your dirty cage liners.
Guinea pig cage cleaning hacks
Firstly, we’d advise choosing a cage that comes apart and is easy to clean. If possible, opt for a cage without a lid as it means one less step with easy access (however, please note that you absolutely must have a cage with a lid for your piggy’s safety if there are larger animals in your household). It also helps to have a cage on a stand so that you aren’t having to constantly bend down and hurt your back.
Check out our extensive range of C&C cages - there are plenty of designs which will make your life a whole lot easier!
If you’ve always used paper or wood shavings for bedding, then consider transitioning to fleece liners for the ultimate plush piggy decor as well as speedy cleaning. Fleece liners not only help to prevent respiratory problems (that can be exacerbated by wood shavings), but they also look gorgeous and come in loads of fun, cute designs.
Where possible, have a garbage can near your piggy’s cage for hassle-free spot cleaning. It will also help to keep a mini vacuum on hand to dispose of poop quickly and effectively between deep cage cleans.
You can browse our variety of handy storage boxes that can be placed right under your guinea pig cage. These are great places to neatly hide away your cavy cage-cleaning supplies. Not only will you instantly know where they are when you need them, but, even better, you won’t have any excuses not to get started!
It can be easy to let life get in the way and then have to spend hours doing deep cleans because you didn’t keep on top of things day-to-day. To take out the brainwork, set yourself a daily and weekly cleaning schedule (you can even set a reminder on your phone) - this way, you’ll never let things build up or get out of hand.
How Often Should I Clean My Guinea Pig’s Cage?
As with grooming your guinea pig, there are cleaning routines that should be carried out every week, as well as some requiring your attention every day.
Every week (deep clean)
Your piggy’s home should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a week. Follow the below steps for a pristine piggy palace:
- Remove your guinea pig’s soiled fleece bedding. You can either clean up the poops within the cage, or else shake them off into the garbage after you take out the fleece liner - whatever works best for you. Use a stiff brush to remove any lingering hairs, hay, and droppings from the fleece. Tip: a lint roller may work even better when it comes to removing stubborn hairs.
- Fill a spray bottle with a solution of half water, half white vinegar. Spritz over the now-exposed coroplast base of your cage before wiping with a clean cloth.
- Empty the kitchen/litter pan areas, remove them from the cage, and clean them thoroughly with the vinegar solution.
- Put the used fleece liner in the laundry with a clean and clear detergent. It also helps to add half to a full cup of vinegar, which will assist with odor control and disinfecting. Tumble dry on high heat, but take care not to add dryer sheets or fabric conditioners during the washing process. This is because you want to keep the fleece as porous as possible, and additives will only clog up the fibrous pores. Always make sure to clean your dryer’s lint trap out after every load.
- Put down a fresh fleece liner on top of the clean coroplast surface.
- Wash your piggy’s water bottle and its nozzle with a bottle brush, before topping up with fresh drinking water and fixing it back again at a suitable height on the bars of their cage.
- Replace their hay rack with plentiful fresh hay.
- Clean any cozies as necessary, and make sure that any potty pads are clean and dry.
Every day (spot clean)
Alongside your weekly jobs, which include thoroughly cleaning your piggy’s habitat and accessories, spot cleaning should also be carried out daily. This can be done by removing soiled litter and bedding with a small food or litter scoop. You can use our Swept Off Your Paws Dustpan & Brush set to tidy up any loose dirt, hay, and poop in one go. Follow the below steps for a happy and hygienic piggy:
- Guinea pigs like to nibble and poop - a lot! Take care to remove any excess food and waste so that it doesn’t mount up.
- Remove any loose hay piles and replace with fresh hay (if outside a hay rack).
- When using a fleece liner, pick up any stray poops by using a stiff brush and dustpan or a mini vacuum cleaner.
- Scoop out and dispose of any wet, soiled sections in your cavy’s kitchen area to ensure sanitary munching. You can either stir up the remaining clean bedding, or add more fresh, dry bedding (as appropriate).
- Replace any wet pee pads, where necessary.
- Give the hay rack a top-up - it should always be full to overflowing for your eager nibbler.
- Keep water bottles topped up at all times with clean, fresh drinking water
We hope that these guinea pig cage cleaning hacks help you simplify this so-important part of caring for guinea pigs. Keeping on top of all daily and weekly cleaning tasks doesn't just keep your home tidy, it also keeps your furry friends healthy and happy.