How to clean a hamster cage or guinea pig cage

Read on for our guide to cleaning a hamster cage or guinea pig cage, including which products to use.

Updated 2 September 2019

hamster in a blue cage

Key steps

  • Spot-clean every day.
  • Clean the cage thoroughly once a week.
  • Make sure your pet is safe during cleaning.
  • Only clean half of the big items, such as toys.
  • Use antibacterial soap and hot water.
  • Make sure you rinse away all traces of soap.
  • Use white vinegar for lingering odours.

Hamsters and guinea pigs make fun and cute little pets, but their cages can get very smelly, unhygienic, and unhealthy if they're left unwashed for too long! Here you can find tips on how often you should clean a guinea pig cage or hamster cage, what cleaning products to use, and a step-by-step cleaning guide. Click here for more tips on taking care of your hamster.

 To clean out your hamster or guinea pig cage, it’s best to use warm water with a sponge and antibacterial spray from Cif.

How often should you clean a hamster cage or guinea pig cage?

How often do you clean a hamster cage? Is your guinea pig being cleaned out enough? If you’re not doing it regularly enough, you could cause your furry friend to become stressed or ill. Here we’ll answer FAQs to clear up everything you need to know about keeping your little critter clean and happy.

How often should I clean my hamster's cage?

How often to clean a hamster cage or guinea pig cage depends on how soiled your pet gets.

  • You should be spot-cleaning once a day to prevent a build-up of dirt that becomes uncontrollable, and to keep your pet happy and healthy.
  • Remove uneaten fresh food every day to prevent fungi and bacteria from growing in the cage.
  • The whole cage should be cleaned at least once a week.
  • If your hamster or guinea pig chooses to go for wees and poos all over the cage instead of in one specific area, you may need to clean it out more often.
 

When should I clean out my hamster or guinea pig cage?

To prevent your hamster or guinea pig becoming stressed, try to ensure that you are cleaning out the cage at the same time every time. Choose a day that suits you and stick to it each week.

When it comes to understanding how to clean a guinea pig cage or hamster cage, there are a few simple steps for you to follow:

  • Put your pet into a playpen or hamster ball (this is a great way to encourage them to get some exercise, too!).
  • Make sure you check on them throughout the cleaning process to ensure you don’t have an escapee or a pet in trouble.
  • Give your guinea pig somewhere to hide, such as a small cardboard box.
  • Make sure there are no loud noises or bigger pets around that could scare your hamster or guinea pig.
  • Remove half of the larger items from the cage and place in a washing up bowl with hot, soapy water to clean them. The other half should smell like your pet so do not clean them all at once. We recommend alternating the washing so every item is cleaned once every two weeks.
  • Use clean, hot, soapy water clean the food dish and water bottle. Take care to also clean the mouth piece.
  • Rinse all items thoroughly to remove all traces of soap.
  • Scoop out litter, discarded food and any other dirty solids from the bottom of the cage.
  • Using antibacterial soap and a sponge, scrub the cage. This includes the interior and wire bars.
  • Leave it to sit for 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Rinse well with clean water.
  • Dry using clean paper towels.
  • Put the hamster cage back together. This includes:
  1. Placing down new bedding and litter.
  2. Refilling the water bottle and dry food dish.
  3. Putting all its homely features back in their usual spot, including the ones that have not been washed.
 

My hamster or guinea pig cage smells, what can I do?

If there is an issue with unpleasant odours coming from your hamster cage, simply wipe it down with white vinegar and leave to air dry before putting in new litter and replacing all the washed parts.

With this simple guide, you now have everything you need to know about cleaning a hamster cage or guinea pig cage so you can enjoy your little furry friend. Plus, keep your fishy friends healthy, hygienic and happy as well with our guide on how to clean a fish tank.

Originally published 22 August 2019