Are you wondering how to clean guinea pig fleece bedding?
Maintaining hygiene can be tricky for guinea pig owners, especially when you switch from disposable beddings, such as wood shavings, to fleece.
I ruined a few fleece beddings until I learned my lesson, so I’m here to provide an ultimate guide on how to wash guinea pig fleece bedding to help you avoid my mistakes.
Just keep reading.
Table of Contents
- Removing hairs and debris is one of the most important parts of washing guinea pigs’ bedding and keeping the guinea pig cage clean.
- When cleaning guinea pig fleece, you should use a proper detergent to kill bacteria and germs.
- Daily debris scooping and weekly washings are essential for a clean cage and healthy guinea pigs.
8 Steps to Clean Guinea Pig’s Fleece Bedding
Many pet owners pick fleece as an alternative bedding for guinea pigs because it’s made of several layers of fabric to keep your pet warm and absorbs well.
But sooner or later, you must clean your cage fleece liners because they’ll get wet and stink the entire cage. And guinea pigs can get hypothermia if they sleep on wet surfaces, according to specialists. (1)
Fortunately, washing your cavies’ soft fleece bedding is pretty straightforward. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do fleece laundry.
#1 Gather the Necessities
You need a few things to clean your cavy’s bedding but don’t worry. You probably have everything necessary in your home:
- Washing machine/Dryer
- Rubber comb (curry comb), stiff brush, or a handheld vacuum cleaner
- Laundry detergent/Cleaning powder
#2 Remove Debris
You can’t just toss the bedding in the washing machine. First, remove loose hairs, shavings, and other food debris from the material.
Otherwise, you’ll find lots of hair left in the washing machine and won’t be able to get rid of all the unpleasant smells.
Shake the bedding outside, use a rubber comb to pick up the debris, or vacuum it. Some guinea pig owners also use lint brushes or whisk brooms.
#3 Pick the Right Laundry Detergent
Cavies have sensitive skin and an excellent sense of smell, so you need to pick a laundry detergent that won’t trigger an allergic reaction. The best option is a non-biological unscented detergent.
Still, a mild detergent without a strong smell can also work. But watch your piggy for any signs of allergies or other skin conditions.
#4 Put the Bedding In the Washing Machine
Once you have removed the debris, you can toss the dirty bedding in the washing machine. Of course, please don’t mix it with any human clothes.
Add a quarter cup of vinegar or bleach to the wash cycle to kill bacteria and other potential germs. Fleece is colorfast, which means its color won’t fade when bleached.
#5 Set the Washing Machine
Set the washing cycle to high heat. In combination with vinegar, hot water is the best way to kill bacteria and germs in fleece blankets/liners.
To avoid detergent buildup, which can be harmful to your cavies, you should run a rinse cycle occasionally.
#6 Dry the Wet Fleece Bedding
You’ve got two options to dry the fleece:
- Put it in the dryer at a low or medium heat setting.
- Wait for it to air dry.
- If you use a dryer, don’t forget to clean the lint trap.
#7 Clean the Washing Machine
If you don’t use a dedicated washing machine for pets, you’ll have to do a bit of spot cleaning to remove pet hair and debris from inside the machine.
Like in this video, I use wet wipes or put the bedding into a laundry bag to keep the washing machine clean and hair-free.
#8 Put the Bedding Back in the Cage
Once all layers of fleece are dry, you can put the bedding back in your guinea pig cage. Quality fleece bedding can last up to 1-2 weeks before you have to do laundry again.
And now, I’ve got some additional tips on cleaning guinea pig fleece bedding. So, don’t stop reading.
Be sure to check out my awesome articles on “How Often to Clean Guinea Pig Cage,” “Best Guinea Pig Fleece Liners,” and “Best Guinea Pig Bedding for Odor Control” for some fantastic tips and tricks. Your furry little friends will thank you!
5 Tips for Cleaning Guinea Pig Bedding
You can make washing your cavies’ bedding a lot easier. Just keep these five essential tips in mind.
#1 Regular Cage Cleaning Is a Must!
As specialists from RSPCA explain, “It is important to regularly change bedding and floor material and clean out the enclosures to avoid ammonia build-up from urine.” (2)
You should remove the guinea pig’s waste daily and wash the bedding weekly to keep the cage clean.
#2 Prewash the Fleece Cage Liners Before First Use
Fleece has a water barrier, so prewash the material in hot water to open the fleece’s pores. Keep in mind it may take a few washing to achieve maximum absorbency properties.
Get several sets of liners, so you have fresh bedding available in emergencies. And check this video to see how to make DIY fleece bedding for your sweet cavy!
#3 Don’t Use Fabrics Softener
You shouldn’t use fabric softener or dryer sheets. They contain residue which builds on the bedding and blocks the absorbent layer.
But don’t panic if you have already used fabric softener. Just wash the bedding with clean water and vinegar/bleach to restore the wicking properties.
#4. Check the Manufacturer’s Cleaning Guidelines
Many types of fleece liners exist, so to ensure you don’t damage the absorbent material, check the manufacturer’s washing instructions.
#5 Take Care of High-Traffic Areas
Not all types of bedding have a waterproof layer. So, it’s best to put some waterproof padded liners in high-traffic areas, such as under water bottles, hay feeders, and sleeping hideouts.
1. How long does guinea pig fleece last?
With proper care and under normal usage conditions, fleece should last a few years. But it depends on how many guinea pigs you have and how much they use the bedding.
2. How often should you wash fleece liners?
You should wash the liners every 4-7 days. Don’t forget to clean urine leaks from the bottom of the cage and remove poop and debris.
3. Do guinea pigs prefer bedding or fleece?
Cavies like soft bedding materials like fleece, paper, fleece blankets, or wood shavings. Don’t use anything with sharp edges, such as litter.
Fleece is among the best traditional bedding options for cavies because it’s reusable, easy to clean in a washing machine, and available in plenty of online stores.
It’s also a great way to reduce your pet’s carbon footprint, protect piggies with sensitive respiratory systems, and keep guinea pigs dry.
What do you think about this ultimate guide on how to clean guinea pig fleece bedding? Do you use guinea pig fleece liner? Share your thoughts in the comment section.
1. Is It OK To Put Guinea Pigs On Wet Grass? | Home & Roost [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2023 Apr 18]. Available from: https://homeandroost.co.uk/blog/guinea-pigs-on-wet-grass/
2. What kind of housing do guinea pigs need? – RSPCA Knowledgebase [Internet]. Available from: https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/what-kind-of-housing-do-guinea-pigs-need/
Grigorina grew up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, cows, goats, sheep, and horses and that has shaped her into what I am today – a crazy cat lady who always has a place for one more cat (or a dog). She has two female cats – Kitty and Roni, and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy, but she also feeds her neighbors’ cats when they come for a visit. I just can’t say no to them. Follow her on FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM
Read her latest articles HERE
Learn more about her