Cleaning a sugar glider cage raises a lot of questions, from what to clean sugar glider cages with – to what you can do to eliminate foul smell and odor.
And in my years of indulging in all the different cleaning solutions, I’m confident of how I clean my sugar glider’s cage.
Let me first enlighten you as to what you can use in cleaning your sugar glider’s cage!
What to Clean Sugar Glider Cage With?
You can clean your sugar glider cage using a wide variety of materials. Of course, you have to make sure that these materials are safe, non-toxic, and are animal friendly.
What I usually recommend for cleaning the cage are:
- Unscented Baby Wipes (For Spot Cleaning)
- Mild Dish Soap
- Warm-to-Hot Water
READ MORE: Guide to Sugar Glider Cage Set Up
Is it Safe to Clean a Sugar Glider Cage With Vinegar?
Yes, it’s safe to say that you can use vinegar to disinfect your sugar glider’s cage. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant , which destroys germs, bacteria, and some viruses.
I sometimes use vinegar as my cleaning agent. It’s cheap, easy to find, and it’s non-toxic! However, Dr. Alan Taege, M.D., says that commercial disinfectants would be more likely effective. 
“Vinegar is acetic acid, which can destroy viruses and bacteria, but there are many commercial disinfectants that would likely be more effective.” 
Just take note, though, that in using vinegar as your cleaning agent, you need to make sure that your pet is not anywhere close.
So, in case you want to know if cleaning a sugar glider cage with vinegar is safe, it is!
How to Clean a Sugar Glider’s Cage?
We all know that a clean habitat is a healthy habitat, right?
Here’s what you might not know, though: it’s possible to make your sugar glider’s home too clean!
Over-cleaning the cage is a massive mistake. Sugar gliders are scent-driven, which means they mark their territories. 
Every time the habitat and its accessories get a cleaning, those marks will get washed away. As a result, gliders will take it upon themselves to re-mark their areas.
Glider owners must do their best to limit this instinct.
Cleaning the cage and its accessories on a rotating schedule is an excellent way to avoid marking from being a huge issue.
Choose a Rotating Cleaning Schedule, and Stick to it
I’d recommend creating a schedule where you set a specific time to clean particular things.
For instance, choose one week to wash the accessories/toys, another week to do the pouches, and then cage bars/shelves the next week.
This type of schedule should help keep some existing markings to prevent your gliders from making new ones.
It’s an effective way to avoid them over marking their territory, which isn’t a fun experience for the owner or glider.
Also, make sure to spot clean the cage once per day. In other words, you’ll need to wipe away large spots of food debris, feces, and urine daily.
As for the cage bars and accessories, some owners find it useful to spray them down with a non-toxic cleaner.
Don’t use these cleaners on porous surfaces, though, like wood perches or platforms.
It’s essential to avoid using any vinegar solution on cage bars as it’ll cause corrosion and rust in sugar glider cage. 
These issues will shorten the habitat’s lifespan significantly, which will have you searching for a new one
Non-abrasive scrub pads are useful to remove grime or debris buildups on cage bars, as well.
One last thing to remember is owners must always wash their hands before and after handing their sugar glider or its accessories.
It’ll help prevent diseases or illnesses from spreading to other parts of your home. You shouldn’t have much difficulty remembering this detail as we are living in COVID times.
5 Easy Steps in Cleaning Your Sugar Glider’s Cage
I’m not talking about the spot cleaning you might be doing on a regular basis – I’m talking about the full-on, comprehensive cleansing and sanitizing of your sugar glider cage!
Watch this video to learn a technique of spot cleaning your sugar glider’s cage!
Step 1: Remove All Visible Dirt and Debris
Of course, the first step is to remove all dirt and debris that are easy to see and visible. This will include leftover food, uneaten food, feces, urine, as well as other debris.
You want to have a clean slate before starting the cleaning process.
Step 2: Take Out All Accessories
Then, the next step is to take out all accessories that are inside the cage like a water bottle, food dish, water dish, etc.
Regardless of whether you have clean water and food dishes, bottles, or other accessories, take them out of the cage.
What I do is I’ll usually take all of them out and submerge them in a container filled with hot, soapy water. They’ll stay there until the time I need to get them back inside the cage.
Step 3: Spray the Cage With Warm-to-Hot Water
Now that the cage is empty, you can now start cleaning the cage.
Spray the sugar glider cage with water. You can also use warm water for this; it will just take you longer because your goal in this step is to soften all the residue on the cage.
Spray water and leave it for about three (3) to five (5) minutes.
Step 4: Cleanse Using a Cleaning Agent
Then, proceed to the cleaning of the cage using mild dish soap or any safe and non-toxic household soap.
I sometimes even use an all-purpose cleaner, so long as it’s safe! Scrub the exterior and interior of the cage thoroughly. Make sure that you don’t miss a spot!
In this step, I always say that the goal is to focus on getting rid of all stuck and stubborn debris on the cage. This goes to the cage’s accessories as well. After the cage, go and clean the accessories.
Step 5: Disinfect the Cage Completely
For the next step, you want to make sure that you have the right materials because this is crucial.
Akin to humans, sugar gliders can get ill, too, and one of the things that make them ill is an unsafe, unclean, and undisinfected habitat.
So, after cleaning, the next step is disinfection. There are a ton of safe commercial disinfectants in the market.
You are doing great by using any type of safe disinfectant, but if you’re on a budget, use 2 parts water with 1 part white vinegar.
Disinfect from the inside out. Make sure you cover all areas where your sugar glider lies down on, hangs on, and even feeds on.
Leave the solution for about 10 to 15 minutes, before rinsing with hot water and drying.
One reason why I love using vinegar is because of its odor-neutralizing capability.
Tonya Harris, Environmental Specialist, and Author of Slightly Greener says that the pungent smell of vinegar helps in neutralizing odors. 
“Astonishingly, the vinegar’s strong scent helps in neutralizing odors! The natural smell also fades swiftly, without leaving any scent.”
I also recommend a mixture of vinegar and baking soda as an effective sugar glider cage odor eliminator! Use one (1) quart of white vinegar and ½ cup of baking soda for complete deodorization!
Check this video out to see the complete process of cleaning whatever type of cage your sugar glider has!
Now that you know the best way to clean sugar glider cages let’s take a look at some other important things you need to know.
READ MORE: Best Sugar Glider Cage Covers
What Time Should I Clean a Sugar Glider’s Cage?
As you probably know, sugar gliders are considered nocturnal animals. These pets will sleep most of the day and be overly active during those late hours.
Their sleeping patterns make it much easier to clean during the day. At these times, gliders can remove toys, extra pouches, tray liners, and other accessories.
If you’re looking to spray down the entire cage or its bars, gliders will have to be removed from the enclosure itself.
You must ensure their temporary area is secure and capable of containing them.
Once you have that in order, what do you do about accessories inside the cage? Let’s take a look.
How to Clean Food Dishes and Water Bottles?
I’d recommend scrubbing them with dish soap and hot water.
Food dishes should be removed every morning for this daily scrubbing, while water bottles need washing and changing every two days. 
This routine should keep your glider’s eating/drinking sessions hygienic and free of any issues.
It’s essential to stay on top of these proceedings to keep your gliders safe and healthy.
What About Nesting Pouches and Cage Blankets?
Nesting pouches and cage blankets aren’t overly difficult to clean.
A good rule of thumb for owners would be throwing them and any other cloth-based cage accessories into the laundry every week or two.
These bounding pouches, cage accessories, and blankets are usually made from polar fleece.
Therefore, I’d suggest washing them in a gentle cycle with cold water and no bleach.
It would be best to use this time to check these items for holes or loose threads.
Both these issues can be dangerous for you sugar gliders and need to be dealt with right away as their cute little fingers can get stuck in them.
I’d advise any glider owner to cut away anything loose and patch up any holes. If you can’t repair it, dispose of it rather than keep it around.
Drying these items isn’t tricky, either. Using a low-heat setting in a standard dryer should get the job done without any integrity issues occurring.
If your glider are in the early bonding stages, bathroom accidents will be more commonplace in their pouch.
It’d be wise to wash them more frequently to keep them cleaner. Owners concerned about what laundry detergent to use, and that doesn’t have bleach should be fine.
Can You Wash a Sugar Glider?
A common question among sugar glider owners is whether to bathe a sugar glider. The simple answer would be a resounding no.
Sugar gliders are more than capable of keeping themselves clean.
In fact, bathing them with soap/water and regular shampoo or detergent can cause several problems.
These situations can dry out their fur and skin, which is never a good thing. Plus, your suggie might become skittish from the traumatic experience.
The most important thing to remember about cleaning your sugar gliders habitat is to NOT overdo it and don’t use harsh chemicals.
Stick with a rotating schedule and spot-clean daily, and your glider should be just fine.
How do you clean your sugar glider cage? Share below!
- 1. Does vinegar kill germs? – David Suzuki Foundation [Internet]. David Suzuki Foundation. 2017. Available from: https://davidsuzuki.org/queen-of-green/does-vinegar-kill-germs/
- 2. Available from: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alan-taege-6b224011
- 3. Sugarglider.com – Gliderpedia – Pet Drawbacks [Internet]. www.sugarglider.com. [cited 2022 Mar 22]. Available from: http://www.sugarglider.com/gliderpedia/index.asp?PetDrawbacks
- 4. Papiewski J. What Chemicals Rust Metal Rapidly? [Internet]. Sciencing. 2014. Available from: https://sciencing.com/what-chemicals-rust-metal-rapidly-12731440.html
- 5. Available from: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tonyaharrismshn
- 6. Hygiene & Care – SUGAR GLIDER INFORMATION [Internet]. nhsugargliders.com. Available from: http://nhsugargliders.com/estore/glider-information/hygiene-care.html
My name is Ben Roberts, and I absolutely love animals. So, naturally, I love writing about them too! As far as my animals, I have a Pit-bull, a Beagle-lab mix, a Chihuahua, and one old cat. Each one of them provides me with a new adventure every day. And the best part is they’re all best friends. Well, except the cat when he gets a little annoyed.
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