Before getting a pet guinea pig, you may be wondering how often you need to clean their cage.
How often should I clean guinea pigs’ cages? You should be cleaning your guinea pig’s cage once a week and spot cleaning their cage daily. If you stick to this schedule, it will reduce the smell and keep your guinea pig happy!
Cleaning your guinea pig’s cage too often can lead to additional stress, and cleaning them not enough can lead to a smelly unhappy guinea pig!
Check: Canvas Bottom Pet Cage
Table of Contents
How Often Should I Clean My Guinea Pigs Cage?
When you welcome your first guinea pig, you may have difficulty caring for their cages. You may have other questions, such as how often you should clean their cage, change their litter and wash their toys.
Guinea pigs are innately clean animals, and they get very stressed out and frustrated when they are in a dirty cage.
Cleaning their cage at the right time keeps them healthy, relaxed, and happy.
Guinea pigs are known to be social critters which mean more than one guinea pig can live in one cage. How often you clean the cages of your guinea pig is dependent on some factors;
- How many guinea pigs are in each cage
- How fast the cage gets dirty
- The size of the cage
According to the RSPCA, one of the largest and most well-respected animal welfare groups, guinea pigs’ cages should be cleaned out completely at least once a week and spot cleaned daily (RSPCA, 2022).
This aligns with our recommended cleaning schedule and helps ensure a hygienic and comfortable environment for your pet.
If you are a parent of just one guinea pig, it is advisable to spot clean the cage daily and have a thorough cleaning of the cage at least once a week.
In a situation where you have many of these adorable creatures kept in one cage, you may need to clean their cage thoroughly more often like 3 to 4 days intervals. On a daily basis, you need to clean spot clean by;
- Removing the wet and solid bedding
- Discarding leftover foods
- Removing as many droppings as you can
For thorough cleaning during the week;
- Remove soiled bedding
- Add fresh bedding
- Clean the cage with water and guinea pig-friendly disinfectant
Keep their environment clean to keep them healthy always and prevents monthly vet bills. Your Guinea pigs cage must never smell!
Related: Best Guinea Pig Cages for Outside
Why You Should Spot Clean
Cleaning your guinea pigs cage completely all the time can be really stressful, spot cleaning is the alternative that makes it easy to keep their cage clean on a daily basis.
I have mentioned spot cleaning quite a number of times in this post and said a bit about how it can be done yet it can still be a little bit ambiguous to some people, well!
To clear things up, spot cleaning is basically cleaning only the dirty areas and not the entire cage sound easy right?
Not only is cleaning their cage stressful to you, it is also very stressful for them. Taking your guinea pigs out can create stress.
It is similar to someone coming to your home daily to send you out, take out your furniture, and other properties just to clean your house; you can imagine how stressful that is, right?
That is the exact way they feel, except they cannot express themselves, so it is better to spot clean every day instead of completely cleaning their cage to prevent them from getting unnecessarily frustrated.
Mary Lou, a renowned guinea pig care expert and author of “The Happy Cavy Guide,” champions the idea of spot cleaning.
She explains, “Spot cleaning is a simple yet effective way to maintain cleanliness without causing undue stress for your guinea pigs. It’s about finding the balance between cleanliness and comfort” (Lou, 2023). [
How Do I Clean My Guinea Pigs Cage?]
Have you ever tried to clean your guinea pig’s cage and ended up creating a pile of mess?
Do not worry at all you are not alone, I was also in your shoes when I first welcomed home a guinea pig.
Cleaning your guinea pig’s cage is an easy thing to do, and in many cases, it can also go wrong, especially if proper precautions are not taken.
To thoroughly clean your guinea pig’s cage, the first step is to remove the guinea pigs from their cage and place them in a safe temporary location, such as a box with an open top, a small enclosure, or a travel cage.
Emphasis should be laid on “safe” because leaving them to roam about can cause them to wander off or get themselves into trouble.
The next thing to do before the cleaning process is to gather all the materials needed together to ensure an easy cleaning process for you. Here is a list of some major items you will require for the cleaning process;
- Scrubbing brush(for wooden hutch)
- Washcloths (for plastic cages)
- Pet-friendly cleaning solution and water
- New beddings
- Remove everything from the cage, including the toys, food bowls, bedding, hay, and poop, and ensure the cage is empty. For those that use fleece in their guinea pig cages, you need to give it a good shake to remove the hair and hay.
- Get a bucket of water with a pet-friendly solution; it is very important that you don’t use a regular household cleaning solution as it can be very dangerous to the health of the guinea pig.
- Soak all equipment inside the bucket, whether dirty or not, and scrub them properly with the washcloth. To clean a plastic cage, use a washcloth to thoroughly scrub the inside.
While in the case of a wooden guinea pig cage, a scrubbing brush or an old toothbrush is required to give the cage a good scrub.
- After scrubbing the cage, another dry cloth is required to dry the cage properly.
It is advisable to cross-check the cage to ensure that every corner of the cage has been properly cleaned without leaving a spot.
- After drying the cage, new bedding is to be arranged in a neat manner, and the items that were removed and washed should also be dried and placed back in their respective positions.
- Add fresh food and water and return your guinea pigs to their cage.
It is not always difficult to know that the guinea pigs are excited about their neatly arranged cage as they tend to jump around in excitement and wheek in delight.
Check out this video for more tips:
Check: Do Guinea Pigs Shed?
4 Useful Tips to Speed Up the Cleaning Process
1. Newspaper Liner
Some guinea pig owners like to add a newspaper liner under their guinea pig’s bedding. This way, when you come to do a deep clean, you can fold up the newspaper from below and place them in the bin. It speeds the process up and makes it much quicker to clean their cage.
Check our review of the best guinea pig cage liner.
2. Move Your Guinea Pigs to a Different Location
Moving your guinea pigs to a different location when cleaning their cage is a good idea. Trying to clean their cage when they are inside is going to be very hard.
It is a wise idea to move them to their run or another location where they are safe when you’re cleaning their cage.
3. Buy a Litter Tray
Although they’re not going to manage to get all their droppings in the litter tray, a litter tray can really speed the cleaning process up.
Just like the tip to add a newspaper liner under the bedding, it is also a good idea to add a newspaper lining under the litter tray. You may want to add a slightly thicker lining as litter trays will get wetter than bedding.
4. Test Different Bedding
Some beddings are more absorbent than others. Testing out different bedding and finding one that works well for your guinea pigs can really help speed up the cleaning process as some beddings are more absorbent and will leave fewer strains and marks than others.
Different beddings will also smell more or less, so it’s important to find one that you and your guinea pigs agree with. Some bedding will also have less dust and won’t set off allergic reactions, so it is important to test different solutions.
Another thing to note is that you can buy scented bedding that smells of a different scent, such as lavender or orange. You need to be careful if you’ve just started to use scented bedding, as you don’t know how it’s going to react with your guinea pigs.
It is a good idea to place small amounts in their cage before replacing their whole bedding.
If your guinea pigs start to eat the bedding, it might be a good idea to swap to a different solution.
Be Careful What You Clean Your Guinea Pigs Cage. With
The biggest mistake you can make as a parent of a guinea pig is cleaning its cage with the same product you use for your household equipment; this is because many of the household products we use are hazardous to the health of our guinea pigs, although they are safe for us.
Examples are products containing phenolics. Phenolics are poisonous to guinea pigs and can lead to their death. Other products that contain aggressive chemicals should also be avoided.
When you’re cleaning their cage, you’ve got to be very careful what cleaning products you use to clean their cage with.
Many pet-friendly products can be used instead, and in a situation where you have no idea of what to use, contact a veterinarian to be on the safer side.
The Best Safe Guinea Pigs Cage Cleaning Products You Should Use
You want to keep your guinea pigs healthy at all times no matter what! The most common way to expose them to danger is by using harmful non-pet-friendly products to clean their cage.
There are some products that have been tested and are known to be the most effective and safe cleaning products.
These products are not in any way harmful to the health of your guinea pigs and will clean their cage in an effective way while saving you monthly vet fees.
Here are some pet-friendly products that can be useful for you;
Nature’s Miracle Stain And Odor Remover
This product is personally my favorite; it is absolutely safe for your guinea pigs. Nature’s Miracle Stain and odor remover have the ability of bacteria-eating enzymes to remove any form of smell from your pet’s bedding, floor, or furniture.
Puracy Natural All-Purpose Cleaner
Puracy Natural has a range of pet-friendly products and they are very effective and totally harmless to your pets. This product should be used on surfaces where your guinea pigs pee to keep the surface smelling good always.
Properly one of the easiest and cheapest solutions is to use vinegar. Vinegar is a non-toxic and classic cleaner, it cleans up any mess effectively especially when combined with lemon and baking soda to achieve an all-natural scrub for your guinea pigs’ cage.
You should always avoid direct consumption of baking soda by the pigs.
Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent
Have you been seeing all sorts of scrubbing products, with none pointing towards washing your pet’s bedding, clothes, blankets, and the like? Here is a product that is best for doing your pet’s little laundry, it is also non-toxic and generally has no harmful additives and chemicals.
Eco-Me Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner
This is a pet-safe product that helps to break down dirt, grease, and grime that can be on your pet’s cage without containing any harmful toxins and chemicals. It also has a herbal mint scent that is helpful in covering odor and keeping the air fresh. For people that don’t like scented products, another product is advisable.
This is also an enzyme-based cleaner; it is totally safe for your guinea pigs. It is used to remove pet stains and odor on any floor surface.
Why Potty Training Your Guinea Pigs is Useful
I know what you are probably thinking right now, and the answer to your question is YES!
You can potty train your guinea pigs. Potty training your guinea pig is very beneficial; not only does it keep their cages clean, but it also creates a healthy environment for them, prevents you from spending as much money as you spend on their bedding, and, most importantly, reduces the number of time you clean their cage in general.
Take a look at the video below:
At this point, it seems impossible to achieve these amazing perks, right? Well! It is possible; it only requires consistency and dedication.
READ MORE: Do Guinea Pig Have Tails?
Must I spot clean my guinea pig’s cage on a daily basis?
It is advisable to discard leftover foods and dispose of piles of waste in your guinea pigs’ cage every day because it is unhealthy to leave piles of waste in their cage and stresses them out.
Can I use spray or disinfectants that are safe for my guinea pig’s cage?
I recommend you use products that are labeled pet-safe to clean your guinea pigs cage just so you can be on the safer side and keep them healthy because not all disinfectant that is safe for you are safe for them.
Must I potty train my guinea pigs?
It is never a must to potty train your guinea pigs, it only depends on how clean you want them to be. As long as they are kept clean, and their cage does not smell, it is not a must to potty train them.
To keep your guinea pig healthy and happy, consistent cage maintenance is essential. Whether you’re a new owner or an experienced caretaker, remember to spot clean daily and conduct a thorough clean weekly.
Experiment with different types of bedding to find what works best for your pet and your cleaning routine. Investing in pet-friendly cleaning products can also ensure safety and cleanliness without harmful chemicals.
Potty training might seem ambitious, but it can make a big difference! It’s worth giving it a shot – your guinea pig might surprise you.
Most importantly, your guinea pig’s comfort and happiness should always be the priority. Their reaction to a clean, fresh cage is genuinely priceless. So, are you ready to make your guinea pig’s day with a spotless, cozy home?
How do you clean your guinea pig’s cage? Let us know in the comments section below!
- RSPCA. (2022). Guinea pig welfare. Retrieved from ww.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/rodents/guineapigs
- Lou, M. (2023). The Happy Cavy Guide. Cavy Care Publications.
Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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