Fixing Rust in Sugar Glider Cage: Quick and Easy Solutions

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Have you noticed rust in sugar glider cage?

If you do, it is something you need to take seriously and remedy straight away!

Sugar gliders need proper care and attention including avoiding rust in their home.

Find out how you can keep the cages of these nocturnal animals clean and rust-free right here.

Can You Fix Rust in Sugar Glider Cages?

With a little bit of patience and effort, your pocket pet’s rusted cage can be fixed! Avoiding the expense of purchasing a new cage.

Many pet owners find that cleaning their cages is a lot of work.  Many try to clean them with baking soda and vinegar thinking this is a safe, non-toxic option.

However, this mixture can corrode or rust the metal surface and other parts of your cage, which then becomes unusable. Particularly copper and aluminum, according to Consumer Reports. [1]

The easiest way to fix rusty cages you can buy a new cage, but this is expensive and out of many sugar glider parents’ budget.

Luckily, there are more budget-friendly alternatives. Here I’ve highlighted some of the great, safe ways you can use to fix the rust in your sugar glider’s cage.

ALSO CHECK: Do Sugar Gliders Like to be Held?

Buy a New Cage

man holding a new sugar glider cage

If you wish to buy a large sugar glider cage to protect your adorable pet then make sure you opt for the right size, material, and quality for it to last a long time without corroding. Here are some, popular, tested options for you to choose from:

  • Midwest Deluxe Critter Nation – best quality option.
  • Yaheetech 69-Inch 3-Level Sugar glider cage – a great spacious choice.
  • PawHut 57” H 6-Leve Indoor small animal cage with wheels – best user-friendly design.
  • Mcage store 3-Level small animal sugar glider cage – A solid budget-friendly option.
  • Mcage wrought iron cage – chew-proof for heavy chewers.


You can also use a toxin-free hairspray by spraying It on the sides of the rusty cage. Make sure your glider and all its toys and bedding are removed from the cage when you do this! Let the spray sit on the cage for a while to work.

Then scrub it using a wire brush, moving it rapidly in an upward and downward motion. Use the wire brush and hairspray repeatedly till the layers of rust are completely removed from the cage.

When you’re done, wait until the cage is completely dry and free from fumes before putting your glider back. 

Powder-Coated Wrought Iron Cage

Instead of using harsh chemicals, you can apply powder coatings to metals such as steel, aluminum, copper, brass, and more. [2]

It is an electrostatic technique that uses an electrically charged powder to create a thin film with a metallic appearance on the targeted surface.

The coating can be done with a spray bottle or using a dip process. You can purchase a powder-coated wrought iron cage from online or offline stores.

These coatings are usually excellent quality and prevent them from rusting as claimed by many sugar glider owners I’ve met claim.

If these cages are too expensive, you can also make the powder yourself at home. It is time-consuming but totally worth it.

See how to powder coat a cage in this helpful video.

Aluminum Foil

Lori Baratta, a famous painter, and illustrator suggests that “ a great way to remove rust is to dip small pieces of aluminum foil into water.” [3] And rub it on the rust in your sugar glider cages.

This is a useful technique as aluminum is a soft metal and it does not cause the surface to scratch. It is also an excellent metal polishing compound that contributes to the smoothness and shininess of the cage.  

How to Easily Remove Rust Using Only Aluminium. Find out in this video.

Tea Bags

This might sound a bit odd but tea bags are an effective way to remove rust from steel cages. All you need to do is boil a half-liter of water and add 5 tea bags to it. [4]

Brew the mixture for about five minutes then strain the liquid. Let it cool down for a while and then add it to the rusty areas. You can put the cage in the mixture or use cotton swabs to apply it to specific areas of the cage.

The rust should come out within 8 to 9 hours of application. Clean your sugar glider’s cage with oil and wire wool to make it look clean and new.

As you can see, this is a time-consuming option. You will need to have an alternative home for your glider while doing this. Don’t do this with your sugar glider in the cage.

Why Does Rust Happen? Can You Avoid It? And How to Avoid It?

rusted railings

Rusting is the process of oxidation of iron. [5] When oxygen reacts with the iron, it forms a layer of oxide. This oxide layer can be removed by using oxalic acid or hydrochloric acid.

In simpler words, rust happens when metal is exposed to moisture, oxygen, or humidity. It can also happen when metal is exposed to water or salt.

To prevent rust from happening, it’s important that your cage or other metal accessories are properly protected in a dry place.

Here are some tips and tricks you can use to keep your pet glider’s cage clean and avoid rust in the future. 

Items To Clean Your Sugar Glider Cage

You can clean the rust in sugar glider cage by using materials that are safe, toxic-free. Sugar gliders are sensitive, so using the right cleaning materials is extremely important! 

The items listed here are great options for glider parents to use:

  • Mild dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Unscented baby wipes

Things To Keep in Mind When Cleaning a Sugar Glider Cage

To keep your sugar glider healthy it is important that they have a clean environment. Suburban Vet recommends “A complete change of bedding and thorough cleaning of entire cage contents should occur at least three times weekly.” [6]

Do not overclean your sugar gliders cage. These social animals are scent-driven and mark their territories based on the scents that surround them.

If you clean the cage or their accessories a bit too much those scent marks will be washed away and the gliders might feel anxious or stressed out. It’s about finding the right balance for the physical and mental health of your pet.

The best way to do this is to set a specific cleaning schedule. One good tip I learned from another sugar glider parent is to set intervals to clean particular things instead of washing everything at once.

How To Clean Sugar Glider Cage Properly?

In order to clean and sanitize your sugar glider’s cage, you must start off by removing all visible dirt visible within the cage.

Throw out leftover pieces of food and wipe off any urine or any feces you can see.

Take out all accessories such as water bottles, food dishes, cage blankets, nesting boxes, water bowls, sugar glider toys, etc. Put them in a mixture of hot and soapy water solution to soak until you’re done cleaning the cage.

Use a spray bottle to spray the entire cage with hot water to soften the rust residue and debris that has soiled the cage, and continue cleaning it with a safe material.

Scrub the cage thoroughly and disinfect it with the right kind of disinfectant.

ALSO CHECK: How to Keep Sugar Glider Cage From Stinking

For an easy method of cage cleaning, check out this video tip.

It’s Only a Little Rust, What’s the Big Deal? 

The question is often asked, “Is rust dangerous for caged animals?” The answer is yes. Rust can be a serious health hazard for caged animals.

If you are raising a sugar glider or if you are caring for one that is kept in a cage, it is important to know the risks of rust and how to prevent it.

Cages can be made of many different materials and rust can still form on several of these. If your pet has been exposed to rust, it’s possible their health is at risk.

It is a good time to re-evaluate the situation and provide your animal with more appropriate living conditions.

Is Rust Dangerous For Sugar Gliders?

Rust consists of a fatal bacteria known as tetanus. Proper treatment is required or your pet glider may die. 

Sugar gliders that get cuts from a rusted cage could lead to them falling very sick. 

To protect your pet from developing health issues due to living in a rusted cage, you should act immediately. Try some of the solutions I’ve provided here or consider purchasing a new rust-free cage.


What material should a sugar glider cage be?

A sugar glider cage should be made from a strong, rust-resistant, metal material. Chicken wire can also be used to make it a safe environment for your pets.

What do you put at the bottom of a sugar glider cage?

Put a layer of absorbent bedding on the bottom of the cage or removable tray.

What toys do sugar gliders like?

sugar glider hiding on his cage

Sugar gliders like soft, noisy toys that they can chew and toys that they can carry easily. 


Rust can be caused by moisture, high temperatures, or even certain chemicals. Rust is inevitable in many cases and it’s not always easy to avoid it. 

It is important to keep your pet’s cage clean and sanitized for their safety so that they are put at risk of harmful diseases. 

Rust in sugar glider cage should be prevented by all pet owners who want to maintain their glider’s health and happiness. Good cage maintenance will also extend the life of your glider’s home.

rust in sugar glider cage

Have rust problems on your sugar glider cage? Let us know if you’ve found anything worth noting!


  • (1) “9 Things You Should Never Clean with Vinegar.” Consumer Reports,
  • (2) Bhadu, Manish Kumar, et al. “Corrosion Study of Powder-Coated Galvanised Steel.” ISRN Corrosion, vol. 2013, 24 Mar. 2013, p. e464710,, 10.1155/2013/464710. Accessed 1 Apr. 2022.
  • (3) “Refinishing Cages / Removing Rust | Beauty of Birds.”,
  • (4) Michele, Author. “Cleaning with Tea Bags 101: How to Use Tea Bags for Cleaning.” Cook Clean Repeat, 11 June 2021, Accessed 1 Apr. 2022.
  • (5)  “Unprecedented Detail on How Rust Happens.” ScienceDaily,
  • (6) Sugar Glider Care Guide.
Alina Hartley
Alina Hartley

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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