Cleaning a guinea pig cage is part and parcel of caring for your cavy. Keeping the housing of your cavy clean will help keep it healthy and deter any build up of foul smell emanating from it. How often to clean the guinea pig cage is up to you, but generally a once a week schedule is what most pet owners observe.
Several factors will affect how often your guinea pig cage needs to be cleaned. The type of bedding material that you use on your cage is one of them. Some types of beddings are more absorbent than others, or neutralizes smells and urine much better. Fleece is a popular bedding material used by many pet owners. With fleece, daily spot cleaning by picking up droppings is usually observed.
Other factors include the size of your cage and the number of guinea pigs that you have sharing a cage. The bigger the cage is, the less frequently you will need to clean it. But, the more guinea pigs you have to care for, the more mess they'll make, which means more frequent cleaning.
When cleaning a guinea pig cage, here are the steps you need to observe:
1. Wear a mask and gloves to protect yourself especially if you have allergies.
2. Transfer your guinea pigs temporarily to a clean and secure enclosure while their cage is being cleaned.
3. Remove accessories in the cage such as their food and water dishes, igloos, and toys. Wash or launder toys, igloos, food containers and water bottle as well.
4. Remove disposable bedding materials and dispose of properly. If using towels and fleece beddings, replace them with a fresh set of towels and beddings, or wash and dry before reusing.
5. Use a vacuum cleaner on the floor of the cage to remove any stray bits. Or sweep with a broom and dustpan.
6. Prepare a vinegar solution by mixing 3 parts water with 1 part vinegar. This vinegar solution will neutralize the smell from guinea pig urine. Spray the floor and the walls of the cage liberally and wipe with a dry cloth.
7. To clean calcium deposits that are stuck on the floor, put vinegar on the stain to loosen it. And then with an old toothbrush, scrub the floor lightly to completely remove it.
8. To disinfect the cage, create a bleach solution by mixing about 2 tablespoons of bleach to a litter of water and clean the cage using it.
9. After cleaning the cage, it's time to put the beddings back, then the accessories. When everything is in place, you may return the guinea pigs back to their cleaned cage.