How To Clean Your Hamsters Cage

White hamster in bedding

You should keep your hamsters home clean to keep them healthy, disease-free, and comfortable. But you may be wondering, how and how often should I clean my hamster’s enclosure?

A good hamster enclosure cleaning routine includes daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance routines. You should fully clean the enclosure once a month (if required), replace bedding weekly for smaller cages, spot clean every day (as needed), and clean food bowls and water bottles daily. Always wear gloves when cleaning your hamster’s enclosure.

White hamster in bedding

Hamsters can be carriers of transmittable viruses and bacteria. Therefore it is essential to wear gloves while cleaning your hamster’s habitat. In addition, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after completing daily, weekly, or monthly cleaning tasks.

Daily Maintenance Routine

Your hamster’s cage should be spot cleaned every day, or every couple of days as required, to prevent the enclosure from becoming too dirty. Soiled bedding should be scooped out every day and replaced with fresh bedding. You can use a small animal scoop or wear gloves to do this. Hamsters usually urinate in one or two areas of their enclosure, so pay particular attention to these areas and scoop out any wet bedding.

You should also spot clean your hamster’s sand bath and remove debris, droppings, or urine. If your hamster starts using the sand bath as a toilet, do not leave it in the enclosure all the time. For more information on hamster sand baths, see this article Hamster Sand Baths: Everything You Wanted to Know.

You should clean food bowls, water dishes, and water bottles daily. Clean containers help maintain your pet’s health and reduce the chance of contaminated food and water. It will also prevent harmful germs or bacteria from building up. In addition, you should provide your pet hamster with fresh water every day.

Remove any uneaten food, such as fruits and vegetables, every day so that it doesn’t spoil and make your hamster sick.

Weekly Maintenance Routine

If you have a smaller enclosure, you should completely change all of the bedding every week. Replacing the bedding is usually only required once per week, but you may need to do it more often if you notice that it is more dirty than usual or has a strong ammonia smell. Include a small amount of your hamster’s previous bedding after cleaning to prevent them from getting stressed from the unfamiliar smells.

As hamsters tend to stash bits of food away, replacing the bedding regularly will prevent hidden food from rotting inside the enclosure.

If you have a very large hamster enclosure you don’t need to completely change the bedding weekly as hamster’s tend to urinate in one or two areas. Instead spot clean and replace bedding as necessary.

Monthly Maintenance Routine

If you have a very large hamster enclosure you don’t need to completely clean it unless the hamster has had an illness or it has passed. For large enclosures spot cleaning is usually enough to keep it clean. If you need to clean more try removing one third of the bedding every couple of weeks in order to keep stress levels down in your hamster. Over time you eventually get a completely clean cage.

For smaller enclosures, you should fully clean your hamster’s enclosure once a month so that it doesn’t become too soiled.

Always wear gloves when cleaning your hamster’s enclosure and items.

To completely clean your hamsters enclosure follow the steps below.

1. Put your hamster in a safe temporary habitat

To safely clean your hamster’s enclosure, first, place your hamster in a safe temporary habitat such as a rodent playpen. Then, check on your hamster regularly to make sure that they are ok in their temporary area.

2. Clean enclosure and all items

Deep cleaning the enclosure will include clearing out all of the debris, bedding, and objects. Once you have emptied the enclosure, wash the enclosure, hideaways, accessories, and hard toys with lukewarm soapy water. Wash all items even if they don’t appear dirty. If your enclosure is a wire or mesh cage, make sure to clean every bar. If your enclosure is an aquarium, make sure to clean each surface and corner thoroughly.

Do not use ammonia-based products as they may be harmful to your hamster. To ensure that you are washing your hamster’s enclosure and items with a safe product, you can use a specialized habitat cleaning spray. Alternatively, you could use a mix of 50% water and 50% white vinegar to avoid potentially harmful chemicals.

After cleaning the enclosure, thoroughly rinse the enclosure with water to remove any residue and let it completely dry. Adding new bedding before the enclosure is completely dry can cause the bedding to become wet may require cleaning sooner.

Rinse the washed items to ensure that no soap or cleaning solution is trapped inside them and leave them to dry. Thoroughly dry the Items before returning them to the enclosure as leftover water could attract mold.

3. Add fresh bedding and replace dry items

Add fresh bedding to the enclosure before returning the cleaned and dry accessories, toys, etc. Include a small amount of their previous bedding so that they don’t get stressed. Thoroughly cleaning your hamster’s enclosure can cause your hamster stress due to the different smells and objects being moved. Including some of their old bedding makes the enclosure feel more familiar as they can smell their scent on it.

Throw away all the soiled bedding, along with any paper towels or disposable cloths you used when cleaning your hamster enclosure. If you used re-usable rags or materials, be sure to sanitize them before their next use.

Be sure to thoroughly wash your hands after cleaning your hamster’s enclosure and items.

Summary

A good hamster enclosure cleaning routine includes daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance routines. A regular cleaning routine will help to keep your hamsters healthy, disease-free, and comfortable.

  • Spot clean enclosure daily
  • Clean food dish, water bottles, and water dishes daily
  • Remove any uneaten food, such as fruits and vegetables, daily
  • Change bedding weekly for smaller enclosures
  • Fully clean enclosure once a month for smaller enclosures