Learning how to clean a hamster cage isn't all that difficult, especially since the critters are, by nature, tidy and methodical about where they eat, sleep and go potty. When cleaning a hamster cage, the most important thing to remember is to use safe cleansers and respect the hamster's need for order. Also, a hamster marks territory by leaving a scent via a gland which helps the creature feel secure and safe. You don't want to eradicate this scent from the cage and disrupt the hamster's sense of home.
You will need:
- rubber gloves, if desired
- baby bottle brush
- mild detergent
- clean bedding
- clean rags
- Remove uneaten food from the cage. Every day make sure you take out any food that remains in the cage, so that it doesn't go bad and contaminate the cage and begin to smell.
- Place the hamster in a safe alternative space while cleaning out the cage. This may be another cage, or perhaps an exercise ball. Try to limit the hamster's time out of home to a maximum of 20 minutes or so.
- Put on gloves, if desired, and remove bedding from the hamster's cage. This is something that will need to be done every one to two weeks, depending on the cage and the hamster. If the cage smells, it's definitely time for a cleaning.
- Wash the cage, and the items in it, with a mild detergent. Clean the hamster's toys and accessories including dishes. Rinse everything thoroughly then dry it completely.
- Wash out the water bottle with the baby bottle brush, then rinse thoroughly. Never use any chemicals in hamster cage cleaning, but particularly in the water bottle or feeding dish.
- Put in fresh bedding and replace the hamster toys and accessories. Respect the hamster's need for order by not placing the feeding dish in the corner where the hamster goes to the bathroom.
- Put the water bottle back in place. Make sure it's filled with clean water. Then bring your hamster back into the freshly cleaned home.