Author Topic: How do you guys clean your cages?  (Read 4353 times)

Offline 4mb3rnich0l3

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How do you guys clean your cages?
« on: August 26, 2012, 04:22:43 PM »
After getting Willow, my girls cage is pretty smelly haha.. Tristan and Twilight are still babies so it dosnt surprise me they werent as "smelly" after a few days.. Ive ready vinegar is good to add to the wash and to wipe the cage out with. If using to wipe down the cage, do you use pure vinegar or do you dilute it with water? Im about to do a full cleaning of there cage and litter box(my new girl pees everywhere! but luckily mainly poops in the litter box for the most part ha) so I wanna find the best way to clean and get out smells :)
-Amber


Offline K Rat1417

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2012, 05:13:59 PM »
Whenever I used vinegar to clean my rats cage with I would take the cage outside, rinse it down, & then get a spray bottle of the vinegar & just spray it down (I never diluted the vinegar in the bottle since I wet the cage down beforehand) & sometimes let it sit for a bit to get some really stubborn areas clean :P

Offline K Rat1417

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2012, 05:19:27 PM »
Oh & usually I don't just clean with vinegar.  After I let it sit & rinse it off I usually scrub it down with soapy water too (I use dawn).  Once I rinse everything off it's squeaky clean & I don't smell anything else either.


for the litter box I usually let it soak in the tub with soap & water (warm water) & then when I rinse it (& sometimes give it a quick scrub depending on how messy it is :P) it's usually odor free :) if it's not I'll spray it with some vinegar & let it sit.   

Also I find that emptying the box more often can help with it smelling.  I usually empty it every 2-3 days/everyday, depending on if I'm trying to litter box train my rats or if they already are trained.

Hope all that's helpful!

Offline Rzrwyre

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2012, 05:31:10 PM »
Over the past, I've done different things. 

UNLESS dealing with parasites, I think that bleach (bad for the environment) is not needed.  If you do use it, 10% solution and rinsings and then washing really well is probably okay for the ratties.  Just make sure it doesn't stinky of bleach and has been dried.

Good weather and snow up to your knees (as happens sometimes here!) are different situations.

If you can, go outside and do your routine.  And in the winter, for 20 bucks or less, you can get a "wand" shower thingie (usefull for humans, too) and do a bathtub kind of rinsing.  (Advised to clean out afterwards).

With the bars, even a nylon brush might help to remove urine, etc..  Recent (non-pest cleanings) are for me usually a washing with an unscented dish soap (though if rinsed well, any kind might be fine) and then a disinfecting one with straight up cheap white vinegar.  I use a spray bottle and get all areas covered (or a soaked sponge will do, too) and leave it set a while, then really spray down the whole thing. 

Just my suggestions.

- Raaz.

Offline 4mb3rnich0l3

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2012, 05:56:16 PM »
Any suggestions are appreciated, thanks guys!! :)
-Amber


Offline msommers

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2012, 06:14:44 PM »
I took an empty spay bottle and dumped some white vinegar and a good squirt of dish soap into it. Adding the dish soap seems to help the vinegar stick to surfaces. Of course it could be that I was just looking for a short cut. :thumbsup2:

Every now and then I take it outside (weather permitting) and scrub it down with a brush with long soft bristles.

Offline Rzrwyre

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2012, 08:35:29 PM »
One can get spray bottles almost everywhere, including the dollar stores...though not all last a long as others.  I recommend them because it helps save resources...pouring it on (vinegar or soap) just runs all over.  Grabbing a couple or more is super for cage cleaning, though a mild (not "green" colored) scrubby sponge and a small pan or bucket with whatever solution does well, too.

Just make sure you rinse well, be it outside or the tub.

Best,

Raaz.

Offline 4mb3rnich0l3

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2012, 09:04:31 PM »
The tub would probably be a better solution as we live in a apartment haha :). I have a squirt bottle(actually got it from the dollar tree) so I had one handy already! Although I need to pick up a few more as this one i already going out on me :( But it was only a dollar haha :).

I always thought the boys where the smelly ones! My oldest girlie Willow does an awesome job stinking up there cage haha. Ill just call her my lil stinker :)
-Amber


Offline Egween

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2012, 09:14:11 PM »
What is wrong with the "green" colored sponges?

My house was built back in the 70s and the door to the bathroom is too narrow to get my DFN through, so the bathroom is out, and I have 5 steps to go down and have back issues, so I can't carry it outside every time to hose it down either! I usually get a towel and wipe down all the bars with soapy water. Fortunately, my boys don't get too much gunk in the corners and it's fairly easy to clean that way.

I've heard that FNs/CNs can rust if water is trapped in between the bars or if it's not completely dried. I think someone said that the water got in between the top and bottom half of their double unit. Does this sound familiar and how would you prevent it?

Thanks!

Offline Rzrwyre

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2012, 10:57:42 PM »
Green ones are just more abrasive than usually needed and can help strip away protective coatings.  The white or pink scrubbies (even sometimes blue) are usually plenty to get off urine and not hurt various coatings.

I have a stock supply of cheap shop towels which are super for drying off as much as you can after a washing.  In good weather, maybe leaving out in the sun on a deck, etc., will help, too.  (Though I've heard some outdoor mites might help themselves to the cage.)  We had a nice really hot blacktop driveway (at old house) which I think would have fried any mites interested, and I'd leave it there for about an hour.  Maybe a blow-dryer would help?  I dunno!  (Just to get the moisture off sooner than later).

- Raaz.

Offline erbusbee

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2012, 11:30:23 PM »
We just wipe down the double CN - there's no way to maneuver a 100 pound, six-foot-tall cage downstairs to get it outside for cleaning!

Offline ceopet

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2012, 09:44:00 AM »
I use a vinegar and hot water mix. I fill a spray bottle with more vinegar than hot water and spray everything down. I always let it sit for a while and just wipe it off with paper towels. I don't really rinse to be honest, It doesn't leave much of an odor behind after wiping it dry really well, also no film or anything like that. Every other cage cleaning, which amounts to about once a week, I take a toohbrush and scrub down the bars and cracks hard to reach areas of the DCN with the same soution and let it air dry. The worry about rust is getting it inside the cage, when you hose it down for a deep clean. Which honestly I have never done, I don't have a hose. I also don't have a tub. I also live in a tiny apartment and taking apart the whole thing seems like a night mare. But I think the toothbrush really gets in the cracks.

Offline pt.lire16

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2012, 03:19:04 PM »
Oh thanks Ceopet. That's a great suggestion. My CN has been in operation for a week and I smell some faint funky smells. I also live in a small apartment and the cage can't really be hosed in anywhere that has drainage. I could wheel it down to the basement where there is a car wash station but that's a hassle too.

To those who do a spray with hose, have you considered using a hairdryer to dry it out? Just a thought.

I use a vinegar and hot water mix. I fill a spray bottle with more vinegar than hot water and spray everything down. I always let it sit for a while and just wipe it off with paper towels. I don't really rinse to be honest, It doesn't leave much of an odor behind after wiping it dry really well, also no film or anything like that. Every other cage cleaning, which amounts to about once a week, I take a toohbrush and scrub down the bars and cracks hard to reach areas of the DCN with the same soution and let it air dry. The worry about rust is getting it inside the cage, when you hose it down for a deep clean. Which honestly I have never done, I don't have a hose. I also don't have a tub. I also live in a tiny apartment and taking apart the whole thing seems like a night mare. But I think the toothbrush really gets in the cracks.

Offline SouthPaw

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2012, 11:23:22 PM »
I use a little product called Odoban. Dilute it in a spray bottle, then when I clean the cage everything gets sprayed down, sits for a minute or two, and then wiped up with a towel.

About once a month or so I dilute bleach, fill a sponge with that and wipe everything down. Then I'm a little more thorough and the sponge makes it easier to scrub the smaller areas.

Seems to be working okay for us.
The Rats - Finnick & Reptar
The Dogs - Juno, Lucy, Happy, & Cajun
The Cat - Jinx

Offline Rzrwyre

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2012, 11:31:47 PM »
I think I'm going to start a thread about Bio Green Clean...I'm curious if anyone uses it for ratties?

Offline Trihkal

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2012, 12:19:36 PM »
I wash liners, hammocks, etc. in the washer/dryer using a home made detergent that is cheaper and more effective than a commercial detergent. We started using it to be sure it wasn't affecting sensitive rattie noses. Some times I add vinegar where the fabric softener goes.

I put all plastic toys, wodent wheel etc. in the dishwasher.

Then I spray the cage down with one spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide and washing soda in one bottle and vinegar in the other.
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Offline 4mb3rnich0l3

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2012, 12:22:26 PM »
I wash liners, hammocks, etc. in the washer/dryer using a home made detergent that is cheaper and more effective than a commercial detergent. We started using it to be sure it wasn't affecting sensitive rattie noses. Some times I add vinegar where the fabric softener goes.

I put all plastic toys, wodent wheel etc. in the dishwasher.

Then I spray the cage down with one spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide and washing soda in one bottle and vinegar in the other.

What do you use for the home made detergent? :)
-Amber


Offline Trihkal

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2012, 12:27:15 PM »
1 bar of pure soap (ie sunlight)

1 1/4 cups borax

1 1/4 cup washing soda

Grate the soap with a cheese grater. Mix all ingredients together. Mash it with a fork or put it in a food processor.

Use 1 tbs for medium loads and 2 for a full load.
The Ratties I Have Known And Loved

Offline sweetpeaspaige

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2012, 01:13:40 AM »
I've been researching cleaners myself and came across one on amazon called Kleen-Free Naturally. What is interesting about it is that it also kills bugs like lice and mites, but in a safe non-toxic way. This might be a good idea especially since it is possible to get parasites like mites from bedding material. Anyone ever try this before?

Offline cagedbirdsinging

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2012, 05:23:56 PM »
I like to keep things simple and natural. I've never met anything that vinegar and/or baking soda couldn't handle!

Offline PPHDB

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2012, 07:02:10 PM »
I drag my CN outside, spray everything off with a power hose. Drench it in Bleach spray, let sit for 5 minutes, then spray everything off again with a power hose (really good.)
Then let it dry in the sun, drag back inside and decorate :P
Pretty simple lol

If they had any liners or hammocks, we just throw them in the laundry (by themselves though.) Wash with detergent and dry with no lint sheet.
(But lately, since my hammocks and liners are so old Ive started to just throw them away, since they smell.)
RIP my dear sweet ratties: Possum, Pepper, Houi.

Offline Soshoni

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2012, 05:57:02 PM »
I have four boys in a single critter nation so I have to stay on top of it.

It's a bit rough to maneuver their cage outside too often and I also don't have a hose.

I change their liners daily, and try to wipe down the cage bars and trays with baby wipes daily. I swap at least one of their hammies out every day, but not all at once unless they've been really dirty boys.

Every couple of days, they get to hang out in the playpen for an extra long time while mom sprays their trays with a cleaner made from water, castille soap, vinegar and baking soda. I let that sit for a while, then rinse it off well in the shower and set the trays outside to dry. I'll take this opportunity to wipe the bars down with a cloth lightly coated with the mixture as well, and let it sit before thoroughly rinsing the bars off with a wet cloth. I air dry the cage. It doesn't get super wet so it doesn't take too long.

Every couple of weeks, the cage does get taken outside, really scrubbed with the mixture, and then rinsed off with a sopping wet rag and a bucket and left to dry outside as well.

I've used a hairdryer on the trays when I had to wash one late at night (messy, messy boys) and didn't have time to let it dry. Never used it on the cage.

Offline Lynke

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2012, 02:40:20 AM »
For my dcn every 3 days or so I change the liners and wipe down the cage with natures miracle ( vinegar works too but I find the smell vulgar and lingering) be sure to wipe the bars down too. Once a month I take the pans out (the 2 bottoms and 2 shelves) and I take them to the bath tub and give them a good scrubbing. I also spot clean every day. My cage never smells vulgar this way :) also a lot more practical then taking the whole darn cage out to rinse it.

Though I do want to add that I use vinager when washing their liners and hammock in the wash along with my normal cleaner. Really helps liner smell.

Offline StellBells

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2012, 03:39:38 PM »
We just wipe down the double CN - there's no way to maneuver a 100 pound, six-foot-tall cage downstairs to get it outside for cleaning!

I used to do this too, but now I take apart the top half of the CN, take that downstairs and outside, go through the cleaning ritual with that, and then top half back together so the ratties have a safe place to hang out while I take the bottom half downstairs and do that same thing.  I manage to do this by myself - it's a bit more work than cleaning the entire thing together at once, but it's definitely doable!!

Offline Lynke

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Re: How do you guys clean your cages?
« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2012, 08:54:21 PM »
We just wipe down the double CN - there's no way to maneuver a 100 pound, six-foot-tall cage downstairs to get it outside for cleaning!

I used to do this too, but now I take apart the top half of the CN, take that downstairs and outside, go through the cleaning ritual with that, and then top half back together so the ratties have a safe place to hang out while I take the bottom half downstairs and do that same thing.  I manage to do this by myself - it's a bit more work than cleaning the entire thing together at once, but it's definitely doable!!

You are a braver person then I XD after the irritating process of putting mine together the first time I don't think I could bear to take it apart and put it together again. Especially since some of my arts were bent so bad I don't know how it all fit together the first time