Author Topic: What fabric do you use to line your fleece?  (Read 3954 times)

Offline reedyrat

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What fabric do you use to line your fleece?
« on: October 07, 2015, 05:50:38 AM »
Yes I have time on my hands.  ;D And so I've decided to sew up some cage bottom liners. What fabrics would you recommend to line fleece with? I read that you MUST line fleece to wick the pee/moisture off to the absorbent layer than being used on its own. Will washing remove the ammonia or do you add anything to the wash - higher temperature, baking soda, vinegar, etc?

Offline Vonda Z

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Re: What fabric do you use to line your fleece?
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2015, 09:04:52 AM »
I recommend the U-Haul furniture pad liners. They are extremely absorbent, they are not stringy the way towels are when chewed and are easier to work with than towels, and they do not pose any dangers to toes the way cotton batting does. They are also relatively cheap.

You can get them at any U-Haul rental store or you can order online (I believe a $50 order qualifies for free shipping). Be sure to get the regular furniture pad ($7.95) and not the quilted ones as those are polyester and will not absorb well.

http://www.uhaul.com/MovingSupplies/Protective-stuff/Furniture-Pad?id=2670

Offline Kitsch Slapped

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Re: What fabric do you use to line your fleece?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2015, 11:20:09 AM »
+1 to Vonda's post on Uhaul. That's what I use too.
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Offline chelsea12

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Re: What fabric do you use to line your fleece?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2015, 11:28:48 AM »
I also agree with the uhaul pads. I use them in my guinea pigs cages and they dry so much quicker- controlling odor much better. I'll be switching my rat liners to uhaul pads soon.

Offline Vonda Z

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Re: What fabric do you use to line your fleece?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2015, 12:14:08 PM »
Will washing remove the ammonia or do you add anything to the wash - higher temperature, baking soda, vinegar, etc?

Forgot to answer the second part of your question. I have found it best to put vinegar in the rinse cycle (you can use the fabric softener dispenser if your washer has one as this will be released into the rinse cycle automatically). I also set my washer to run a second rinse as I have found this helps. I also make sure to run the washer at about half capacity. If I fill the washer to capacity with rat laundry, it doesn't always get the odor out.

I have never used baking soda in the rat laundry so I don't know how well that works on urine stains. I do know that baking soda in the laundry works well on skunk odor, so it may help and would be worth a try if you follow the above instructions and the laundry still smells.

There is a lot of conflicting advice about water temperature. In general, I have heard that hot water sets in protein stains, which would be any stains from bodily fluid, including urine. Some people recommend washing urine stains in hot water, but I do not know what the reasoning behind that is. However, hot water kills a lot of pathogens, so I prefer to wash in hot despite the risks of setting in the stain. If I follow the above instructions, I usually do not have a problem with odor. If the laundry comes out of the washer smelling bad, I would wash again before putting in the dryer as I believe the dryer may set in any residual odors. If you have problems getting the odor out in hot water, you can try washing in cold water or rinsing thoroughly in cold water to get as much urine out before washing in hot water. If you wash in cold water, you may want to use a hot setting on your dryer to kill pathogens (but make sure the laundry doesn't smell before you put it in the dryer).

Offline ILoveMyRatties

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Re: What fabric do you use to line your fleece?
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2015, 04:47:43 PM »
The pee of rats contain urea, and it is only when the bacteria start "eating" at the urea that is convert to ammonia. The horrible smell is due to ammonia. Washing the liners using the sanitize option on your washer will kill those bacteria. However, I read that only enzymes can truly get rid of the ammonia or pee smell because they are crystals that are not very water soluble...

I tried once a natural enzyme cleaner to spot clean my rats' stuff, had to stop because it made my rats sneeze. The problem with those enzyme cleaners is that they have fragance, parfum added to them. However, I just found one enzyme cleaner that didn't have any fragance added to it on Amazon and will try to spray it on liners BEFORE washing them. Otherwise, i have to let them soak overnight in the washer, and prewash them too. It is very difficult to get rid of the ammonia smell completely, and I do change them twice a week. If it smells just a little bit bad to you, it is not clean enough.

I wish I bought an agitator washer...those HE washers are not that good for stuff like that.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 04:50:17 PM by ILoveMyRatties »

Offline reedyrat

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Re: What fabric do you use to line your fleece?
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2015, 05:57:53 AM »
I'll see if moving companies (here in Australia) carry a similar product as U-Haul liners.

I presently use fleece lined with either terry towelling or cotton flannel. The absorbency is okay as I change daily. But yes, I need to improve on odour control as my washing routine doesn't quite remove the ammonia. I will try putting them through a second vinegar rinse cycle and see if that extra rinse will help. I remember using cloth nappies on my boy and I rinsed them daily then kept them in a bucket until I had decent load. Then it was hot water with vinegar rinse. Worked wonders!




Offline gingerfrog

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Re: What fabric do you use to line your fleece?
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2015, 04:38:32 PM »
a good way to get ammonia smells out of stuff is to hang it on your washing line in the rain, leave them out for about 24 hours, its how we get the smell build up out of cloth nappies, including the fleece liners ;)

Offline Mischief Mistress

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Re: What fabric do you use to line your fleece?
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2016, 11:17:36 PM »
I didn't know any of this. I don't put anything under my fleece. Just the fleece itself. I only have two boys in the single CN.
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Offline ILoveMyRatties

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Re: What fabric do you use to line your fleece?
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2016, 01:09:22 AM »
I stopped using fleece as liners because it started to smell after a couple of days...
In the bottom part of my double critter nation I use those Home Depot cement mixing tubes with Eco Bedding and everywhere else a rug from Costco (Home Depot has the same one) I cut to the dimension of the pans. It smells way less, wash easier, and much easier to vacuum for spot cleaning than fleece that gets sucked into the vacuum.
http://m.homedepot.com/p/Foss-Fairway-Green-6-ft-x-8-ft-Indoor-Outdoor-Area-Rug-7A25486PJ1L1/205617377?MERCH=RV-_-rv_mobileweb_rr-2-_-205617377-_-205617377-_-N

I actually bought it to as replacement for the rug I bought at Costco. I never used it yet since my rats left the liners alone. It looks and feel like the one I got at Cosco thru. I wanted to be sure I will never run out of it in case I needed more :yelcutelaugh:
« Last Edit: January 08, 2016, 01:13:18 AM by ILoveMyRatties »

Offline Mischief Mistress

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Re: What fabric do you use to line your fleece?
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2016, 09:33:23 AM »
Can you take a pic of your cage? My CN starts to smell after a few days too so I'm open to making that stop!
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Offline Vonda Z

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Re: What fabric do you use to line your fleece?
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2016, 09:48:38 AM »
My CN starts to smell after a few days too so I'm open to making that stop!

If you don't put anything under your fleece, the cage will start to smell right away after cleaning. This is because the fleece is polyester and doesn't absorb the urine - it wicks it away. The urine passes through the fleece and pools on the trays underneath, where it makes a sticky mess that starts to stink right away. I never recommend using fleece without an absorbent layer (towels or U-Haul furniture pad or something thick and cotton and absorbent). You will get much better results putting towels or U-Haul furniture pads under your fleece - or switching to a litter if you prefer that.

Offline Mischief Mistress

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Re: What fabric do you use to line your fleece?
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2016, 10:24:30 AM »
I will definitely have to try that!
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Offline Mischief Mistress

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Re: What fabric do you use to line your fleece?
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2016, 11:56:38 AM »
Since I just did a thorough cage clean late last night I decided to put some hand towels underneath the fleece. Hope it makes a difference. :-)
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Offline ILoveMyRatties

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Re: What fabric do you use to line your fleece?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2016, 03:00:24 PM »
Here are some pictures of the Eco outdoor rug I use in my Critter nations instead of fleece. Fleece was sooooo annoying to vacuum for daily clean and requires something absorbing below to suck in the pee- which is annoying by itself because now you have twice as many things to wash. Also the fleece does NOT let the pee through unless the rat step into it making the rat a potentially stinker, lol.
 Also my rats would go sleep under the lining fleece which put them directly below  their pee that they will breath in during their sleep which was not good for URI, obviously. My rats never go sleep below their liners now.

The rug is about 2-3 times thicker than fleece and let you vacuum it much easier since it is thicker and heavier than fleece. It absorbs the pee very well. It also washes better than fleece. I personally will never use fleece as liners ever again. It is made of the same material than fleece that is 100% polyester fiber.






« Last Edit: January 17, 2016, 03:04:42 PM by ILoveMyRatties »

Offline Michael C

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Re: What fabric do you use to line your fleece?
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2016, 06:54:12 PM »


Has anyone used or heard of "vet bedding"?

Offline ILoveMyRatties

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Re: What fabric do you use to line your fleece?
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2016, 07:37:56 PM »
I haven't until now:) looks great. Much more expensive though. Would cost about $100 for a single set for a DCC. The rug is only about $15 and you can make 3 DCN sets. Looks somewhat like what I'm using only thicker. I wish I could feel it in my hands to see how thick it is.
If you try those, let us know;)
« Last Edit: January 17, 2016, 07:40:32 PM by ILoveMyRatties »

Offline Michael C

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Re: What fabric do you use to line your fleece?
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2016, 09:24:45 PM »
Yeah, at $30+ for a 24" x 36", it's definitely cost prohibitive. Your method is far more reasonable. Do you have chewers? Did you notice any difference in chewing between the fleece and the rugs?

Offline ILoveMyRatties

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Re: What fabric do you use to line your fleece?
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2016, 11:03:29 PM »
My girls used to chew the fleece big time. I still use that fleece in their plastic basket bed I hung in their cage:), I should take a pic to show you how much fleece chewers my girls were, lol.
They did not chew the rug at all for 5 months or so, just lately they started to chew a little at it but not enough for it to be replaced yet. It is very minimal. I believe they leave it alone because that would not be comfortable to sleep below it anyway and maybe because it is more difficult to chew although would not deter motivated rats.