Author Topic: Cleaning Bricks and Rocks?  (Read 1376 times)

Offline Michael C

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Cleaning Bricks and Rocks?
« on: March 31, 2016, 10:19:40 PM »
So, I split a brick and put each half in the two litter trays. I've read about pee rocks but I'm actually kind of surprised how naturally inclined the boys are to peeing on the brick. It took less than a few minutes in the cage before I noticed the boys "using" it.

Now, how do I clean the darned things? I just soaked them in water and scrubbed them with a brush. What else? Is that it? Did I do the thing?

Offline ILoveMyRatties

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Re: Cleaning Bricks and Rocks?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2016, 01:21:34 AM »
The pee will sink into the brick, you won't be able to clean well. Try a smooth rock like a beach smooth stone instead. They sell those as decorations.

Offline Vonda Z

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Re: Cleaning Bricks and Rocks?
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2016, 10:46:13 AM »
I don't use them so I am just postulating, but perhaps immersing the brick in vinegar for a while will work? Allow the vinegar to get into all the crevices the pee could get into?

Offline BigBen

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Re: Cleaning Bricks and Rocks?
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2016, 11:05:11 PM »
If you soak the bricks in vinegar and peroxide mixed, for say about ten or twenty minutes, I imagine that would do a decent job.  Vinegar and peroxide combine to form peracetic acid, which I understand is a pretty good antiseptic, better than either vinegar or peroxide individually.  Your main concern is to prevent bacteria from growing on the urine, which is sterile when it leaves the body, but which is also a good nutrient medium for bacteria.  Since bricks are porous, the idea of getting a couple of smooth rocks is not a bad one--fewer crannies that might not dry out properly.  It's wet urine that feeds bacteria--most bacteria can't live if they dry out.  Possibly you could put them in the dishwasher (with only a bit of vingear?) and let the drying cycle ensure that they are properly dry?

If you have the time (say you had a second pair of brick to use in the meantime), you could even use commercial cleaners on the bricks, but you would want to rinse them really thoroughly and allow them to dry completely before putting them back in the cage.  But I would still tend to stick to something fairly safe, such as Dawn dishwashing liquid, just in case!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 11:06:46 PM by BigBen »
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Offline ILoveMyRatties

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Re: Cleaning Bricks and Rocks?
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2016, 12:08:28 AM »
maybe after the vinegar/peroxide, you could boil it gir 10 mins to make sure everything is killed and well rinsed.  But it seems like a lot of work to me. I would replace it, or get a smooth rock  that you would just have to clean with a little dish soap like anything else in your rat cage.

Offline Michael C

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Re: Cleaning Bricks and Rocks?
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2016, 10:25:51 AM »
Yup, it's sounding like a smooth rock is probably the way to go. I'm surprised that I haven't read a thread like this before, though. Don't a fair amount of people use bricks to wear down their rats' tiny toenails?

Offline ILoveMyRatties

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Re: Cleaning Bricks and Rocks?
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2016, 11:00:42 AM »
I believe I saw a few thread on cleaning bricks here or another forum...not sure 100%. A brick costs around $1 so I'm guessing most people replace it. Also for nail filling purpose, it might not get that dirty that quickly.

Offline Vonda Z

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Re: Cleaning Bricks and Rocks?
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2016, 06:56:12 PM »
I don't use bricks, but I do use the lava ledges for toenails - under the water bottles and as climbing walls. I soak them in hot water/vinegar solution so that it gets into all the pores like I suggested for the brick. But they don't last long before they get loose on the screw, and then I just replace them. They are more expensive than bricks, however, but also more versatile. I suppose I could stick the broken ones in a litter box for a week or two before throwing them out - maybe they would serve as a pee rock as well.

Offline Been to the Mountaintop

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Re: Cleaning Bricks and Rocks?
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2016, 06:49:25 PM »
I'm a pee rock reject. Just got it off the ground, didn't think to sterilize it first or clean it after.  :doh: Don't know why--we're real careful with freezing everything else.
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