How to Wash Guinea Pig Fleece Bedding?

How to Wash Guinea Pig Fleece Bedding 

Washing guinea pig fleece is an important part of your routine in order to properly care for the little pets. If you are reading this article, you are indeed a pet lover that cares about his little friend being comfy and groomed. I cannot stress enough about how important it is that every pet owner does a little research about their small animal. This does not only prevent a lot of incidents, but it helps the owner to better understand the needs their pet has.  

A guinea pig cage should always be as clean as possible, so in this article, I will give you a routine and some tips that will make a huge difference for you. 

So, how to wash guinea pig fleece bedding? Well, there are a lot of methods to clean a guinea pig fleece bedding. Some of them might include using some special tools like different combs, or just the washing machine. Either way, I will teach you as much as I can:

  • Whatever it takes, you cannot skip daily cleaning. Just pick up everything big enough that can be seen with bare eyes. Vacuum the little chunks of food and their feces. Other tools you can use to do this are a plastic scoop or a small broom with a dustpan. Just get out of the cage the most visible trash. 


  • Buy a curry comb. If you don’t know what that is, it’s the rubber comb used to groom horses. You can buy them online easily. Use a curry comb to get rid of the loose hairs that got stuck in the fleece bedding. 


  • You should also shake out the fleece. After you did your daily little habits, you can let your friend a little bit out of the cage to run in the house or something while you shake the fleece outside or in the bath. 


  • If you like to keep the fleece extra clean, you can throw it in the washing machine. However, you can’t just throw it as you do with your dirty clothes. You have to follow all of the steps above before you put it in the washing machine. Also, if you do these pre-cleansing, it will come out a lot cleaner. 


  • Spot cleaning. This is a very popular method a lot of guinea pig owner swear by. Spot cleaning is picking up the bigger chunks of trash multiple times a day in order to prevent hard work later. Think about it for a second: what do you prefer? Feeding your pet and picking up his waste after he finishes eating? Or feeding your guinea pig multiple times, ignoring the mess that accumulates and builds up in their cage? If you ask me, that is quite a simple question. 


Tips on How to Cut down the Cleaning Time

Here are some very useful tips to cut down your time on cleaning the cage. 

Tip No. 1

A very good tip that most people don’t know is to pre-wash the bedding. The bedding has a water barrier on top of it that can be destroyed by pre-washing before putting it in use for the guinea pigs. It’s not mandatory to pre-wash, but if you don’t, the urine will be soaked in much harder. You can pre-wash it 2 to 3 times. 

Tip No. 2

If you want to have an ‘organized’ guinea pig, you have to teach him how to be like that. One of the simplest things you can do is to put all the hay you give them in a single place every time, preferably in a corner. Hay gets all over the place anywhere, but by putting it in a single place, you minimize the damage. Your guinea pig will eventually understand that the spot you chose is where he has to eat hay; he doesn’t have to drag it all over the cage. 

Tip No. 3

You can use your own detergent when doing the laundry with the fleece bedding. Just do not put in the washing machine clothes that are not similar in color and texture with the fleece bedding. Although you can use your normal detergent, never use fabric softener or dryer sheets. The strong scent can be irritating to guinea pigs. 

Tip No. 4

However, in order to make an even more efficient work, add some white vinegar as it helps kill bacteria and get rid of the unpleasant smell. 

Tip No. 5

In order to combat odor, you can also use baking soda, borax or bleach. However, if you use bleach, you may want to rinse the fleece bedding a second time because of its strong and irritating smell. 

Tip No. 6

Also, use a high heat setting for the washing machine and wash them as you wash your clothes (a cycle). High heat is necessary in order to really get the dirt and the bacteria out of the fleece bedding. If you were to wash the fleece bedding yourself, you would need to use hot water, anyway. 

Tip No. 7

It is 100% safe to dry the fleece bedding in the washing machine. Moreover, you can actually dry it among your clothes, it is safe. You can do that with a low-medium setting, or you can air dry the fleece. However, I don’t recommend air drying just because it takes up more time. If you drying the bedding in the washing machine, your guinea pig won’t have to wait for such a long time, so it is better for everybody. 

Tip No. 8

Even if fleece bedding can be washed with other items, don’t overload the washing machine. The fleece needs space to move and get a really thorough cleanse. If you put too many items in the washing machine, none of them will be really cleansed and the fleece bedding needs to be thoroughly washed. 

Tip No. 9

Make a schedule and stick to it. You can do spot cleaning every day and wash the fleece in the machine once or twice a week. If you wash it from time to time, it won’t make any difference odor wise and if you don’t spot clean every day, the cage will become a total mess soon enough. 

Tip No. 10

Add a litter box to their bathroom area. It will take a little time to get used to the box, but once they do, cleaning will be a lot easier. Just make sure you empty the litter box from time to time. This tip helps keep the fleece bedding as dry as possible. The younger the guinea pigs are, the easier it would be for them to get used to using a litter box. 

Tip No. 11

Keeping the same idea in mind, use water bottles instead of bowls. They are a lot practical and they present no risk of getting the bedding soaked in water. However, even if you use a bowl, get a heavy one so your little friend won’t be able to turn it over. 

Tip No. 12

Keep a fresh and clean set of bedding for when you wash the dirty one. It is a great solution to own a second set of fleece bedding, so you don’t have to worry what to do with your guinea when you wash one of them. 

Is Guinea Pig Fleece Bedding a Good Choice for Me?

First of all, if you haven’t figured out yet whether fleece bedding is a good option for your preference, I’m here to help you. In order to move forward, if you don’t like doing laundry and paying daily attention towards cleaning your guinea pig cage, you are wasting your time reading this. Fleece is not an easy option as bedding. It has to be cleaned at least daily if not several times a day. It definitely isn’t an alternative for a kid, so don’t punish your children like that.  

Also, fleece bedding should be used with another layer of bedding underneath. This layer might be made of paper, towels or newspaper. 

If nobody takes care of the fleece bedding every day, your friend’s cage will turn into a nightmare.  

Things you need to know before buying fleece:

  • It’s better if you buy more: you can always cut it. 
  • The price ranges between 10 and 30$. 
  • It is so much better if it is 100% polyester. If it is not polyester, it won’t be absorbent, so the urine will sit on top of it. 
  • Pre-wash it 2-3 times. 
  • Use paper or newspaper or even towels under the fleece bedding. 

Hygiene is very underestimated when it comes to pets. A lot of people might think that the lack of taking care of pets harms the owner, but it also harms the pets, especially when talking about guinea pigs (extremely sensitive animals). Guinea pigs get sick easily, they get dirty easily and they require a special amount of time. If you are not ready or willing to make this kind of commitment, just don’t get a guinea pig to ruin his short life. 

Clarissa Moolbrock

Clarissa Moolbrock is one of the founders and editor at Guinea Pig Tube. She is also an author of "Complete Guinea Pig Care Guide: The Essential, Practical Guide To All Aspects of Caring for Your Guinea Pigs" (available on Amazon). Being a veterinary technician helping animals and sharing her experience and knowledge with other guinea pig owners is her passion. Her life goal is to popularise guinea pigs as pets and that is why she has started Guinea Pig Tube website.