Washing guinea pig fleece is an important part of your routine in order to properly care for these little pets. We cannot stress enough 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 of their pet.
Even a simple thing like washing their bedding if not researched enough can result in problems. Guinea pigs are sensitive animals and in other to keep them happy and healthy there are many things you need to watch out for. Now let’s talk about their fleece bedding.
So, how to wash guinea pig fleece bedding? There are a lot of ways to clean and wash a guinea pig fleece bedding. The best method to maintain their cage and the fleece bedding clean is to perform a daily spot cleaning method of the cage and to wash the fleece bedding once a week. Naturally, how often you are going to perform these tasks depends on how many guinea pigs you have and on their diet. Before putting the fleece bedding into the washing machine it’s important to prepare it for the wash. That means removing feces, food remains, and their hair by using different tools such as scoop, broom, or curry comb. You should also use special detergents for pets that are low-scented which are a lot better for their health.
Keep reading the article to find more helpful information and our step by step guide. A guinea pig cage should always be as clean as possible because guinea pigs love to be clean and hygiene directly impacts their health.
So in this article, we have given you a routine for washing the guinea pig fleece bedding and also some tips on how to cut down the cleaning time, which is going to make a huge difference for you. Let’s start!
Washing the Guinea Pig Fleece Bedding | Step by Step Instructions
There are some pre-washing steps that need to be performed before washing the guinea pig fleece bedding. The first step is to clean it by using our hands and some special tools. After that, comes the washing machine.
It is fairly simple but we are going to go through every step with you and give you our recommendations on the products that we use as they can save you so much time.
1. Preparing the Guinea Pig’s Fleece Bedding for Washing
• Daily Cleaning
Whatever it takes, you cannot skip the daily cage cleaning. Just pick up everything that is big enough to 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.
Remove the visible trash out of the cage. If you can do this daily or even a few times a day, your fleece bedding will be later easier to wash.
• Buy Cleaning Tools
Having a curry comb is going to save you so much time. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a rubber comb used to groom horses. You can buy them easily online. Use a curry comb to get rid of the hair that got stuck on the fleece bedding.
- Removes loose, shedding hair
- Perfect for bath time
- Rubber brush; easy to clean
- Ideal for short hair breeds
The broom with a dustpan is also a good choice. They come in different sizes and you need to choose one which is good for your guinea pig’s cage. If the cage is small, you can buy smaller broom and vice versa.
These brooms with a dustpan are great for picking up guinea pig’s feces and pieces of food, but they aren’t good for getting rid of the hair.
- Slim shape allow for convenient storage
- Brush snaps into Dust Pan and stores with the bristles covered
- Soft rubber lip conforms to surfaces for efficient cleaning
- Soft, comfortable handle is angled for countertop use
- Perfect for kitchens, craft rooms and cars
For the guinea pig’s hair or those little things that you can’t pick with your hand, you could use a vacuum cleaner. After using a vacuum cleaner your fleece bedding will be definitely ready for washing in the washing machine.
You can use the vacuum cleaner that you use in your home, but there are other options. Handheld vacuums are the best choice for cleaning fleece beddings but also for any guinea pig’s cage.
With this type of vacuum cleaner, you will be able to clean all those little things that can’t be removed with hands and also guinea pig’s hair. It is very easy to handle and lightweight.
We recommend the BLACK+DECKER Handheld Vacuum which has a washable bowl and a filter and also includes a crevice extension that provides access to hard to reach areas and it also has a brush which allows you to dust and vacuum upholstery. So, it’s ideal for guinea pig fleece bedding.
- Dustbowl capacity 31.8 ounces; Lithium technology provides strong suction and extended run time, 1.5 AH
- Increased bowl capacity, washable bowl and filter
- A crevice tool for hard to reach areas and brush for upholstery
- Wide mouth design for large debris and cyclonic action helps keep the filter clean and suction strong
- Lightweight and portable design. 10 hours, Power Rating: 10.8
• Shaking the Fleece
You should also shake out the fleece. After you did your daily routines, you can let your little guinea pig out of the cage to run in the house while you shake the fleece outside or in the bathtub.
2. Washing the Guinea Pig’s Fleece Bedding in the Washing Machine
If you like to keep the fleece extra clean, you can throw it in the washing machine. However, you can’t just throw it inside 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 our recommended pre-washing steps, it will come out a lot cleaner.
Step 1 – Put the fleece in the washing machine.
Step 2 – Put the detergent and white vinegar in the designated places in the washing machine. Don’t put a lot of detergent, just use the recommended amount and half a cup of white vinegar.
Step 3 – Set the washing machine on the program for beddings (down wear), if your machine has that program. The water doesn’t always need to be hot, you can use cold water that will not damage the fleece.
If sometimes the guinea pig’s bedding is extremely dirty you can use programs with the hot temperatures to kill any bacteria. It is only important to use a program with lots of water.
Step 4 – When washing is done, put the fleece in the dryer or dry it on the air. If you choose dryer, be sure to use a low temperature, don’t use dryer sheets and don’t over-dry it.
• Pet Bag for Washing
Some pet owners recommend buying a washing bag for guinea pig beddings that can prevent damaging of your washing machine from excess guinea pig’s hair.
It isn’t necessary to buy this washing bag, but it will make the cleaning of guinea pig’s fleece bedding much easier and you won’t have to worry if your machine is going to break down.
- Suitable for washing PET bedding, blankets and towels
- Keep your washing machine clean and free from pet hair
- Design for easy storage
- Suitable for washing pet clothing, pet bedding, blankets, fleeces, duvet covers, throws, pet towels, soft toys, tugs, collars and harnesses
You need to be careful when choosing detergent for washing guinea pig’s fleece bedding. Detergent needs to be without any additives, which means perfume and dyes free.
This is very important because guinea pig’s skin is very sensitive, but also their respiratory system. Guinea pigs can’t handle strong smells and it can be irritating for them, so be sure to use a detergent without any sent.
- REMOVES LAUNDRY STAINS & ODORS: Add to wash loads along with your laundry detergent for removing stains and odors.
- WHITENS & BRIGHTENS: Safe to use in every wash load – effective in both hot and cold temperatures.
- BREAKS DOWN STAINS: The phosphate-free cleaning system breaks down urine, blood, vomit, grease and oil.
- WHERE TO USE: Perfect for use on clothing, pet beds and more.
- GUARANTEED TO WORK OR YOUR MONEY BACK: We’re sure you’re going to be very happy. But if you are not satisfied with this product for any reason, we will make it right. For terms of guarantee, see product label.
• White Vinegar
Don’t use any softeners as they contain perfumes but because they can also soften the fleece bedding and weaken the permeable properties of the fleece. Softeners aren’t good for absorption.
As a replacement, you can use white vinegar. White vinegar will make fleece soft enough and also help to kill bacterias and get rid of the odor.
Tips on How to Cut Down the Cleaning Time | Cage and Bedding
Here are some very useful tips to cut down the time you spend on cleaning the guinea pig’s cage and the bedding.
• Spot Cleaning
This is a very popular method that many guinea pig owners follow. 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 us, that is quite a simple question to answer. Spot cleaning is really amazing.
A very good tip that most people don’t know is to pre-wash the bedding before it is put to use. The fleece bedding has a water barrier on the top and it can be destroyed by the pre-washing.
It’s not mandatory to pre-wash, but if you don’t, the urine will be soaked in much harder. You can pre-wash the fleece bedding 2 to 3 times before using it.
• Hay Placement
If you want to have an ‘organized’ guinea pig, you will have to teach it how to behave like that. One of the simplest things you can do is to put all the hay you give them on the same spot every time, preferably in a corner.
Hay gets all over the place and by putting it in a single spot every time you will minimize the damage. Your guinea pig will eventually understand what you are trying to do and it will stop dragging the hay all over the cage.
• Washing Schedule
Make a schedule and stick to it. You can do spot cleaning every day and wash the fleece in the washing 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.
• Litter Box
Add a litter box to their bathroom area. It will take them some 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 will be for them to get used to using a litter box. Click on this link and find more about how to teach your guinea pig to use the litter box.
• Use Water Bottles
However, even if you use a bowl, get a heavy one so your little friend won’t be able to turn it over.
• Second Fleece Bedding
Keep one fresh and clean fleece bedding set for when you wash the dirty one. It is a great solution to have two fleece beddings, so you don’t have to worry about what to do with your guinea pig while you are washing the dirty bedding.
Guinea Pig’s Fleece Bedding: Is It a Good Choice for Every Owner?
First of all, if you still haven’t figured out whether fleece bedding is a good option for you and your guinea pig, we are here to help you as well. In order to move forward, if you don’t like doing laundry and paying daily attention towards cleaning your guinea pig’s cage, you are wasting your time reading this.
Fleece is not an easy option for having bedding in the guinea pig’s cage. It has to be cleaned at least daily and if you have a lot of guinea pigs even several times a day. It definitely isn’t an alternative if your kids are taking care of the guinea pig as they will have to use the washing machine.
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 or weekly, your pet’s cage will turn into a nightmare.
• Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Fleece Bedding
- It’s better to buy a larger fleece bedding as you can always cut it shorter if needed.
- Fleece is so much better when it is made out of 100% polyester. If it is not made out of polyester, it won’t be absorbent, so the urine will sit on top of it.
- Pre-wash it 2-3 times before using it the first time.
- Use paper or newspaper or even towels under the fleece bedding just as a precaution.
Keeping hygiene at high levels is very underestimated when it comes to pets. Not cleaning the guinea pig’s cage and the bedding can cause harm to guinea pigs as they can develop serious health problems from the dirty environment.
Pets, in general, get easily sick, they also get dirty quite fast and they require a special amount of time and dedication. Hopefully, our guide and tips have helped you cut down the time needed to clean their cage and now you have more time to hang out in peace with your cute little guinea pig pet!
List of Sources
Kraft, L. M., The Manufacture, Shipping and Receiving and Quality Control of Rodent Bedding Materials, Lab. Animal Science, 1980.
RSPCA, Guinea pigs: Good practice for housing and care, Research Animals Department, RSPCA, 3rd edition, 2011.
Potgieter, F .J., Wilke, P. I., Laboratory animal bedding and nesting materials for rodents and lagomorphs, Journal of the South African Veterinary Association, 1993.
Miyamoto, T., Li, Z., Kibushi, T., Okano, S., Yamasaki, N., Kasai, N., Utility of Recycled Bedding for Laboratory Rodents, Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, 2009.
Burn, C., Mason, G. J., Absorbencies of six different rodent beddings: commercially advertised absorbencies are potentially misleading., Laboratory Animals, 2004.