How to Clean a Guinea Pig Cage

Four Parts:Making Your Guinea Pig ComfortableCleaning Your Guinea Pig's Cage on a Daily BasisConducting Weekly CleaningsSetting Up Your Pet's Home

Guinea pigs are often prized as excellent pets. They typically have an agreeable personality and tend to have a relatively long lifespan compared to other small pets.[1] But like every pet, guinea pigs need a safe, clean, and healthy environment in order to thrive.

Part 1
Making Your Guinea Pig Comfortable

  1. Image titled Clean a Guinea Pig Cage Step 1
    Restrain your guinea pig. Do this by gently placing one hand around its chest, keeping your thumb beneath the guinea pig's jaw. Use your other hand to support the guinea pig's hindquarters, holding it upright between your two hands.[2]
    • It's important to handle your guinea pig firmly enough that it won't fall, but not so firmly as to injure its body. Be aware that if your guinea pig is prone to nervousness or skittishness, it may try to squirm out of your hands and jump, which can lead to serious injury.[3]
  2. Image titled Clean a Guinea Pig Cage Step 2
    Take your guinea pig out of its cage. Once your guinea pig is properly restrained, move it into a safe, enclosed space from which it can't escape. Make sure somebody is around watching your guinea pig, and that there are no loud noises around that may scare it. Someone can hold your guinea pig, if you want.
  3. Image titled Clean a Guinea Pig Cage Step 3
    Groom your guinea pig, as necessary. Long-haired guinea pigs need to be brushed daily.[4] If you need to groom or bathe your guinea pig, it may be easiest to do so while your pet is out of its cage.
    • Unless your guinea pig has gotten sticky or smelly, it should only need to be bathed a maximum of 2-3 times per year.[5]
  4. Image titled Clean a Guinea Pig Cage Step 4
    Give your guinea pig someplace to hide. Your pet should be used to having a designated hiding place in its permanent cage. When you remove your guinea pig from its home, it may become frightened. If you can't fit its permanent hiding place into the temporary enclosed space, make a small temporary space by cutting the bottom out of a cardboard box.[6]

Part 2
Cleaning Your Guinea Pig's Cage on a Daily Basis

  1. Image titled Clean a Guinea Pig Cage Step 5
    Spot-clean the cage. Remove excess food and waste, spot-clean the cage as needed with a wet paper towel, and make sure the bedding is completely dry.
  2. Image titled Clean a Guinea Pig Cage Step 6
    Refill food and water. This should be done every single day. If your guinea pig spills water into the food dish, remove that food and replenish the dish with fresh, dry food.
  3. Image titled Clean a Guinea Pig Cage Step 7
    Wash food and water dishes in hot, soapy water. Doing this every day will help prevent bacteria from growing in the food and water receptacles.[7]

Part 3
Conducting Weekly Cleanings

  1. Image titled Clean a Guinea Pig Cage Step 8
    Plan to conduct thorough cage cleanings about once every week. Though daily maintenance and spot-cleaning are necessary, you will also need to thoroughly clean out your guinea pig's cage once every week. This will ensure that your guinea pig is healthy and happy, and its environment is odor-free.
  2. Image titled Clean a Guinea Pig Cage Step 9
    Remove everything from your guinea pig's cage. When you're doing a thorough cage cleaning, remove all of your pet's toys, as well as its food bowl, water bottle, and hiding place.
  3. Image titled Clean a Guinea Pig Cage Step 10
    Wash the water bottle and food bowl. A guinea pig will often get pieces of bedding and/or droppings into its food bowl, so it's important to clean food and water bowls regularly.[8]
    • Empty out any leftover food and water. Then run some hot water and submerge the water bottle and food bowl. Leave them in the sink to dry while you clean out the cage.
    • If your pet's hiding place can be washed, it's a good idea to rinse it off as well.
  4. Image titled Clean a Guinea Pig Cage Step 11
    Take your cage to where you plan to clean it and get a large garbage bag. Carefully brush everything into the bag, removing all substrate material from the enclosure.[9]
    • For really big cages, it is handy to have a cat-poop scooper to scrape out the cage. Do not use the same one as your cat, dog or other pet.
  5. Image titled Clean a Guinea Pig Cage Step 12
    Spray the inside of the cage down. You can use a mild detergent, or mix three-parts warm water and one-part distilled white vinegar.[10]
    • For deeper stains and messes, use undiluted vinegar, but make sure to clean off well afterwards!
  6. Image titled Clean a Guinea Pig Cage Step 13
    Rinse the cage out. Be sure to rinse off every surface of the cage, especially after using a spray-cleaner.
  7. Image titled Clean a Guinea Pig Cage Step 14
    Dry the cage with paper towels. If you have the time, you can let it air dry. It's important to be sure your guinea pig's cage is completely dry before laying down the newspaper and bedding, as dampness can quickly cause a mold problem that can lead to illness for your pet.[11]

Part 4
Setting Up Your Pet's Home

  1. Image titled Clean a Guinea Pig Cage Step 15
    Line the cage with fresh and clean new newspaper, then fill with bedding. You should make the bedding about 1-3 inches deep, or 2.5-7.6 centimeters.
    • You should never use cedar or pine shavings. Though these wood chips are often sold for use in cages, they actually contain chemicals which can be harmful to your guinea pig.[12]
    • Generally speaking, hay makes a good bedding choice. But damp hay can harbor fungal growth, and dry, dusty hay could cause respiratory problems.[13]
  2. Image titled Clean a Guinea Pig Cage Step 16
    Be sure the cage is completely dry before you put down newspaper and bedding. Putting down new bedding and newspaper on a damp surface can quickly lead to mold and fungus growth in the cage.
  3. Image titled Clean a Guinea Pig Cage Step 17
    Put the cage back together (if you took it apart) and put the toys and things back in their places. Hide your pet's favorite treats in paper towel rolls or hang them up by a piece of string. (But make sure your piggy can reach it!)
  4. Image titled Clean a Guinea Pig Cage Step 18
    Control the environment. Remember that guinea pigs need a constant temperature, and your pet's cage should not be exposed to direct sources of heat or cold.[14] It's best to keep the room temperature from dropping below 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21.1 degrees Celsius) or getting above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32.2 degrees Celsius).[15]


  • Give your guinea pig something to chew on in its cage. Untreated wood is best, as plastic can be swallowed and cause harm to your pet.[16]
  • Use either a sponge or a small, fresh rag and a diluted solution of distilled white vinegar to wipe/spray down your piggies home. Don't use Windex or any other cleaning spray as it can be harmful to your cavy.
  • To help you clean your cage, put a layer of newspaper underneath the bedding. That way you can roll it up when its time to refresh the cage.
  • There are many pet safe cage cleaning sprays/wipes available at pet stores, if you don't feel comfortable using what you have at home.
  • Most animal experts recommend giving your guinea pig a hiding place inside its cage.
  • If you have more than one guinea pig clean it two times a week.
  • Leave a rough surface in a small area of the Guinea pig cage so they can keep their nails a sensible size!


  • Cleaning your pig's cage at least on a weekly basis is very important in maintaining your pet's health.
  • Do not use wood chips or sawdust as they cause serious harm to your pet. Cedar bedding can cause many health problems, as can pine. Kiln-dried pine is suitable for bedding if nothing else is available.
  • Always have someone supervising your guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are naturally curious and can get into a lot of trouble.
  • Guinea pigs need a constant temperature. Your guinea pig's cage should not be exposed to direct sources of heat or cold.[17]

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: Featured Articles | Guinea Pigs