How To: Clean a small pet's cage

Clean a small pet's cage

It's not the best part of owning a pet, but somebody's gotta do it.
You Will Need
* An empty, dry bathtub
* A large garbage bag
* Paper towels or dishtowels
* Dishwashing detergent or other mild soap
* Clean bedding—aspen shavings, pelleted paper, or hay
* And a dustpan and brush or vacuum cleaner
* White vinegar

Step 1
Put your pet in a safe, enclosed place where he can stay while you clean his cage. An empty, dry bathtub or an empty wastebasket—clean, of course!—works well.

Step 2
Take all the toys, food dishes, and water bottles out of the cage.

Step 3
Dump the dirty bedding from the cage into a garbage bag.

Step 4
Using paper towels, remove any clumped bedding that's stuck to the bottom of the cage. Animals often use the corners of cages as their bathrooms.

Step 5
Soak a paper towel or dishtowel with water and a bit of mild soap. Use it to wipe out the entire interior of the cage—all the nooks and crannies.

If the cage still smells after you've washed it, you can wipe it down with a solution of equal parts of white vinegar and water. Then rinse it thoroughly.

Step 6
Use paper towels or a clean dishtowel to dry the cage completely.

Step 7
Line the cage with a few inches of clean, new bedding.

Pine and cedar shavings contain chemicals that can be harmful to small animals, so don't use them.

Step 8
Clean your pet's plastic toys, food dishes, and water bottle with mild soap and warm water, then rinse and dry them thoroughly.

Step 9
Replace any cardboard tubes, paper towels, and other nesting materials.

Step 10
Fill the dishes with new food, and put new water in the water bottle.

Step 11
Put the toys, food dishes, and water bottle back in the cage.

Step 12
Use a dustpan and brush or vacuum cleaner to sweep up the floor or surface around or under the cage.

Step 13
Return your pet to his sparkling-clean quarters—and watch as he starts rearranging everything the way he wants it!

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