One of the less glamorous parts of hedgehog ownership is cage cleaning, specifically cleaning the wheel. Most hedgehogs spend a lot of time on their wheel, running miles and miles each night. For many hedgehogs, this is a convenient time to also go to the bathroom. So what is the best method for cleaning the wheel?
Note: we recommend regular wipe downs, but even with regular wiping, you will need to do an occasional deep clean to refresh their wheel.
Step 1: Remove any large chunks and wipe away any liquid
Be sure to scrape off and remove any large chunks of poop or bedding and wipe away any liquid
Step 2: Fill a tub with hot water
Place your wheel(s) in the tub with hot water so that the water fills over the entire wheel. (It is easiest if the wheel is placed flat so you don't have to use as much water)
Step 3: Pour baking soda into the wheel
Time for the baking soda. Pour the baking soda into the wheel. I like to stir it around to make sure it is covering most of the surface.
Step 4: Pour vinegar into the tub
Flash back to middle school science experiments. Pour a sizeable amount of vinegar (we use white vinegar) into the tub with water and wheel. The concoction should immediately start to bubble like a volcano.
Optional: Let it soak
For especially difficult to clean wheels, I try to let them soak overnight in the water/vinegar/baking soda mixture.
Step 5: Scrub wheel
Using a scrubbing brush or sponge, scrub down inside the wheel. Anything remaining on the wheel should easily come off.
Step 6: Dry
Before returning the wheel to the cage, be sure that it is completely dry.
We hope this helps! After having had hedgehogs for over a decade, we've tried numerous ways to clean the wheels and we found this did the trick the best.
Have you found an easy way to clean your hedgehog wheel? Let us know!
Rachel, the owner of Penny's Prickly Pigs has been breeding hedgehogs since 2008, and owned hedgehogs off and on for 23+ years. We maintain a small herd to focus on quality and personality. We track pedigrees on all of our hedgehogs.
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