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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to know what others are using to clean their cages. The first time I gave their cage a really good clean I used just regular household cleaner - but it had such a strong scent that I didn't want it use it again. Most things that I have are chemicals that are way too strong. I've just been using my all natural soap (that I also use on myself) since there is nothing in it that can harm them, but I want to find something that will be less expensive and also will remove the smell better. Also, I've been using towels to line their cage because I don't want to be wasting paper, so if anyone has detergents that they like to use, feel free to pass on the info :wink:
 

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unscented baby wipes are safe. You can also use a 10:1 water/bleach solution. I believe I read somewhere that you use the 10:1 ratio in your drinking water if it needs to be disinfected but I may be mistaken on that. Anyhoo bleach scares me but if it's properly diluted it works really well.
 

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yes, you are severely mistaken on that as far as drinking it DO NOT DRINK A 10:1 mixture of bleach

but you are correct with the ratio on cleaning... just keep in mind that this mix should be used in a well ventilated area... like outside. Don't let it come into contact with your skin or clothing. Also keep in mind that many people are buying the ultra bleach concentrate so you need to reduce the amount of bleach. So what I have read is 3/4 part ultra bleach to 9 parts water. Keep in mind this is very strong.

Clean off the cage thoroughly removing all poo matter & then wash the cage down with the bleach solution. Let this stand for no less than 10 to 15 minutes.. rinse thoroughly
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I read somewhere about the peroxide and vinegar. It said to keep them separate in spray bottles because if you combine them right away it doesn't work as well. Is this what you do? How long do you let it sit?
 

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Let it sit a couple minutes if using peroxide and vinegar.

I alternate between bleach and the per/vin mix.

The 'adding bleach to drinking water' is actually true... you can use bleach in an emergency situation...

I think it's 3 drops of 5% bleach to 1 liter of water, mix, let sit for at least half and hour. So you wouldn't be drinking 10% bleach.
 

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A1APassion said:
yes, you are severely mistaken on that as far as drinking it DO NOT DRINK A 10:1 mixture of bleach
She didn't say drink it ^^; She said in drinking water, which I took to mean tap water (or whatever water you would drink, if it was bleachless XD)
 

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:) actually I double checked online about the drinking water. I was trying to make a point that a 10:1 solution would be safe enough to clean a cage, and I of course didn't mean to say it was safe for people (or ratties to drink). I had a feeling I was mistaken though about the exact amount that is safe for people to consume.

As forensic said it's a 5% bleach to water solution, and it IS safe to drink. Well people anyhoo but I'd think twice about it ;). So I was 5% off. I never said I was brilliant at math here people ;).

Err.. one more thing putting bleach in your water is for emergencies ONLY!!!! DO NOT attempt to do this unless you have no other choice. Boiling your water is always a better option. I don't want to have the reputation of telling people to drink bleach on here...lol JUST SAY NO!!! :)
 

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I use my kitten/puppy shampoo to clean the cages. works great, no strong smells from it. squirt some in the cage, spray it down, wash it off with a clothe. works great.
 

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MopyDream44 said:
unscented baby wipes are safe. You can also use a 10:1 water/bleach solution. I believe I read somewhere that you use the 10:1 ratio in your drinking water if it needs to be disinfected but I may be mistaken on that. Anyhoo bleach scares me but if it's properly diluted it works really well.
MopyDream44 said:
:) actually I double checked online about the drinking water. I was trying to make a point that a 10:1 solution would be safe enough to clean a cage, and I of course didn't mean to say it was safe for people (or ratties to drink). I had a feeling I was mistaken though about the exact amount that is safe for people to consume.

As forensic said it's a 5% bleach to water solution, and it IS safe to drink. Well people anyhoo but I'd think twice about it ;). So I was 5% off. I never said I was brilliant at math here people ;).

Err.. one more thing putting bleach in your water is for emergencies ONLY!!!! DO NOT attempt to do this unless you have no other choice. Boiling your water is always a better option. I don't want to have the reputation of telling people to drink bleach on here...lol JUST SAY NO!!! :)
I wasn't sure what you were trying to say & since you said you may mistaken. I was alarmed to read anything that remotely said using a 10:1 ratio cleaning mix in drinking water was not something worth experimenting with. There are a lot of younger ones on here & I didn't want them to go about mixing up their cleaning solution & taking a drink of it just to make sure they didn't harm their rats. 10:1 which is close to 1 cup to a gallon is a huge difference than what is safe.... a few drops to a gallon.

But back on topic: I'm glad to see other suggestions of cleaning being discussed. It is good that there are options out there for those who don't have the ability to take cages outside as you would with using bleach. I don't think of those options because of where I live. There are very few days that I don't have the ability to take care of the task of cleaning outside. That is the beauty of South Florida... outside of the occasional hurricane or thunderstorm with severe lightening, there isn't much that keeps us from going outdoors.
 

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ive always cleaned mine in the shower...detachable shower heads with setting adjustments are great for cage cleaning. just have to watch out if youve got colored bar cages they might damage the shower a little, ive left a few marks on mine ;p
 

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I'd recommend keeping away from any harsh chemicals, there's no knowing what they will do to your rats in the long run.

I use vinegar, rinse with water. I plan to start using it with hydrogen peroxide, which is actually a better sanitizer than bleach. Put both in a spray bottle (the hydrogen peroxide turns into water in light, either use an opaque bottle or cover one with dark tape) and spray one on top of the other on the cage, let soak, and wipe off. I do a simple rinse too.

Its well below zero where I live, taking the cage outside is NOT an option nine months a year. I don't have running water, and have to haul all that I use in five gallon jugs, so something that rinses easily is essential.

I have absolutely no smell, and with six girls I consider that pretty good.

Pink
 

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peroxide kills some stuff but not all, bleach is a better sanitizer because it kills *everything*, for the record. you play with 60 petri dishes in a week and see if anything kills everything as well as bleach does. :D i use "clorox clean-up with bleach". it comes in a spray bottle and i just rinse really well in the shower and dry before i put the tray back in the cage, i can't even smell bleach after i'm done. for wiping down bars and such i use baby wipes, or a paper towel with a little clorox on it while the ratties are out free-ranging, and they get another 20-30 min out at least before i even attempt to put them back in. agreed, there are other options, especially if you cannot wash trays and such in the shower or outside, but for me it works great. i use it on everything, ha ha.
 

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Susan Sumner's research has shown that hydrogen peroxide and vinegar together kill more than bleach alone. Bleach is extremely hard on your skins and lungs, and must be rinsed COMPLETELY off, or will be harmful (and possibly deadly) to your rats. I don't have running water, and I like my rats alive. I use hydrogen peroxide and vinegar together (which is better than either alone).

Also, I work in a genetics lab. I deal with some pretty nasty stuff, a lot more than simple petri dishes, and have to be absolutely sanitary. So, I don't use bleach, I use 90% ethanol (a type of alcohol). Just because you like your bleach, doesn't mean I am wrong to use hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. There is no scientific research saying that bleach is better than what I use. Unfortunately, I do not have access to scientific journals at home (I do at school and work) so I cannot go and find some good articles for you to read.

Pink
 

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I was alarmed to read anything that remotely said using a 10:1 ratio cleaning mix in drinking water was not something worth experimenting with. There are a lot of younger ones on here & I didn't want them to go about mixing up their cleaning solution & taking a drink of it just to make sure they didn't harm their rats. 10:1 which is close to 1 cup to a gallon is a huge difference than what is safe
I must emphasize that I was not encouraging anyone to drink water with bleach in it, and I'm still not unless it is an emergency, which means no other water to drink and no other way to disinfect. Don't attempt this without your parents. Also the likelihood of this scenario happening is, I'd say, very slim. So, again, DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME!

Having said that, I really only mentioned it because I was very leery of using bleach for anything, which led me to reading the back of the bottle. Much to my suprise, it explained about the drinking water. I was shocked that it would be recommended bleach for this purpose, and that is what eventually led me to feeling better about using it as a cleaner.

:) no worries I don't think you were attacking me or anything. I was just trying to explain my train of thought better but I also have a bit more faith that our young readers wouldn't go drinking a water/bleach solution just to make sure it's safe for their ratties. Kids don't get enough credit sometimes. As my mom used to say, "If your friends told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?" I'd like to think most people here wouldn't ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks so much everyone. A1APassion - I am very jealous of you. I'd love to have that weather all year round. I have some natural disinfectants now. I'll probably use those more often just because I can't clean my cage outside. They say on the bottle kills 99.9% of everything which I know is not ideal but I may use the bleach solution every now and then, just to make sure that everything is being killed.
 

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many bottles say they kill 99.9% but you have to read that fine print that tells you how you can reach that level of effectiveness


gotta really be careful about how brands are marketed & always look for that tell-tale "*" next to claims
 
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