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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my DCN for a while now, way before I got the girls. I have it separated with the metal pans where my older guys live on top, and the girls live on the bottom. I'm just curious how does everyone else clean their cage? I spot clean everyday, but actually washing the thing is a pain. When I got my DCN we actually had to hammer some of it into the right places because they did not line up correctly. Because of that I cannot separate them or take it apart. If i take the thing outside and hose it down of course I can get it really clean, but that's hard to do since I have to get multiple people to help me lift and carry it down the stairs and outside. No one wants to do that every weekend, so I get to do it maybe once a month. I find myself getting buckets and putting down like a tarp and scrubbing it by hand every weekend which takes forever. I can stick the metal pans in the bathtub but obviously the DCN doesn't go in there. I've tried spray cleaners and sure they work alright, but they don't get into those little bar space cracks to get the urine and such very well like a scrubbing does.

Does anyone else have a better method? I've wanted to get another DCN since I have more rats, but at this point the clean up is driving me nuts. It's definitely a better cage than the other one I have that my younger boys are living in now, but the cleaning is awful.
 

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I've only had mine for about a month now but what I do is spot clean daily, every week I take the pans out (I just switched to metal pans and aspen vs. fleece), dump them out and hose off the pans. For the cage itself, I use two things, the natures miracle cage wipes and their cage cleaning spray. I spray if down (lightly) and wipe with the wipes, then dry with a cloth before putting everything back in. When I was using fleece, the process was the same, but the pans got removed more often and sprayed and the fleece replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmm I've tried the Nature's Miracle products as they were recommended to me. The cage still didn't end up clean enough to me or get the junk well in the corners. I don't know if it did this for you, but even after wiping it down the spray and wipes left a sort of slick greasy feel to me. I even left it to dry for a long period. I ended up scrubbing the cage anyway to get rid of that weird slick feeling. Sorry! I promise I'm not trying to be difficult, just that hasn't worked for me.

My cage set up is fleece, and each cage section has multiple sets. I switch stuff out twice a week for them depending on how dirty it is. Sometimes switching with mine too much in a week just results in them trying to remark everything and a lot more grossness. Lol
 

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I use vinegar mixed with water and a toothbrush lol It's not the most fun thing in the world, but it'll get those little crevices without having to take the thing apart. Wipe down with warm water when you're done and that should be sufficient. I do this pretty much every other time I change liners.
 

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Wow I've never had any difficulty cleaning mine. It takes me 2-2.5 hours (once a week, I spot clean everyday and change out fleece as necessary), but that's for laundry, water, food, cleaning the cage & pans & litter boxes and fresh litter, and also cleaning and vacuuming the rat room.
Anyway, when I do the actual cage cleaning part, I leave it all together and don't need a tarp or anything. I get a bucket of hot water with about a tablespoon of Dawn and a teaspoon of white vinegar. Then I use "shop towels" and sponges and just wipe everything down. If I need to scrub in a small area, I have a little scrub brush. Probably takes me 30 minutes to get the whole thing clean. I've been really consistent about cleaning it this way every week, so I don't have any build up really.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well the tarp is to protect my carpet since it's in my craft room with carpeting. I don't want water on the floor like at all if possible. It's me being over protective of my carpets. I had. Water bed blow once and ruin my carpet and floor . Replacing everything was a nightmare. I don't want gradual destruction of my floor from the water.

Basically though from what everyone has said I'm more or less doing the same thing you're doing it just takes me longer. Part of that could be my weird nit picky ways. Ah well!
 

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Omg water bed explosion sounds absolutely horrid! I have carpet too but I have corroplast on the bottom shelf, so that stops any drips from hitting the carpet. ^_^
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes it was a really weird accident! The heater under the bed literally burned a hole about the size of a persons head through the top layer of plastic. Looking back on it I'm lucky I didn't get electrocuted or something, because I woke in the middle of the night in water with it gushing from my bed! Last time I ever had a water bed. I replaced it quickly after that.

I honestly hadn't thought of using something like that. I have to roll mine out anyway though as it's in the corner of the room by my sewing table. I just roll it into the tarp when I take it out. It does take me forever to clean but the way it sounds I'm just slow at it! Lol when we build a new house we've discussed literally making a more suitable rat room for me with a ramp to wheel things in an out. A person can dream right?
 

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For weekly cleanings I switch out each week using natures miracle and then the following week vinegar and water. After pulling everything out of the cage I vacuum it so I get any hair/food whatever s out of the corners and hard to clean places. I spray either the vinegar or nm into all the crevices and let it soak a few minutes. I switch the use of cleaners since vinegar does a very good job at killing any smell and does have some antibacterial properties. I use natures miracle cause it actually breaks down any urine/food that may get into crevices.

if I could toss it into my tub every once in a while I would add a bleach solution to the cycle, to really kill any germs that might be lurking. Outside hosing I only use things safe like vinegar or a dish soap solution.

All in all it's not bad to clean. But I had QC cages for the ferrets and they are the same size so I haven't been able to stick things in my tub in ages.
 
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