Baking soda can be mixed with the litter to prevent odors or sprinkled under the fleece for the same purpose. if however you have chewers that are likely to pull up the bedding i would be cautious with using it as baking soda is a natural antacid and can cause some digestive issues. For cleaning the cage you can use vinegar and water or baby wipes. I like to use the vinegar and water solution 1:1 (50% water to 50% vinegar) on the levels and bars myself but some use baby wipes on the cage bars as well as the water/vinegar solution.
Water /vinegar at about 50/50 ratio seems to be working fine for wiping the cage bars, floor and shelves. I also use baby wipes for that. It needs to be done at least in the corners where they pee. And I'm hoping that baking soda will reduce smell from bedding in all other areas. Thanks for warning though. They aren't chewers, but do like to dig in bedding sometimes, so I don't know how it will go.
Btw. When I clean, those devils want to lick vinegar solution and try to steal baby wipes.
Put them in a spare cage or into the bathroom while you clean. That way they dont eat anything while you are cleaning it. If you are using loose bedding rather than fleece and litter boxes, I dont advise putting baking soda in it. Its vary small practicals and your rats nose is in it constantly. More chance for it to cause an irritation and then a URI
Haha mine also steal baby wipes, tissues etc. One time I was kneeling with two folded puppy pads on my knee and I turned to grab the bulldog clips and fleece, when I looked back the puppy pads had disappeared into the most unreachable spot under the sofa My boys think cage cleaning is a fun game
So when it comes to wiping down the bars of the cage with the vinegar solution, it doesn't need to be rinsed? I have been using baby wipes for everything . They love attacking my hand while i'm wiping their floors
I don't rinse, mainly because I do it as a quick touch up daily. I noticed that vinegar surprisingly does not leave any scent. It probably evaporates quickly enough. Ok so I'll pass on baking soda. I will try this Zeolite crystals once and see if they do anything.
Kitterpuss, I think ratties just want to help clean their house.
So baking soda isn't a good idea to sprinkle in if you have a litter box? I was wondering if sprinkling a bit in the litter box would help - there's a grate that covers the carefresh bedding in the litter box, but occasionally they like to pull out pieces, but not so much anymore.