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The frequency of cleaning your hamster habitat will depend on what kind of cage you have, bedding substrate and if your hamster is potty trained.

(See the page for our tips on Potty Training if your hamster doesn't instinctively train himself)



SPOT CLEANING should be done as often as possible, if not daily then at least once or twice a week and shouldn't take more than about 10 minutes.

  • Remove any soiled bedding and nesting substrate as well as any visible droppings and uneaten fresh food

  • Wipe/wash shelves, tubes, wheel and bedroom when they become dusty or urinated.

  • If you do not spot-clean and don't have a sand potty, deep cleaning of the entire cage needs to be done every week to prevent health issues.

  • You can spot clean while your hamster is in the cage, or while he is running in a ball or in a playpen.

Clean bottles & bowls and replace WATER at least every three days, if not daily.

  • A bottle brush is very convenient to clean bottles properly. 

  • Don't forget about the inside of the bottle spout! Use a cotton bud to wipe the inside.

The NEST/BEDROOM should be cleaned AT LEAST once a week (preferably twice a week), since many hamsters tend to poop a lot in this zone.

  • Try to put back at least a few pieces of his old nesting substrate so that it still smells familiar.

  • If he has horded any dry food mix in the nest, put some of this back (if it's still clean) so as not to upset him.

  • Any horded fresh food needs to be thrown away in order to avoid mold and fungal spores developing.

Obviously the SAND will become soiled as your hamster uses it and will therefore need to be changed or refreshed.

  • Potties: Lift out the pee patches on a daily basis and top up as necessary. If you are using non-clumping sand, it is recommended that a full empty and refill takes place once a week. Clumping litter needs replacing every 2-3 weeks.

  • Baths:  If your hamster doesn't pee in the bath, do a full empty and refill every 2-3 weeks.

  • Sandpits: Full empty and refill with every deep habitat cleaning session.

(If your hamster ever has a mite infestation, it is better to change sand in baths and potties on a daily basis for the first week after starting treatment)

Most of us will DEEP CLEAN every 3 to 4 months, or longer intervals, depending on our hamsters’ habits, since they don’t really enjoy the disruption and loss of their own familiar smells/scent. A very large habitat can even go 6 months without deep cleaning, as long as the spot-cleaning and regular neatening is well maintained!

  • Your hamster will need to be placed in a secure travel/temporary cage during this time. It may be preferable to deep clean during the day so that the hamster will be inclined to sleep and not be too upset by being enclosed in a small space....but most tend to get familiar with their temporary holding cage., specially if you place some of it's familiar substrates therein. 

  • ALWAYS retain most of the cleanest bedding substrate (usually uppermost) and return that to the cage first, before topping up with clean material. This will not only save you money, but your hamster will appreciate its own familiar scent and will not be as upset as it would be if returned to a home that doesn’t smell like its own.

  • Vinegar is an effective and safe sanitizer for cleaning the habby and the most soiled items (wipe/rinse with a clean water or wet cloth afterwards in case your hamster gets offended by any sour residue).

  • Everything, except for grass products should be washed in very hot water with some dishwashing liquid, rinsed very well. and left to dry thoroughly.

  • Place natural items like wood, grass, and wicker to dry in bright sunlight (after scrubbing) while you are cleaning the rest of the cage and items.

  • It is a good idea to freeze natural items for 24 hours every few months to kill off any ganonies that may be lurking, so perhaps try to have 2 of each, or rotate such items.


Good videos to watch about cleaning and saving your bedding substrate: :

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