10 Tips for Keeping a Guinea Pig Enclosure Clean

Guinea pigs are cute but messy, so here are some tips to clean their enclosure quickly and efficiently.

Mar 20, 2024By Molly Weinfurter
tips for keeping guinea pig enclosure clean

Guinea pigs are fun, affectionate pets, but they’re also incredibly messy! They’re constantly eating and pooping, leaving a messy space for their humans to clean. Luckily, there are plenty of tips to help you keep their space clean and your home smelling fresh.

10. Get a Large Enclosure

guinea pig cage
Image Credit: Pixabay

Getting a large guinea pig enclosure might seem like more work, but it can make cleaning more manageable. With lots of space, your pet won’t have to consistently run through their urine and feces. They may even keep their poop in one specific spot of the cage, making it easier to clean up. Plus, guinea pigs with plenty of space to run around are typically happier.

9. Use Fleece Liners

guinea pig fleece blanket
Image Credit: Pixabay

Instead of using bedding materials from the pet store, consider lining the cage with fleece. Traditional fluffy bedding gets everywhere and can be wasteful to replace. With fleece, all you must do is remove it when it’s dirty, shake it off in the garbage, and throw it in the washing machine. On fleece liners, it’s also easier to see poop, allowing you to scoop it up with ease.

8. Add Pee Pads

guinea pigs soft blanket
Image Credit: Unsplash

Putting a layer of pee pads underneath the fleece can keep the bottom of the cage dry. You can use dog pee pads or adult incontinence pads. Incontinence pads are usually cheaper. If urine soaks through the fleece, it will absorb into the pad instead of soaking into the enclosure’s floor. When washing the fleece, you can replace the soiled pee pads with fresh ones.

7. Scoop the Poop Daily

guinea pigs eating carrots
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Guinea pigs can poop up to 100 times per day. Since guinea pigs are social animals, think of how much poop will be in an enclosure with multiple piggies. So, you’ll need to remove the poop from the enclosure at least once per day. Otherwise, it could quickly cover the cage’s floor.

You can remove the poop using a stiff broom and dustpan, a handheld vacuum, or gloved hands. If you use a vacuum, make sure that vacuum is only used for the guinea pig enclosure since it can get filthy and clogged.

6. Keep Baskets Full of Fresh Hay

guinea pig hay basket
Image Credit: Pixabay

Part of a guinea pig’s diet includes constant access to hay and/or grass. Add fresh hay to their hay basket at least once per day. Guinea pigs can be messy eaters, so they may drop a lot of hay onto the ground. Some guinea pigs refuse to eat hay once it’s sitting on the floor, so remove excess hay when cleaning out the poop.

5. Clean Under Hides

guinea pig hiding place
Image Credit: Pixabay

When scooping guinea pig poop, don’t forget to look under objects, such as beds and hiding places. Guinea pigs like to spend time under objects, so their poop may accumulate there. Lift the hides and clean out the poop as often as possible so your piggie doesn’t have to sit in their feces.

If any of their hides are fabric, throw them in the washing machine while cleaning the fleece liners. For objects of other materials, wipe them down with a pet-safe cleaning supply.

4. Replace Fleece Lining Weekly

guinea pig towel
Image Credit: Pexels

You should deep clean your guinea pig’s space about once a week. This includes removing the fleece lining and replacing it with clean fleece. Thus, you need a spare fleece set for when your regular set is in the washing machine. When replacing the fleece, brush off any hay, litter, and poop into the garbage before washing it.

3. Remove Everything When Deep Cleaning

guinea pug wagon
Image Credit: Pexels

Whenever you deep clean your guinea pig’s space, remove everything (including your piggies). Set the guinea pigs in an exercise pen or pet carrier when you wipe down every crevice of the cage. Poop can get everywhere in the enclosure, so removing hides, fleece, pads, and litter boxes can help you reach every inch.

Use a pet-safe cleaner when spraying down the empty cage. There are some products specifically for cleaning small animal enclosures. You can also clean with a mixture of half distilled white vinegar and half water.

When taking everything out to clean, don’t forget to remove the water bottle and clean the interior of that too.

2. Litter Box Train Your Guinea Pigs

guinea pig bowl hay
Image Credit: Pixabay

Litter training guinea pigs is a great way to reduce the time you spend cleaning. Guinea pigs often relieve themselves near where they eat, so set up a removable litter tray near their hay basket. If your guinea pig has a favorite spot to hang out, you may want to put a litter tray there too. Reward your guinea pig with a favorite snack whenever you see them use the litter box.

Make sure the litter material you use feels different from all other materials in the cage. Whenever you scoop the poop in your guinea pig’s enclosure, place some of the droppings into the litter box so your piggies can learn where to go. Some guinea pigs feel more comfortable using the litter box if they have some privacy, such as a shaded area.

1. Clean Out the Litter Box Regularly

guinea pig litter box
Image Credit: Pexels

While keeping a little soiled litter can help guinea pigs learn to use the litter box, they may avoid it if it’s too filthy. Replace the litter every 2 to 3 days or whenever it looks dirty. When you deep clean your enclosure, you should wipe down the tray’s interior before putting new litter in.

Even when trained to use the litter box, guinea pigs may still have accidents now and then. Since they relieve themselves so often, it can be hard to hold it in. However, with most of the poop confined to the litter box, you can more efficiently keep the enclosure in shape.

With these cleaning tips in mind, you can give your guinea pig the best care possible. A clean enclosure equals a happy and healthy guinea pig.

Molly Weinfurter
By Molly Weinfurter

Molly has over 5 years of experience writing about animals for various websites. She has two pets of her own: a small dog (Mabel) and an axolotl (Wooper). She’s extremely passionate about helping animals in need, so she regularly volunteers with animal organizations by fostering pets, helping at adoption events, and educating about puppy mills.