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Tips For Cleaning Your Reptile’s Cage

September 1, 2019

Reptiles are great pets: they’re quiet, don’t need training, and often only need minimal daily care. However, since they spend the majority of time in their tanks or terrariums, it’s crucial to keep their homes clean. A Las Vegas, NV vet offers some tips on how to do that below.

Get Organized

The first thing you’ll want to do is get everything you’ll need together. Your checklist should include disinfectant spray, paper towels, a spray bottle filled with water, garbage bags, old towels, and possibly gloves. You’ll also need some new substrate.


If you have a snake, start thawing out your pet’s next meal before you clean his cage. That way, you’ll be able to give your scaled buddy dinner when you put him back in his cage.

Temporary Tank

You’ll need a second tank to put your pet in while you are cleaning his cage. You can use a plastic storage tote with holes cut in the top to allow air flow. This will also come in handy as a travel carrier.

Diving In

Start by removing all furniture and accessories from the tank. Items that can be washed, such as hide boxes, decorations, and pools, can go right into the sink or tub. You’ll also need to take out heating equipment, lights, misters, and/or humidifiers. Then, remove the substrate. If you use aspen or something similar, you may find that a shop vac is the easiest way to do this. Larger pieces, like butcher paper or newspaper, you can simply pick up and toss out.


Once you have emptied the tank, wash it with water and paper towels. You can use an old toothbrush to clean gunk from corners and edges. Then, spray it down with disinfectant. You’ll want to let this soak for a while. In the meantime, start scrubbing your pet’s belongings. Many of your pet’s things can be washed with hot water and regular antibacterial soap. Anything that is really dirty can be soaked overnight in a solution that is one part bleach to four parts water. (It’s worth noting that you shouldn’t need to do this if you keep the cage clean.) Rinse everything very thoroughly in hot water. Let it dry completely before reassembling the tank.

Please contact us, your Las Vegas, NV vet clinic, for your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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