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How clean is your hamster ball?

On the one hand hamster balls are a great way for your hammy to get exercise outside of the cage without getting lost or injured.  On the other hand, they can get dirty pretty fast! Not only do they pick up debris from the floor, but they can also be receptacle for “accidents” such as poop or pee.  You wouldn’t want your beloved ham-ham rolling around in that! Try one of the following methods to clean your hamster ball every few days.

Soap and water

The first method is not dissimilar to washing dishes.  First, open your hamster ball lid. Then, rinse it thoroughly in clean, running water until all debris, urine, and feces are gone.  Next, use a sponge or cloth with a few drops of antibacterial soap to gently cleanse the inside and outside of the ball. Rinse thoroughly in clean, running water, and then set the hamster ball aside to air dry.

Cage cleaner

In the second method, you would clean the ball in running water the same way as you would in the soap and water method.  However, instead of using a soapy sponge, you would use small mammal cage cleaner that has been sprayed onto a paper towel.  Gently wipe the inside and outside of the ball, following the directions of the cage cleaner bottle. Wipe the cage cleaner off with a clean paper towel until dry, and then rinse the ball in clean, running water to remove any residue.  Set aside the ball to air dry.

Vinegar and water

Similarly, in the third method, you would follow all of the same steps as the cage cleaner method.  However, instead of using small mammal cage cleaner, you would use a vinegar solution. Dilute one part vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle.  Lightly spray the ball to disinfect and deodorize, rinse clean, and set aside to air dry. It’s important to note that hamsters are very sensitive to strong odors. If you do opt for this method, make sure that you have removed all of the vinegar before giving the ball back to your hamster.  

A few tips

When cleaning your ball, don’t use an abrasive sponge or scrubber, because they can scratch the surface of the ball, which not only makes it cloudy looking, but also creates little grooves for bacteria to hide in.  

You’ll also want to avoid using chemicals like bleach, because they are too strong and can harm your hamster.  If you do use soap, opt for a dye- and fragrance-free kind that is gentle on skin to protect your hammy. Once you’re finished cleaning the ball, clean and disinfect your sink, and then thoroughly wash your own hands.

Do you need someone to let your hamster get some exercise out of the cage while you’re away?  Hire a pet sitter! Our pet sitters pride themselves on maintaining a clean and entertaining environment for your pets.  Drop us a line today!


Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

Photo by 紫流 on Flickr.

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