How to Clean Your Reptile’s Cage

How to Clean Your Reptile’s Cage

All reptiles will need their cage or terrarium cleaned regularly to live a long, healthy life. While the exact cleaning schedule may vary, the general process for all reptiles is the same! Use these guidelines from a Lafayette veterinarian to properly clean and sanitize your reptile’s living space.

Move Reptile Elsewhere

First things first: move your reptile to another location! A back-up cage set up specifically for this purpose is extremely helpful. This way, your reptile has everything he needs while avoiding the chemicals and fumes at his normal cage. Check on him periodically through the cleaning process to make sure he doesn’t need anything.

Clean Accessories

Now, remove all your pet’s cage accessories. These include food and water dishes, branches, rocks, heating pads, hideouts, and fake plants. Some can be boiled in water to destroy any bacteria on them—ask your vet what accessories will stand up to this treatment. For others, wash them thoroughly with hot water and soap.

Remove Bedding

Next, remove all old bedding material from your reptile’s cage and dispose of it properly. Once the cage is put back together, you’ll be putting in fresh bedding to go along with your pet’s newly-cleaned cage.

Clean Cage

Now it’s time to go about actually cleaning your pet’s cage. Use soap and hot water to thoroughly scrub the sides, bottom, and top of your reptile’s cage. Have a putty knife or razor blade on hand to loosen tough spots, and rinse the whole thing with fresh water when you’re done.

Disinfect Cage

At this stage, you may consider using a reptile-safe disinfectant to thoroughly sanitize the cage. These are available at many pet supply stores, so ask your vet for a recommendation. Make sure your pet’s cage is completely dry before putting everything back together.


When everything’s dry, put fresh bedding in the cage and replace the now-dry accessories in the proper places. Now you’re ready to introduce your reptile back to his fresh and clean environment!

Be sure to ask your Lafayette veterinarian for the specifics on your particular reptile’s cleaning needs. Contact the office for more information!

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