Wooden Shelves and Toys, the cleaning headache.
We love to provide our mice with as much enrichment as possible in a wide variety of ways. Wood is a common material used for this and provide a natural theme to any cage, this is all fun and games until it comes to cleaning time. Mice as we know can be notoriously messy with their cages and are known to urinate and defecate here, there and everywhere.
The issue is that soft woods that are used for ledges, hides and toys for mouse enrichment is that it is very absorbent and soaks up urine readily, leaving streaks and a strong ammonia smell which is unpleasant on the senses.
Although this doesn’t make it seem like a good potential material to be used with your mice, there are ways around these issues to make easy clean wooden accessories for your cage but first they need to be cleaned if you have already used them with your mice!
Cleaning Wooden Cage Accessories
You will need:
- A large bucket
- White vinager
- Boiling water
1. Remove wooden accessories from the cage and ensure you have no stowaways!
2. Remove any metal fixtures from shelving to avoid them rusting.
3. Scrub off any faeces with a dry scrubbing brush (that should only be used for cage
cleaning and not the dishes).
4. A mixture of one part white vinegar to three parts boiling water in a bucket needs to be
5. Add accessories to bucket ensuring that they are fully submerged but be mindful that
the water is very warm!
6. Leave to soak for upwards of 6 hours to allow full permeation of the wood.
7. Remove accessories from bucket and brush down again to remove stains and any
8. Accessories should now be soaked in clean water for a further 3 hours to ensure that
they are free from the original cleaning solution.
9. Leave to air dry in a clean environment until they are bone dry, now you’re ready to seal your accessories.
At this point you can either return your freshly cleaned wooden accessories back into you mouse’s cage or you can now coat it in a product called Plastikote, this is a fast drying enamel paint that is safe to use in your pet’s cage but should be applied to wooden products away from your animals in a well ventilated area. Plastikote allows for easy to wipe clean, or quickly wash your accessories as needed without the long cleaning times for untreated wood.
When applying plastikote to any cage accessories you should follow can instructions to ensure application is done correctly and to make sure that no harm is done to yourself, others or pets in the vicinity.
What do you find works well for cleaning your wooden accessories? Have you found a pet safe product that works well for you? We’d love to know in the comment section!