Friday, September 9, 2011

Cleaning Ideas

I know this sounds like a silly topic, but it can be a pain to keep rabbit cages clean from time to time. Here are some things I have found helpful over the past couple of years:

*Avoid hair accumulation on wire by using a handheld blow torch BEFORE it starts to build up. (Obviously) remove the bunny from the cage along with anything flammable or that can be damaged by heat. Then just run the flame over any area that hair is starting to stick and it should burn off immediately. Caution, don't leave the wire to heat up- it will destroy the galvanized finish if it cooks.

*Clean trays frequently to keep the work to a minimum, odors down, and bunnies happy. At least once or twice a week, but I will clean every day if I can.

*If you aren't cleaning daily, use an absorbent bedding in the trays to keep smells away. I like wood pellets (stove pellets or horse stall pellets) and you can just dump the whole tray in the compost heap as it is entirely biodegradable.

*I use a plastic spackle knife to scrap out trays when cleaning. There are different sizes available at the hardware store, so I just picked a cheap one that fit into the Dura Tray corners well. I wipe it off between trays with a Chlorox wipe to keep it clean.

*Gardens and flower beds love rabbit manure! If you are cleaning trays often and don't need the bedding for odor control/urine absorption, you don't have to use bedding at all. Just dump the tray in the garden, rinse, and viola. Happy garden, happy bunny.

*I run a Chlorox wipe around the edge of the trays when cleaning. This keeps any buildup away from the corners that you empty it with and keeps hair/debris/bacteria from where you put your hands.

*A vinegar rinse will clear off accumulated sediment on your plastic trays.

*If the cages are indoors, keep the area under them clean, too. Otherwise there can be accumulated debris and moisture leading to mold and other problems for good air quality and hygiene.

*Clean the walls regularly as they can also accumulate sediment from sprayers, caught hay, and fur. I use a cheap clear shower curtain behind the cages and then I just change them out when needed, throwing the old one in the trash. If you really want to reuse them you could clean/wash them though, I suppose.

*I use a dollar store barbeque brush to clean the floor wire. You can scrub it with the metal bristles and the scraper part on the top can help with the difficult spots. I know some people also have good luck with hoof picks. You can use the tray spackle knife to scrape the underside of the cage wire during molts when the manure clings to the wire instead of falling completely through.

*They say cleanliness is next to godliness! It is amazing what a difference a good cleaning can make to have happy, healthy rabbits with clean cages and good air quality. It also makes for a nice presentation should you wish to show off your rabbits to friends or family.

I hope some of these tips help people getting started with their clean up. :o)

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