How to Wash Hedgehog Fleece Cage Liners

grey fleece cage liner folded as owner inquires about How to Wash Hedgehog Fleece Cage Liners

Fleece is probably the best cage liner available for hedgehog enclosures due to its natural liquid-wicking abilities. It promotes fresh-scented cages despite the pungent smell of urine and poop but one of the biggest problems hedgehog owners face with fleece is preserving its properties through multiple washing cycles.

This article focuses on how to wash hedgehog fleece cage liners safely to promote maximum cage liquid-wicking abilities in a fresh environment. We reveal the best ways to prepare fleece liners before throwing them into the washing machine and why separating it from other laundry is recommended.

How to Wash Hedgehog Fleece Cage Liners

Remove fleece liners from the cage and run a handheld vacuum over its surface to pick up solids before soaking in a vinegar solution. Pour 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol into the solution for a few hours to eliminate pee and most poop chunks. Put the fleece separately in a washing machine set to warm or hot temperature and wash without fabric softeners to maintain the absorption properties of the fleece.

Fleece is a delicate fabric that requires tender care for proper washing to prevent the risk of damage to not only the material itself but its natural properties like moisture-wicking. One of the most critical aspects of washing hedgehog bedding is the likelihood of finding fetched quills in them.

Wash them separately from not only your main laundry but the other animal laundry as well if you’re raising additional pets at home. It is always vital to pick up the detached quills from the cage liner before putting them in the washer to prevent damage to the fleece and other types of laundry.

Step By Step Process For Washing Hedgehog Fleece Cage Liners

Here is the step-by-step process to clean hedgehog fleece cage liners for maximum freshness and moisture-wicking.

1. Remove and Vacuum The Hedgehog Cage Fleece

The first step to washing your hedgehog fleece cage liner is to remove it from the cage and vacuum the surface to eliminate stuck dirt, hay, leftover food, and poop. All of those could potentially clog up your washing machine causing problems so getting rid of them is non-negotiable.

Before vacuuming, we recommend taking the fleece liner out and shaking it to get as much debris off as possible to enhance the results of vacuuming. Shaking it outside could also come in handy for those that do not have vacuum cleaners at home.

You may wear plastic gloves to be able to scoop the feces and other gross stuff with your hands when possible.

2. Soak The Hedgehog Fleece Cage Liner In Vinegar and Alcohol

vinegar solution in a clear bottle

Soaking your hedgehog’s fleece cage liner in vinegar is another great way to get off as much debris as possible before hitting the washing machine. The vinegar can also help eliminate the hedgehog’s pungent urine and poop smell from the fleece.

For maximum results, we recommend adding 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol to the vinegar solution since there are instances where traces of the pee scent still linger after soaking in vinegar only. The fleece should be dipped in the solution for at least an hour for the best results.

3. Wash The Fleece Cage Liner With Hot Water

Putting the hedgehog fleece cage liner in the washing machine and turning on the hot cycle is all it takes. Run the cycle like normal and use unscented detergent to protect the fleece from losing its moisture-wicking properties.

Also, the fleece should be washed separately or with other hedgehog-related stuff in a light load for effective washing. In the absence of a washing machine, fleece cage liners can be hand-washed with an unscented mild detergent in a bathtub or bucket.

4. Avoid Fabric Softeners

Avoid fabric softeners when washing hedgehog fleece cage liners because they can leave a film on the fabric that disables its natural moisture-wicking abilities. This may defeat the main advantage of using fleece cage liners and cause lots of problems for your pet hedgehog’s sanitation needs.

However, rubbing alcohol and vinegar may be added if you failed to soak the fleece before throwing it into the washing machine as recommended earlier.

5. Tumble Dry The Fleece

dryer in a laundromat for fleece material

Hedgehog fleece cage liners can be tumble-dried or sundried depending on your preferences. If you opt for the dryer route, choose low-heat settings to ensure maximum preservation without adverse effects such as shrinking of the material when exposed to hot heat.

Drying fleece under low heat is a slow process that may take some time and having a spare fleece cage liner could come in handy. The peace of mind to wash dirty fleece thoroughly without urgency can be priceless.

It is best to wash, dry, and put it away until your hedgehog needs it next time.

Additional Ways To Keep Hedgehog Fleece Cage Liners Clean

Hedgehog fleece cage liners should be washed twice a week but there are a few best practices to maintain its cleanliness and your hedgehog’s overall comfort in the meantime. Here are a few ways to go about it.

1. Sweep Poop and Dirt Daily

Poop, dirt, leftover foods, and other debris should be swept off the fleece daily either by hand or via a small brush or broom into a dustbin. Unlike other types of hedgehog cage bedding where debris may be found in the cage bottom, it stays right on top of fleece making cleaning easy.

If you decide to use your hands, wear rubber gloves to prevent physical exposure to poop and potentially harmful microorganisms that may cause diseases and infections.

2. Clean The Cage Weekly

It makes little sense to change the fleece cage liner twice a week while the cage itself remains dirty and this is why we recommend weekly cleaning. Clear the hedgehog’s cage of all components and clean it thoroughly once every 7 days to encourage maximum sanitation.

Failure to clean can lead to the accumulation of excessive amounts of ammonia which may expose pet hedgehogs to breathing difficulties and other health problems.

3. Wipe The Bottom of The Cage With Baby Wipes

woman removes baby wipe from package

Every time you take out the fleece cage liner, it is essential to wipe down the bottom of the cage with baby wipes or a washcloth. The washcloth should be clean and moist to guarantee maximum elimination of urine from the cage bottom.

This can minimize the risk of ammonia buildup in situations where urine successfully seeped through the fleece liner into the cage bottom. Place the cage in the sun or airdry it completely before putting components back prior to the return of your hedgehog.

4. Wash Other Cage Components With Hot Soapy Water

Hedgehog cages typically contain multiple components including toys, food bowls, water bottles, and hideouts. These components should be cleaned thoroughly with soap and running water at least once a week to ensure a sanitized cage environment for everyone.

After cleaning, allow all the washed components to dry completely before bringing them back into the cage.

5. Place An Absorbent Material Under The Fleece

Always place an absorbent fabric like an old towel underneath the fleece to prevent it from getting wet. Even though fleece has natural moisture-wicking abilities, wetness becomes inevitable when there’s no fabric underneath it to absorb the moisture from the hedgehog’s urine.

The old towel should be washed and changed each time a fresh fleece cage liner is brought in for maximum cage sanitation.

Is Fleece Good For Hedgehogs?

Fleece is a great cage liner for hedgehogs thanks to its natural moisture-wicking abilities. It wicks urine and spilled water from the cage surface to the bottom to eliminate pungent smells from ammonia accumulation that could expose them to numerous diseases.

What Temperature To Wash Fleece?

red thermometer indicates hot temperature as hedgie owner wonders What Temperature To Wash Fleece Cage Liners

The best temperature for washing fleece to efficiently eliminate dirt and pungent odors is 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Fleece cage liner and fabrics can withstand hot cycle washing unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer. (Source)

Why is My Fleece Not Wicking?

Fleece may lose its wicking abilities when washed with harsh detergents that destroy its fabric structure. Failure to place an absorbent fabric underneath the fleece can also lead to the material getting wet from the absorbed moisture.

The result is a false perception of a decline in its liquid-wicking properties when the opposite is true.

Does Fleece Shrink In The Dryer?

Fleece derived from cotton may shrink in the dryer when set to hot air, unlike synthetic-made fleece. Setting the dryer to low heat can preserve the physical structure of fleece to prevent shrinking and other forms of damage.

How Often Should You Change Hedgehog Bedding?

Hedgehog bedding should be changed twice a week to guarantee a pleasant-smelling cage environment with minimal exposure to disease-causing organisms.

Conclusion: How to Wash Hedgehog Fleece Cage Liners

Cage fleece liners should be washed thoroughly to preserve a clean environment for the spiky little guys. Washing involves removal from the cage, dusting debris off the surface, and soaking it in vinegar and rubbing alcohol solution to eliminate the pungent pee and poop scents.

The fleece can then be washed in a normal hot cycle and tumble-dried in low heat. We recommend the avoidance of fabric softeners which may negatively affect the natural properties of the fleece. It is always a great idea to thoroughly wash the hedgehog’s cage at least once a week for a healthy habitat.

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