Better late than never! Here are some tiny tips for you all on cleaning your cavies' area. Hopefully you'll find some, if not all, of them to be quite useful come the next Cleaning Day.
Tiny Tip no. 1: Many hands make light work. Never underestimate how helpful an extra pair of hands can be. This tip goes for everything. Whether it's cleaning, salad prep, or even just nail trimming. I couldn't be more thankful for my roommate's willingness to help me with whatever the task at hand may be; his nephew even helps me make salads every weekend--he loves our Salad Spinner.
So grab a parent, a roomie, even a younger sibling can be a lot of help.
Tiny Tip no. 2: Baking Soda and Vinegar are good for more than Science Fair volcanoes. Aside from being great for unclogging the drain and scrubbing down wooden cutting boards, vinegar and baking soda are the only safe disinfectant cleaners for your guinea pigs. Here's how I go about cleaning my coroplast cage-bottoms: spray down with 50/50 vinegar and water, wipe thoroughly with a rag or two, then dust with baking soda and scrub out with a wet rag. Rinse with water outdoors or wipe down with a wet rag [depending on the weather].
If you have an issue with how your guinea pigs' cage smells--I myself do not enjoy sleeping right next to a cageful of gross boypig smell, no matter how clean their cage is--place a small saucer of baking soda near their cage [out of their reach], or put a light dusting of baking soda in their litterbox before adding litter to it. Just like it keeps fish-stench out of your leftover mac & cheese in the fridge, it will cut down on the amount of "gross boypig smell" you experience.
Tiny Tip no. 3: Quit breaking your back! If you have a floor cage, [my girls have one] and your back is anything like mine, I'm sure the last thing you want to do is bend over and scrub at their cage for however long. You can get it plenty clean without spending half an hour on your knees. I have a broom that is strictly for 'animal use,' per my roommate's request, and pads that I made for my semi-retired Swiffer WetJet [tutorial coming soon]. The way I clean the girls' cage is as follows: Sweep out very well, then spray down with 50/50 vinegar and water, and mop aggressively with modified WetJet. Rinse by spritzing with water and using a new mop pad. Done!
Before I had the fancy WetJet pads, I just clipped a washrag or two onto my Swiffer and went to town.
Tiny Tip no. 4: Lighten up! Cleaning Day can become a daunting task, and I have been known to put it off when things start to pile up. When this happens I usually end up cleaning their cage out of guilt, usually late one night when I have to work early the next day. It is not a pleasant experience.
What usually help me to work fast and efficiently without feeling like a chicken with my head cut off--pardon the expression--is to have good music playing. Something uplifting and energizing; I prefer Country but to each their own.
It also helps me to make a schedule and stick to it. I usually [aim to] clean cages the same day that I weigh, which for me is Wednesday--a day I usually have off. I mark my calendar up and put it on my to-do list for that day.
That's all for today. See y'all tomorrow for our third Social Sunday. No, I'm not taking the holiday off :)
Feel free to comment with any of your own tiny tips!