Friday, September 3, 2010

Tiny Tips no. 2: fleece care.

I am in love with fleece bedding. I have already said this, probably multiple times. It makes so many aspects of my life so much easier. But occasionally, there are bumps in the road. In this Tiny Tips post we will address some of the problems that people encounter with fleece bedding, and how to fix them.

1.] Hay sticks to it.
This is easily solved with a small hand rake, a cat litter scoop, or if you lack that kind of hardware, slipping on a latex glove and
picking it up with those wonderful things called your hands.

2.] Poop.
Hands do not work so well here. There are better tools for the job. Many people use a small handbroom and mini dustpan. If your cage is on the floor, upgrade to a regular broom and dustpan. Occasionally I throw my mini broom into the wash for a thorough cleaning, because I'm like that.
I know a gal who swears by using a soup ladle to scoop poop, and if you've got one of those little hand-held vacuums hanging around, I haven't ever tried one but I hear they work great.
When to be on poop patrol is mostly up to you. I sweep about every other day. If you have a vastly expansive cage, you may not need to sweep at all; just shake out the fleece before you do your regular washing.

3.] Laundering: fur
Cleaning the filter in your washing machine regularly can keep fur from building up in there. An alternative to this is to run a rinse cycle after washing with only water and non-chlorine bleach or vinegar, OR you can thoroughly shake out your fleece and place it in a washing bag, or a duvet cover, to keep the fur contained.
4.] Stank/cleanliness
After a few months of using fleece I started noticing a stinkyness that wouldn't go away even after a washing and line-drying. This can be tackled a few ways.
a.) When laundering your fleece and towels, run them through a rinse cycle first, THEN a full wash cycle. This gets most of the nastiness out so that you're not just shampooing and up-covering the stink of urine-soaked towels.
b.) Add a cup of baking soda or vinegar to the wash cycle, along with the detergent. Be sure also not to use too much detergent as it can build up in the fabric and irritate your pigs' skin.
c.) Sprinkle baking soda onto the bottom layer of towels when you are changing your pigs' linens. Though many people hate to admit it, animals [and people] SMELL. It's a fact of nature. By adding baking soda to your pig's towels/litterbox, you can absorb most of this unpleasantness.
d.) Line-dry your fleece and towels. Sun exposure will kill any yucky/stinky stuff in your towels and fleece and all that fresh air, sunshine and unicorn saliva will leave them smelling fresh and clean.
5.] Laundering: poop
Let's admit it, we're not perfect. Sometimes the odd poop-capsule gets into the washing machine, despite our best efforts. But luckily, cavy poop floats [count it, David Letterman]. I just let my washing machine fill up, agitate for half a minute or so, and
capture the unsuspecting victim(s) with a yogurt cup. I'm not sure if this is a problem other people have, but if so, there's my solution.

Have you ever hit a snag when it comes to fleece bedding? Got a tiny tip to share? Need a solution to your problem? Please post in the comments--with or without a Blogger ID. :)

1 comment:

  1. Recently I started placing my fleece in huge mesh laundry bage before I I put it in the pre-soak. After the spion cycle I take it out and shack it out. The wet hay/fur comes off much more easily than the dry hay/fur, and is much easier to sweep up. I then put eveything back in the washer for a heavy duty cycle with soap and vinigar, and follow that with an extra rinse.