My Cleaning Routine: Cages

Welcome back to An Inky Dream. Today I will be sharing my cage cleaning routine. When I first got my gliders, I was very confused about how often I was to clean the cages. Some people said every couple of months, others cleaned it daily. I didn’t want to over clean (this leads to the gliders over-marking and makes the cages stink) but I also didn’t want them living in pits.

After research and trial and error, I’ve settled on cleaning the cages once a week. This keeps them from becoming horrible dirty and sticky but doesn’t remove all of their natural smells all of the time. This is what works for me and my gliders. It may be completely different for you and yours. Don’t be afraid to experiment and figure out a routine that works for you.

What I Use

There are two main cleaners that glider owners use: vinegar and blue dawn dish soap. There are good and bad points about both. I’ve tried both. I personally choose to stick with vinegar because the soap bubbles really annoyed me, lol.

I fill an empty yogurt container with hot water and then add the distilled white vinegar. (A ratio of about three parts water to one part vinegar). You can use apple cider vinegar as well, but it’s more expensive and some gliders love the taste so much that they’ll literally try to eat the bars if they’ve been wiped down with it. 😂

Vinegar has a very pungent smell. I personally don’t mind it – even like it. But if you’re very sensitive to the smell, try the soap instead.

(I’m sorry about the awful pictures. I didn’t use my camera. 😶)

How I Do It

Cage cleaning is fairly simple. I start off by taking most of the toys out of the cages.

You may want to remove the gliders as well. For me, my gliders are so used to me cleaning in there that they just sleep through it. But if you have really jumpy or sensitive gliders, you may want to remove them to a safe place so that they don’t escape or become agitated.

Once the cage is mostly empty, I get to work wiping it down. I use a rag to wipe down both sides of the bars. That’s important because if you only wipe down the outside, the inside will still be caked with pee and food.

Once the top and sides of the cages are wiped down, I move on to the cage liner. Most times I will wipe down the cage and change the liner the next day – to leave some smells with them so that they don’t go crazy marking. But that day I did both at one time.

I made these liners. There is a packing blanket on the inside and then anti-pill fleece was sewn on either side of it. They are great at absorbing urine and food liquids and containing the smells very well.

Yuck. Very messy animals. The white stuff is a bit of yogurt that they smeared everywhere. 😂

I shake the food pieces off and then wash the liners in the washer with soap. Very simple and easy.

Then I vacuum up the debris left in the drop tray. It’s mainly dried food and poop and is very easy to clean up. Once that’s done, I wipe down the tray and the bottom grate.

After that’s done, I put the toys back into the cage. This week I took a lot of toys out of Ilona and Yiska’s cage and put them in Ink and Dreamer’s. I’m working on getting the two pairs together and scent swapping is helpful in that.

Once the toys are in, the cages are complete! The room will smell like vinegar for the rest of that day, but it’s always gone by the next morning. *nods*

That’s my cleaning routine. It’s easy and I can do both cages in under an hour and a half. My room smells great and the gliders are living in a clean habitat.


What is your cleaning routine? What products do you clean with? Do you hate the smell of vinegar?

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