Considering switching to fleece bedding for your guinea pigs? We’ll show you why you should, how to use it and how to clean it.
What Is Fleece Bedding?
This was something I wondered when I first came across fleece bedding for guinea pigs.
How can fleece be good for a bedding material?
The key thing to remember is that it’s NOT ONLY fleece.
The fleece is simply the top layer that you can see.
Underneath this layer, you’ll need an absorbent layer to soak up the urine.
I choose to use towels which just get chucked in the wash with the fleece.
Others prefer puppy pads and some use newspaper (although this tends to stick to the fleece when it gets wet). If you choose to use puppy pads, you need to make sure the guinea pigs cannot get to them and chew them which may be a problem if you have fleece burrowers.
Why Should I Use Fleece Bedding?
Fleece is wonderfully soft! Your piggies will love having a snuggly bedding.
As the fleece is washed and re-used, there’s much less waste to dispose of.
Talking of less waste, you won’t have to keep spending money buying bedding! With fleece, you buy it once and keep washing it.
I find it easier to spot clean the cage using fleece bedding as you can simply hoover up the poops with a hand-held hoover.
Fleece is a popular choice for indoor guinea pigs in C & C cages. It helps to reduce mess in your home as you won’t have stray bits of bedding all over the floor.
When fleece is kept clean enough, it can also have less odour build-up than other types of bedding.
Lastly, fleece comes in so many colours and patterns! You can customise your cage whichever way you like. Not to mention fleece decorations such as curtains, beds and mats.
Pre-Care For Fleece Bedding
There are two options for fleece bedding:
- Make your own – buy a length of fleece
- Buy a pre-made guinea pig fleece liner such as those from GuineaDad (require more cautious cleaning to avoid shrinkage)
Pre-made liners usually come with their own pre-care and washing advice but I’ll go into more detail on DIY fleece bedding.
If you buy a length of fleece (I have this lovely paw print fleece!), you’ll need to wash it before you use it.
Fleece needs to be treated so that it “wicks”. This means that liquid can pass through the fleece layer rather than sitting on it’s surface.
This is simple to do. All you need to do is wash your fleece a few times. It can take anywhere from 2-7 washes before it wicks properly. This will also help you to shrink the fleece before cutting it to size.
Make sure you don’t add any fabric softener to the wash. You’ll want to check your washing powder/liquid/pod doesn’t include fabric softener or you’ll be wasting your time! Fabric softener prevents the fleece from wicking.
To test whether your fleece is done, place it on top of your absorbent layer and pour a few drops of water on top. If the water sits on the surface, it’s not done. If the water goes through the fleece, it’s done!
You need the water to pass through the fleece so that your guinea pigs are not sitting in their urine when it’s in their cage.
Now your fleece is ready to be cut to size and placed in your cage.
How To Clean Fleece Bedding For Guinea Pigs
Each day you’ll need to spot pick the poop from your guinea pig’s cage.
This should only take a few minutes and can be done either with a dustpan and brush or a small hand-held hoover.
Roughly every 4-5 days you’ll need to do a full clean (depending on how many guinea pigs you have).
To do this, sweep or hoover up as much loose material as possible. The cage shouldn’t be too messy as you’ve been cleaning the poop daily.
Then you’re going to want to collect up all the bedding and take it outdoors.
Shake the bedding out somewhere where you don’t mind leaving bits of hay & stray poops.
Next, I brush the bedding with my dustpan brush but others like to use rubber horse curry combs.
If your bedding has still got a lot of hair on at this point, you may want to go over it with a lint roller.
I don’t bother with the lint roller, I just place the bedding into this orange pet washing bag. It keeps all the hairs and stray hay inside the bag and I simply shake it outside once the washing is complete.
(NOTE: I don’t put all of the towels in the bag as you can see in the image. The bottom towels which don’t have hair on go in separately. If I put it all in the bag, it unbalances my washing machine.
Wash your bedding at 60 degrees Celsius.
If you find that your bedding still smells after washing, add a small amount of vinegar to the wash next time.
Lastly, pop it in the tumble drier and it’s ready to use again. That’s it!
Got a C & C cage? Check out our fleece guinea pig hammocks!