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Old 08-30-2009, 12:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I know it's a dumb question, but I'm curious! :)

My hedgehog uses the wheel all night long, and (of course) doubles it as her on-the-go potty. By the morning, the wheel is just really gross. What do you all use to clean it? Are there any cleaning products that are safe for hedgies and effective for removing odor and....poop? I don't have a hose here at the house, and I'm really hesitant to use the bathtub or the sink to clean out a poopy wheel! Any suggestions?
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: I know it's a dumb question, but I'm curious! :)

I clean mine in the kitchen sink after scraping off what I can with a paper towel into the trash. For the stuff that doesn't flake off I run it under the hot tap for a few minutes while turning it slowly. And if that doesn't do the trick I have some pet safe wet wipes called Spotty Cleansing Wipes that I bought at Wal-Mart. They're nice because they clean, sanitize, and deodorize but are safe to use around pets (but not directly on). I've heard others mention the hot water trick with a diluted vinegar rinse to kill bacteria.

I don't know what kind of wheel you use but mine is a bucket wheel with a roller blade wheel at the back. If yours is similar or has any metal parts be careful not to submerge it under water. If it rusts it won't be silent anymore.
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: I know it's a dumb question, but I'm curious! :)

I've found that the fastest and easiest way was to soak it for a few minutes in hot water and dish soap. Even when the wheel is really gross 10 minutes will do it and all I have to do is rinse and dry it off. I don't mind using the sink as it's fastest and easily cleaned afterwards but I'm sure a big bucket would do the job too.
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: I know it's a dumb question, but I'm curious! :)

Let it dry. Spot clean/pick off large pieces with a paper towel. Scrape anything else with a cat scooper or something similar. Spray the whole wheel with a vinegar/water solution (1/2 and 1/2) & then wipe down with paper towel.

I'd stay away from cleaners as there's so many chemicals in them - think about how close your hedgie's nose is from the wheel.

Wheels with ridges are harder to clean. Cake Walk wheels are nice and smooth and can be easier to clean.
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Old 08-30-2009, 04:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: I know it's a dumb question, but I'm curious! :)

Before getting my CWS I would soak the wheel overnight on the deck (I had two) in a tub of dawn/bleach water.

With the CWS, I spray it with a vinegar/water solution, let it sit while I tear off a bunch of paper towels, wipe and spray and wipe until its clean. Then I spray with water and give it a final wipe. It takes about 5 minutes. I do this in the cage, too.

This might've worked with my old wheel as well but I never tried it.
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Old 08-30-2009, 04:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: I know it's a dumb question, but I'm curious! :)

For some reason my original post isn't showing up so I'm sorry if I'm posting this twice.

I use a product called nok-out to clean/de-smellify my wheel and cage. I don't always have to do the wheel daily. Flying Saucers seem to stay pretty clean. nok-out is made to elimante overpowering smells like skunk, and pet oder. It's perfect because it can also be used directly on an animal that has been sprayed by a skunk or gotten into something smelly, so it is gentle and it is unscented. I've never used it on skunk but have heard that it works wonders. It doesn't disinfect so it needs to be used in conjunction with dish soap or another cleaner.

I only use it when the wheel and cage get particularly smelly. A full clean with nok-out usually consists of dishsoap wash, rinse, nok-out, soak, rinse. In between full cleans I just soak, rinse the wheel and use dish soap to help with really poopy days.

Edit: forgot to add, I usually clean the wheel in the tub as it is easy to rinse the tub out afterwards. If you are worried about germs consider this, babies are very poopy and they are bathed in kitchen sinks and tubs all the time.
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