Please help with C&C fleece cage smell

Gazzdw

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Hi everyone,

I have read several threads about how to control the smell of our guinea pigs and I understand it is very specific to each individual. Been having the smelly issue for a while but we have been much better the last week keeping on top of spot cleaning.

We have 3 pigs (1 male, 2 female) in a 3x5 C&C cage which looks a very good size for them. They are on mainly Guinea dad liners (a couple with pockets) with puppy pads under where the hay rack is and under a piece of fleece that is just a soft fleece; that doesnt have the same waterproof properties as the guinea dad liners. House wise they have 2 wooden tunnels and a fleece tunnel and a fleece hidey.

We did a deep clean 2 days ago (scrubbing the corex underneath with pet disenfectant and white vinegar) and I did a spot clean last night. The hay for the most part will not have been wee'd on as there is very little on the floor and its thick american timothy hay so I can't imagine it would smell like soft meadow hay. At the moment we only use a dustpan and brush for spot cleaning but currently looking for a decent handheld hoover for the poos.

I understand that any sort of plug in or diffuser (even natural ones) are harmful to guinea pigs and I currently have some charcoal odor bags "charging" in the sun outside.

I would love any suggestions or success stories with anyone that has been in a similar situation. It really affects my partner as the guinea room is also her workspace but we don't know what our options left are. Any suggestions for a handheld hoover as well would be very much appreciated (have had my eye on the bissell pet eraser but no longer available in this country).

Thank you ever so much.
 

Fantasimo

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I bought some reusable (human) pee pads for the high wee corner. They’re sort of fuzzy on top, so I don’t bother putting a fleece over them and the pigs like them just fine. They’re less bulky than the fleece, so whenever they start to pong, I just whip them out and change them over. I know it’s not a miracle solution, but I’ve found they last a tiny bit longer than fleece (they still have fleece in the less high wee area) and are easier to wash and change 🙂
 

VickiA

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Healthy guinea pigs shouldn't smell so soon after cleaning out. So - here's a few questions for you.
How long have you had this trio together? Is it your neutered boar who is throwing off some boar scent perhaps? If so, perhaps consider leaving some of his self scented items in the cage when you clean so as to discourage him from scent marking.
How frequently are you changing the fleece and liners. They really do need changing every 3 - 4 days maximum. I do mine every 3 - 4 days and also do a daily change of pee pads (small fleece pads in the highest traffic areas).
Is it the fleece or liners that smell? Are they getting hot washed at 60 degrees to kill off bacteria? You can use a cleanser such as dettol laundry cleanser to ensure that all bacteria get killed off.
Is it possible that any one of your 3 piggies has a urine infection? One of the first indications of an infection can be a change in the scent of the urine.
 

Gazzdw

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Healthy guinea pigs shouldn't smell so soon after cleaning out. So - here's a few questions for you.
How long have you had this trio together? Is it your neutered boar who is throwing off some boar scent perhaps? If so, perhaps consider leaving some of his self scented items in the cage when you clean so as to discourage him from scent marking.
How frequently are you changing the fleece and liners. They really do need changing every 3 - 4 days maximum. I do mine every 3 - 4 days and also do a daily change of pee pads (small fleece pads in the highest traffic areas).
Is it the fleece or liners that smell? Are they getting hot washed at 60 degrees to kill off bacteria? You can use a cleanser such as dettol laundry cleanser to ensure that all bacteria get killed off.
Is it possible that any one of your 3 piggies has a urine infection? One of the first indications of an infection can be a change in the scent of the urine.
Thank you both for such thoughtful replies! With washing the fleece we have never washed on anything other than cold (for 1.5 hours) because I understand that washing on hot shrinks the fleece? Is there a particular Dettol one you recommend?

I really dont think it could be an infection. Its the same smell we have always smelt just quicker (the type of contained room probably doesnt help). Looks like we need to be swapping pee pads a lot sooner and washing more often. All fleece gets washed roughly once a week. Thanks again :)
 

Ellie-May

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Hi everyone,

I have read several threads about how to control the smell of our guinea pigs and I understand it is very specific to each individual. Been having the smelly issue for a while but we have been much better the last week keeping on top of spot cleaning.

We have 3 pigs (1 male, 2 female) in a 3x5 C&C cage which looks a very good size for them. They are on mainly Guinea dad liners (a couple with pockets) with puppy pads under where the hay rack is and under a piece of fleece that is just a soft fleece; that doesnt have the same waterproof properties as the guinea dad liners. House wise they have 2 wooden tunnels and a fleece tunnel and a fleece hidey.

We did a deep clean 2 days ago (scrubbing the corex underneath with pet disenfectant and white vinegar) and I did a spot clean last night. The hay for the most part will not have been wee'd on as there is very little on the floor and its thick american timothy hay so I can't imagine it would smell like soft meadow hay. At the moment we only use a dustpan and brush for spot cleaning but currently looking for a decent handheld hoover for the poos.

I understand that any sort of plug in or diffuser (even natural ones) are harmful to guinea pigs and I currently have some charcoal odor bags "charging" in the sun outside.

I would love any suggestions or success stories with anyone that has been in a similar situation. It really affects my partner as the guinea room is also her workspace but we don't know what our options left are. Any suggestions for a handheld hoover as well would be very much appreciated (have had my eye on the bissell pet eraser but no longer available in this country).

Thank you ever so much.
I switched to fleeces a couple of months ago and I believe it’s the best thing I’ve done. It makes cleaning/maintaining much easier! The only downside is that I’m finding it hard to get the stains/stubborn hairs out but they’re clean.

Since adopting our potential husboar a few days ago I noticed the smell has gone up, but that is probably normal as he is scent marking etc. However, my girls are really clean and I could never smell anything apart from hay.

To maintain cleanliness I use to clean them out every 3-4 days as they’re not too bad, but now I’m working a lot they get a deep clean every week (cage bars, corex etc). I spot clean twice a day and if someone is home it’s 3 times a day.

They have some fleece hideys and sometimes they start to smell 2-3 days after I’ve cleaned them so I take them out. Apart from that I don't do much else.
 

Piggies&buns

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Thank you both for such thoughtful replies! With washing the fleece we have never washed on anything other than cold (for 1.5 hours) because I understand that washing on hot shrinks the fleece? Is there a particular Dettol one you recommend?

I really dont think it could be an infection. Its the same smell we have always smelt just quicker (the type of contained room probably doesnt help). Looks like we need to be swapping pee pads a lot sooner and washing more often. All fleece gets washed roughly once a week. Thanks again :)
Sadly guineadad liners do say to wash in cold water to stop shrinkage. I don’t see how that is completely effective in properly cleaning them though for example, if you were to have a ringworm outbreak, it needs to be washed hot to kill the spores.
I use just normal fleece blankets on top of puppy pads and I wash at 60. It may have had a little shrinkage the first time, but two years later the fleece is still absolutely fine and fits the cage just the same as it always has done
 

YvonneBlue

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The Dettol you need is Dettol Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser you just add it instead of fabric softener in your washing machine. Tesco (and I'm sure other supermarkets) also do their own brand which seems to be ok.

I put my hay in trays (cat litter trays or plant potting trays) lined with puppy pads. The piggies tend to pee and poo in these more than other places. It is then easy to keep these clean.
 

VickiA

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Sadly guineadad liners do say to wash in cold water to stop shrinkage. I don’t see how that is completely effective in properly cleaning them though for example, if you were to have a ringworm outbreak, it needs to be washed hot to kill the spores.
I use just normal fleece blankets on top of puppy pads and I wash at 60. It may have had a little shrinkage the first time, but two years later the fleece is still absolutely fine and fits the cage just the same as it always has done
:agr: I wash all my fleece at 60 degrees.
 

Piggy_novice

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If I clean all fleeces/ hay trays and scrub cage in one go I find my boars scent mark loads and the room ends up a bit stinky 🤦🏼‍♀️
I tend to change hay trays and fleeces at separate times. I also use bath mats in the areas they sleep and pop in most often and they get changed after 2 days then full fleece/ liner change every 4 days.
 

Tigermoth

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Are you using an excess of soap powder? The more you use the more build up you can get which then kind of stores pee which then almost reactivates the smell when it gets wet.
 
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