Guinea pigs are lovable, little animals but they do need some extra care to stay healthy. One thing that is essential for them is a water bottle. If you’ve ever tried cleaning a guinea pig water bottle, you know it can be quite a challenge.
It’s important to keep this water bottle clean because it provides your little friend with a source of fresh drinking water (quite necessary). It also makes sure there aren’t any bacteria growing inside which could make your pet sick.
In this post, you’ll learn five simple ways to clean your guinea pig’s water bottle as well as find helpful tips to make sure you’re doing it right.
Guinea Pig Water Bottles- How Do They Get Dirty?
So you may be wondering how a water bottle can get so dirty – that is, any dirtier than the rest of your guinea pig’s cage. Well, here are some ways:
- Sediments: If your water is not filtered, then the dissolved sediments might gradually settle so that they block the water supply. This can also affect your pet’s digestion.
- Food debris: Piggie backwash is when the water in the water bottle goes into your pet’s mouth. It can suck food from your pet’s mouth and into the water bottle. But many people have taken a look at their bottles after cleaning them one day later, and they found food in it that proves this theory is true.
- Mold and fungi: Mold or fungi thrive in warm environments. So if you’re living in a hot and humid environment, the temperature (or direct light) along with food debris will facilitate mold or fungi growth.
To keep your guinea pig healthy, you need to clean the water bottle occasionally. But, the process doesn’t have to be difficult.
There’s a few ways to do this that don’t involve a lot of work. So, let’s look at the best ways to clean your guinea pig’s water bottle while still keeping them healthy and hydrated.
5 Simple Ways To Clean A Guinea Pig Water Bottle
Your piggies need clean water and you need the job to be as easy as possible. So, let’s take a look at the easiest and most effective ways to clean your guinea pig’s water bottle.
1. Just Use Hot Water And A Bottle Brush
This is one simple way to clean your pet’s water bottle that can be done in a short amount of time. You simply put the entire bottle in a dish pan (or other container) filled with hot water and let it soak for fifteen minutes.
Then grab a bottle brush and give it a good scrubbing. Afterward, you dump out the water and rinse it several times.
There are a number of bottle brushes that are sold every day for use in the kitchen. They can be used to clean water bottles too, and they often have a long handle on them to make it easier to scrub into the corners.
2. Plan On Using A Handful Of Rice
Another way to clean out your guinea pig’s water bottle is by using a mixture of rice and water.
Rice works well because it has an abrasive nature which helps scrub away all kinds of dirt and debris that may be stuck inside of the bottle.
To start, pour about 1/4 cup of uncooked white rice (or whatever kind of rice you have lying around) into the bottom of the bottle. A funnel will be helpful to keep the rice from spilling, but it’s not necessary. Then add another 1/4 cup of water to cover up the top of the rice.
Put your finger over the opening of the bottle and shake vigorously (like you’re fanning yourself with a piece of paper in 99 degree weather).
This will cause the rice to grind against all surfaces inside of the bottle, scrubbing away muck and food debris.
Once you’re finished shaking, pour out the rice and rinse off your guinea pigs’ water bottle several times with hot water.
3.Use The Sanitize Function In Your Dishwasher (If You Have One)
If you feel comfortable, you can turn your water bottle upside down and place it in your dishwasher’s top rack. This way, the whole inside of the water bottle will be cleaned properly.
Dishwasher manufacturers usually have a sanitize function that will help get the job done.
And if your dishwasher has this mode, that means it’s capable of reaching a temperature high enough to clean and kill any bacteria or germs on your water bottle.
4. Salt Works Well Too
Cleaning the inside of a guinea pig water bottle requires some sort of abrasive – like rice…or salt. Plus, it’s a great option because it’s easy to obtain, very inexpensive and works well.
To start, pour about 1/4 cup of salt into the bottom of the bottle. Then add another 1/4 cup of warm water (or even hot water) to cover up the top of the salt.
Again make sure you’ve removed the nozzle, and then shake your water bottle like you would if you were making a sauce to mix the salt and water together.
This method will help to add extra scrubbing power and you’ll be surprised at what comes off of your guinea pig’s water bottle!
5. Use Distilled White Vinegar To Help Break Down The Buildup
A combination of vinegar and hot water can help break down the buildup that has accumulated inside of a guinea pig’s water bottle. It’s also good for removing algae and mold (ugh! I hate to even say those words).
To start, fill up the water bottle with a mixture that’s half vinegar and half water. Give it several good shakes.
This will help remove all kinds of dirt, algae and other gunk from inside your guinea pig’s water bottle (actually , it works for guinea pig ones and other forms of pet water bottles as well).
Then pour out the mixture, rinse out the bottle thoroughly with hot water and give it a few more shakes.
This will help get rid of any lingering vinegar smell inside your guinea pig’s bottle.
How To Clean The Nozzle Of A Guinea Pig Water Bottle
Guinea pigs are notorious backwashers. Backwashing is when when your piggies deposit a wet mixture of saliva and food around the nozzle, which can lead to bacteria and mold growth.
Most of us have experienced this annoying problem with our guinea pigs. And yes some (little stinkers) are worse than others.
The two best tools to use to clean a nozzle include:
- Pipe cleaners: A pipe cleaner can easily get into the nozzle and wipe out any gunk. Plus, it’s cheap!
- Q-tips: A q-tip can be inserted into the nozzle to get rid of any buildup. Rinse it out with hot water and you’re finished!
Both of them are pretty good at cleaning around the metal ball that can be found in the spout of the bottle.
It’s really important to do this on a regular basis because guinea pigs will lick up dirty around the nozzle which can lead to illness. Consider going through this quick process whenever you’re changing out your guinea pig’s water bottle.
How Often Should You Clean Your Guinea Pig’s Water Bottle?
It’s best to clean your guinea pig’s water bottle at least every two days. But, daily is the best way to make sure that germs and bacteria aren’t growing inside the bottle.
Regularly flushing out your guinea pig’s water bottle with warm water can also help prevent algae and other gross stuff from growing inside, so if you notice any green in your bottle it is time for a cleaning.
Can You Clean A Guinea Pig Water Bottle With Bleach?
Yes, you can clean a guinea pig water bottle with bleach. But, the bleach needs to be diluted with water first. Unconcentrated bleach is much too harsh to be used on a water bottle that your guinea pig drinks from.
Usually a solution of 10 parts clean, fresh water and 1 part bleach works well. But, make sure that rinse the water bottle thoroughly afterwards to remove any bleach residue. The residue could change the taste of the water in their water bottle and make your piggies not want to drink it.
Thinking about adding a piggie to your family or want to brush up on the essentials? Gotcha covered. What you need is a reliable, “all-in-one” resource to refer to when you’re struggling. A Beginner’s Ultimate Guide To Guinea Pig Care is a starting point with all the basics and more to get you on your way!
Wrapping Up: Ways To Clean A Guinea Pig Water Bottle
Caring for a guinea pig is a large responsibility, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Cleaning the water bottles is one of those tasks that needs to be done in order for your cavy friend to stay healthy and hydrated.
Try out some of the great ideas on this blog for how to clean your guinea pig’s water bottle. A dirty bottle can make your piggies sick.
Remember, the process doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming and in order for it to work well, regular maintenance is key!
Once you get in the habit of doing it regularly, it becomes part of your daily routine of caring for your pet.
And it’s important that you are able to keep up with these tasks so as not to neglect your pet. Your cavy companion will thank you if they can fresh, clean water everyday.
If any readers have additional tips or tricks they use when cleaning their piggies’ water bottles, please share below in the comments section.
I’d love to hear about what works best for others who are looking after these cute critters as well!