How To Get Hay Out Of Fleece (10 Awesome Tips That Work)

Hay is a great source of food for your guinea pigs, but it can also be a pain to get out of fleece. It will stick to the fleece and make it difficult to remove.  It’s the most annoying thing ever for fleece users.

As a general rule, guinea pig owners can remove hay from fleece by first shaking the fleece free of large pieces. Then use lint rollers, a vacuum, or rubber brush to snag the smaller pieces. Additionally, use hay bags and bins to keep the hay contained, so that it makes less of a mess.

How to Get Hay Out of Fleece

This article includes helpful tips on how you can remove hay from fleece without damaging the fabric or having too many loose pieces in your house.

Plus there’s tons of other useful information about caring for your guinea pig fleece so they last longer and smell fresher.

First, let’s talk about…

Hay For Guinea Pigs: The Necessary Evil

As much as you’d probably like to get rid of hay, it’s a necessary evil for guinea pigs.

Hay is an integral part of every cavy’s diet and life – they literally need it!

  • The roughage and fiber in hay to keep your guinea pig’s digestive system working properly.  Without it guinea pigs can die.
  • Guinea pig teeth never stop growing. Chewing hay helps guinea pigs avoid overgrown teeth.  That way, they can avoid jaw alignment and eating problems.
  • Many guinea pigs are burrowers and enjoy nothing more than diving into a big pile of hay.

That said, there’s no denying how annoying it can be when you have to clean your guinea pigs cages and it gets stuck in the fleece.

Unfortunately, there’s no way for your home to be completely hay-free.  But, you can definitely use some tips and tactics to make it a lot easier to clean it from the fabric.

Keep The Hay Contained

The first three tips involve keeping the hay in one location as much as possible.  Cleaning one spot is easier than cleaning multiple areas or one huge space.

Let’s dive in!

1. Spot Clean Periodically

Spot cleaning daily a guinea pig cage daily is important for the health and happiness of your piggies

And can also save you from hay infestation.

When you’re picking up droppings, swipe up stray pieces of hay as well.  This will avoid it piling up and becoming a bigger problem later.

2. Make a Kitchen Area

A designated area (called the “kitchen”) that can be use for guinea pig food, water, and hay storage. 

It’s easy to make one. 

Just place a plastic tray (or kitty litter tray) in the corner of the cage, stuff it with hay, add a food dish, and make sure there’s a water bottle (or bowl nearby).  Just make sure that the tray is no more than 3 inches high.  You want your piggies to be able to get in and out of the tray easily.

Some of the hay will trail out (via your piggies), but most of it will be contained in the tray.

Another bonus?

Using a kitchen area helps keep the fleece smelling better longer, because piggies usually toilet as they eat.  This means that most of their business will happen in the kitchen area.

Take a peek at this video to see how to make a kitchen area (or hay room) for your guinea pig’s cage.

The pet parent in the video makes a hay room, but if you add a water bottle and food, you’ll have a great kitchen area:

3.Use A Hay Bag

Hay bags are an easy, affordable way to prevent it from invading every inch of the fabric.  But, hay bags still allow your pigs easy access to as much hay as they need.

If you want to DIY one or two yourself, take a peek at this video:

Use A Variety of Tools (Including Your Hands)

Tips 4 through 10 involve more hands-on labor. It’s not about tactics.  It’s about various levels of elbow grease. 

No matter what combination of tips you use, you have to start with the most obvious tip for getting hay out of fleece, which is…

4. Give The Fleece A Good Shake

Before trying to manually remove hay from fabric, start off with a few good shakes.

This will get rid of the larger pieces ofirst.  It will also loosen some of the smaller, stubborn pieces stuck in the fibers of your fleece -making it easier to remove later on.

Some people take their blankets or liners outside and give them a good shake in the grass.  But, you can also brush the hay off into a garbage can.

The video below shows a video of the garbage can technique.  It’s not as messy as you’d think.

5. Use Small Dust Pan and Broom

Go old school and just use a small dust pan and broom.  In my experience, it’s one of the best techniques to get pieces of hay out of fleece.

6. Lint Rollers Can Help

It’s always a good idea to use a lint roller to get rid of the smaller pieces of hay.

It’s a little less effort than using the broom, because you don’t have to use force to swoop up the pieces. The sticky paper does all the work.

Added bonus?  This method removes piggie hair from fleece, too.

7. Tape Gets Hay Off

This is a tip that I never would’ve thought of on my own.  You can use clear shipping tape or duct tape.  Don’t use scotch tape.  That’s too thin to work.

Wrap it around your hand and then swipe your hand across the fleece – picking up bits as you go.  

This won’t work well with larger pieces, but that’s what the shaking is for.

8. Rubber Brush Or Curry Comb

This tool required a bit more elbow grease, but the results are worth it.  Brush the hay directly into a garbage can. Or you can lay the fleece on the grass (or driveway) outside and brush it down there.

9. Pet Hair Squeegee

Don’t use a regular car squeegee. 

Use the special one that has a rubber, sticky section to it.  Just draw the squeegee across the fabric, picking up the hay. 

This tool is best for liners or flippers. It’s pretty difficult to use if you use fleece sheets or fleece blankets in the cage. 

10. Shop Vac

If you’re someone who has a little extra money to spend and the space to store it, a shop vac is a great investment for cleaning guinea pig cages.

If you make that purchase, make sure that you grab one that has a hose that’s 2.5 to 3 inch diameter.  That way the hose won’t clog.

You can also use a small handheld vacuum cleaner, or lint brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner, in order to remove any smaller pieces that are stuck deep inside the fibers.

This video below shows how easy it is to use this method:

Frequently Asked Questions About Guinea Pig Fleece

How Do I Stop Guinea Pig Fleece From Smelling?

As a whole, guinea pig fleece will smell fresh when you wash the fabric in an unscented detergent and half a cup of vinegar once or twice a week. Use a handheld vacuum or other tool to spot clean droppings daily. 

Additionally, create a “kitchen area” to store your guinea pig’s pellets, hay, and water.  This stops the fabric from smelling because guinea pigs usually go to the toilet as they eat. 

If the piggies use the bathroom in the kitchen area, the fleece will stay fresh and stink-free.

How Often Should I Wash My Guinea Pig’s Fleece?

On the whole, it’s best to wash and change guinea pig fleece every 3 to 5 days. 

Can You Hand Wash Guinea Pig Fleece?

Guinea pig fleece can be hand washed, but it’s not advised if you have fleece liners. Proper fleece liners are heavier and take more time and energy to wash will require a lot of time and energy to complete the task. A washing machine is your best best for fleece liners.

If you’re going to wash fleece blankets, fill a bathtub (or bucket) with hot (or warm) water and then add detergent and a half a cup of vinegar.  With a broom handle or other stick, stir the mixture periodically.  Then drain the dirty water, fill it with clean water, and stir again.  Repeat until the rinsed water runs clean.  

Remove the fleece and wring it out.  Then hang the blanket to dry – preferably outside in the sunshine. 

How Do You Clean Fleece Bedding?

To clean fleece bedding, shake hay and droppings from the fleece.  Wash the fleece in hot water.  Wash the fleece in a laundry bag (or horse bag) to avoid getting debris in the washing machine.  Use an unscented detergent without added conditioners or fabric softeners.  Avoid overfilling the washing machine.

Final Thoughts About Removing Hay From Fleece

It’s time to say adios.

Adios to the hay that clings to fleece.

Goodbye to stalk

You now have 10 effective tips and tools to make cleaning your fleece easier and stress free.  

Let’s recap:

  • Spot clean periodically 
  • Make a kitchen area
  • Use a hay bag
  • Give the fleece a good shake
  • Use a small dust pan and broom
  • Lint rollers can help
  • Duct tape or shipping tape
  • Rubber brush or curry comb
  • Pet hair squeegee
  • Vacuum (shop vac or handheld) 

You’re sure to find the “secret sauce” to rid yourself of pesky stalks of hay in this list.  Try whatever combination that best suits you and your needs. 

Are you ready?

Let’s hop to it.

The 8 best eco-friendly laundry detergents of 2021. (n.d.). Treehugger. https://www.treehugger.com/best-eco-friendly-laundry-detergents-5115628

Fleece hand washing? (n.d.). Your Guinea Pig’s Home (metric). https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/64415-Hand-washing

Guinea pig care. (n.d.). Animal Humane Society. https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/adoption/guinea-pig-care

Guinea pig market. (n.d.). Guinea Pig Market: Fleece Bedding, Liners, Cage Accessories, Cozies, Toys, Supplies. https://www.guineapigmarket.com/washing-fleece

Secrets of fleece bedding for Guinea pigs revealed – Part II, selection and preparation. (n.d.). Cali Cavy Collective: a blog about all things guinea pig. https://www.calicavycollective.com/2011/09/secrets-of-fleece-bedding-for-guinea.html

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