Keeping your bearded dragon’s tank clean is a really important part of keeping them healthy and happy! The first time I started to take on this task, I found myself asking, “What can I use to clean my bearded dragon tank?” You want to make sure you get their enclosure good and clean, but you don’t want to put them at risk because of the cleaning solution you use or how you use it. If you’re new to caring for a bearded dragon, I have some simple steps and suggestions below that will help you with deep cleaning the safe way.
What Can I Use to Clean My Bearded Dragon Tank?
From products to cleaning routines, below are recommendations that I’ve found to be the best way to clean a dirty tank for your beardies on a regular basis.
The Basics: Regular Cleaning Routines
Daily Spot Checks:
Start with a daily spot cleaning routine. Scan the tank for any visible waste, uneaten food, or other debris. Remove these using a scooper or tongs. This not only keeps the tank clean but also keeps your dragon in a hygienic living space.
Don’t wait for the mess to accumulate – spot clean as soon as you see it. This helps maintain a healthier environment for your dragon and prevents the growth of harmful bacteria.
Once a week, do a deep cleaning session. For this, you’ll need to remove your dragon from the tank and place it in a secure temporary habitat. More on this below.
The Right Tools for the Job
Soft Bristle Brushes:
Invest in soft-bristle brushes for scrubbing the tank. Brushes with nylon bristles are gentle yet effective in removing stubborn residues without scratching the glass or plastic surfaces. This brush accessories set is perfect!
Water/Vinegar Solution or Reptile-Safe Disinfectant:
Choose a reptile-safe disinfectant to clean accessories and the tank interior for an easy way to get rid of any bad odor and have a nice clean environment when you’re finished cleaning. Ensure it’s free from harmful chemicals like bleach. No Scent Reptile Tank Cleaner Spray & Pet Odor Management is a good choice! Get it here. A diluted solution of vinegar and tap water (1:1 ratio) is a budget-friendly alternative.
Scooper or Tongs:
A scooper or tongs are handy for removing waste and uneaten food without getting your hands dirty. Opt for stainless steel or plastic tools to avoid any potential harm to your dragon. This scooper is handy if you have sand and these tongs are perfect for cleanup of bearded dragon poop, dead insects, or leftover food, especially if you have to sift through loose substrate. The scooper helps a lot when you’re ready to take out old loose substrate and replace it with new clean substrate.
Buckets and Towels:
Keep dedicated buckets and towels for your dragon’s cleaning needs. Using them exclusively for your dragon helps prevent cross-contamination with household cleaning items.
For those who prefer an extra layer of protection, disposable gloves can be useful during the cleaning process.
Products to Consider
There are reptile-specific terrarium cleaning products available online and in pet stores. These are designed to break down organic matter and eliminate odors. Follow the instructions on the product label for safe and effective use. Get a spray bottle of safe terrarium cleaner here.
Enzyme cleaners are excellent for breaking down organic waste. They are natural and safe for reptiles. Look for brands that are specifically formulated for reptile habitats. Get an organic enzyme cleaner here.
As mentioned earlier, a vinegar and clean hot water solution is a cost-effective way to disinfect your dragon’s tank. It’s natural, safe, and does the job well. Get white vinegar here.
Keep a stock of paper towels for quick cleanups. They are absorbent and easy to dispose of, making them a convenient choice for spot cleaning. A microfiber cloth can also be a good option, but you’ll have to disinfect it between cleanings, so it’s a bit more work and can be risky for your bearded dragon. if you don’t get it cleaned well.
The Cleaning Process
1. Remove Your Dragon:
Before you start cleaning, gently remove your dragon from the tank and place it in a secure and warm temporary habitat.
2. Empty the Tank:
Take out all accessories, substrate, and decorations from the tank. Dispose of any soiled substrate and wash non-absorbent items with warm water.
3. Scrub and Clean:
Use your soft-bristle brush and reptile-safe disinfectant to scrub the tank walls and flooring. Pay extra attention to corners and crevices where waste might accumulate. Rinse thoroughly to remove any residue.
4. Clean Accessories:
Clean all accessories, such as rocks, branches, and hides, using the same disinfectant solution. Be sure to clean their water bowl and food bowls as well! Ensure they are completely dry before placing them back in the tank.
5. Change Substrate:
If you’re using a substrate, replace it during the weekly cleaning. This helps maintain a fresh and hygienic environment for your dragon.
6. Reassemble the Habitat:
Once everything is clean and dry, reassemble the tank with fresh substrate and reintroduce your dragon. Ensure that the temperature and humidity levels are back to the optimal range.
A clean tank is a happy and healthy tank for your bearded dragon. Regular maintenance not only enhances the well-being of your scaly friend but also makes your job easier in the long run. By incorporating the right tools and products into your cleaning routine, you’ll ensure that your dragon’s kingdom remains a comfortable and safe haven. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your brushes, and let’s keep those bearded dragon habitats sparkling clean!
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