Find out the best options for guinea pig fleece bedding!
Fleece has become a very popular option for guinea pig bedding over the past few years. It’s totally machine washable and reusable which makes it a popular choice. But what is the best way to use fleece? And what different fleece bedding options are available to use in your cages?
Let’s talk about how to use fleece bedding and some of the different fleece bedding options so you can decide what will work best in your guinea pig cages!
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How to Use Fleece Bedding for Guinea Pigs
Before you can decide on what type of fleece bedding you want to use, it’s important to understand how fleece bedding works. Fleece bedding is only a safe bedding option for guinea pigs when it’s used correctly.
Fleece bedding works by allowing liquid to pass straight through. This keeps your piggies clean and dry. Since the fleece doesn’t absorb the liquid, there needs to be an absorbent layer underneath the fleece to soak up the liquid. An absorbent layer is absolutely essential – using fleece without it isn’t safe or healthy for your guinea pigs.
But you can’t just buy fleece at the fabric store and throw it right into your guinea pig’s cage. New fleece must be prepared first through a process known as “wicking.” The wicking process removed whatever coating comes on fleece when you first buy it and allows the liquid to pass through. If you don’t go through the wicking process, liquid will just sit on the surface of the fleece – where your guinea pigs will sit in the wet. Anti-pill and blizzard fleece work the best for guinea pig bedding material.
You wick fleece by washing it on hot water with a bit of dish soap and white vinegar thrown in with free and clear laundry detergent. It might take a couple trips through the washer (without drying in between) to get it fully. This step is critical to getting fleece to work right.
Once your fleece is wicked it’s ready to be used in your cages!
Cleaning Fleece Guinea Pig Bedding
It’s important to be aware that if you use fleece bedding for your guinea pigs, you’ll have to spot clean their cage every day.
If you don’t keep a fleece cage clean it can quickly cause respiratory infections. Poops need to be swept up every day and any wet areas need to be changed. Many owners use smaller pads in high traffic areas or under hay bags so the small pads can be changed out more often than the entire liner.
How often you do a full cage clean is up to you. It will depend on how often you spot clean, the size of your cages, and how many guinea pigs you have.
I do full cage cleans once a week and spot clean once a day. It works out well for the needs of my particular guinea pigs. Many people who use fleece do full cage cleans twice a week. Try different clenaing schedules to figure out what will work best for your guinea pigs!
How to Wash Guinea Pig Fleece Bedding
One of the best parts of using fleece bedding for guinea pigs is that it can be washed and reused over and over. I have fleece liners that are 7 years old and still used on a regular basis! But if you want your liners to last, you need to take care of them the right way.
To wash my liners, I first sweep all the hay and poops off and get them as clean as possible. Some people take their liners outside and shake them off to do this, but I usually brush mine off into the trash and shake them out onto the floor right before I vacuum.
Once you’ve gotten the fleece as clean as possible, you can throw it in the washing machine. I wash my liners on hot water and just do a regular wash cycle.
It’s important to use some type of free and clear detergent with no scents. Guinea pigs have sensitive respiratory systems that can easily be irritated by the smells of detergents. You don’t want to use anything additional like fabric softener either. If your fleece is especially dirty or smelly, you can also throw in some white vinegar. It works great for getting your fleece smelling fresh again!
Once the fleece is washed, I recommend hanging it to dry. I’ve found putting the fleece in the dryer shrinks it a lot and can sometimes remove the wicking ability. If you do put it in the dryer, make sure to put it on low heat. High heat will shrink your liners and can sometimes remove the wicking properties.
What Makes Good Guinea Pig Fleece Bedding?
So what makes the best bedding for guinea pigs? The best fleece bedding for your guinea pigs is going to be what works best for you. There are a few important factors to consider when deciding on a fleece option.
First, what is going to be easiest for you to clean? Do you just want to have one layer to worry about when cleaning cages or washing?
What type of budget you have is also important. Some of the options for fleece bedding are more expensive than others, so that’s something to consider as well. Fleece is definitely an investment up front, but it will save you money over the long run when you don’t have to buy disposable bedding every week – especially if you’re using a c&c cage.
Read More >> The BEST Cages for Guinea Pigs
The Best Guinea Pig Fleece Bedding Options
There are a few different guinea pig bedding options when it comes to fleece. To decide what guinea pig fleece option is the best for you, you’ll need to decide if you want to use cage liners or the fleece layer method in your cages.
Fleece liners make life super simple when it comes time to clean cages. Liners are usually two layers of fleece with an absorbent layer sewn into the middle. You just pick up everything in one piece to wash and reuse.
With the fleece layer method, you lay down the absorbent layer in the bottom of your cage separate from your fleece. You then layer a piece of fleece on top so it covers the entire bottom of the cage.
Each of these fleece options has its own pros and cons, which we’ll cover as we discuss which of them is the best guinea pig fleece bedding option for you!
GuineaDad Fleece Cage Liners
A GuineaDad fleece liner is easily the best choice for someone who doesn’t have a ton of money to spend on fleece and doesn’t want to make their own fleece liners. These are premade liners that you can buy on Amazon.
They are reasonably priced and are super easy to use. They come in standard c&c cage sizes and they all have a size for the Midwest Guinea Pig Habitat. They also sell matching smaller pads for high traffic areas of your cage.
These liners are nice because they keep your piggy dry and have a waterproof bottom layer to make cleanup super easy. They also have a fun fleece pocket attached that guinea pigs love to burrow under! It can make cleanup a little harder, but overall these are a great ready-made option for guinea pig owners.