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Fleece Cleaning?


Cavy Slave
Aug 14, 2010
I actually have rats not guinea pigs :) But I remember this forum and it is very active and helpful so I hope you do not mind.

I also am using fleece for my rats with a towel underneath (if I can get them to stop pulling it all up and going under it all lol).

I was reading somewhere, but I can't find it now, that you should use vinegar with the wash to help get out the smell. So I am wondering if so? And do you use it along with laundry soap? How much? I know you shouldn't use dryer sheets right?

Also how often do you wash it? I am sure it depends on how many you have. I have two rats and I would assume it would get dirty about the same as with guinea pigs.

Also on a side note, how much does fleece usually cost from like a fabric store? I just bought some very nice baby fleece blankets from a used store like goodwill. But they didn't have alot and I would like some extras to rotate out. Can you just use plain cut fleece without sewing it or anything fancy? I feel so dumb sorry for all the questions.

It was hilarious seeing the expression from the sales clerk when she asked me if I knew someone who just had a baby and when I told her no they were for my rats!
I use a cup of vinegar, along with my regular laundry detergent. Don't use any fabric softener. I buy my fleece off the remnant rack at Jo-Ann Fabrics. Remnants are 50% off the current price per yard of the fleece so if it's on sale for $5.00 yard, you get the remnant for $2.50 per yard. You can place an ad on Freecycle to see if anyone has any to give away. A coworker gave me a large bag filled with fleece blankets her kids no longer used. They were the thick ones which made great fleece pads. I think rats have a little more scent to them than guinea pigs so you might need to soak the fleece for awhile before running it through the wash cycle.
My walmart sells fleece for $2.97 per yard.

Wash like this
Rinse with warm water
wash with SMALL (very important) amount of soap and 1/2 cup vinegar & hot water
Rinse in cold
2nd rinse in cold

that should eliminate all odor problems (it is how you wash cloth diapers too thats how I know)
If you still have trouble with odor add 2tbs bleach to hot wash instead of vinegar once a month.

If you have been using alot of soap it will actually hold the smell worse. To check this put your towel in the hottest water possible with nothing added and see if there is soap in the water. If there is you need to do a few rinses in hot to get all the soap out. basically like stripping

washing animal potty isn't much different than diapers so here is a link for diapers with odor issues (broken link removed)
Fleece is not always the best to use for rats. As you are seeing they are getting under it. They will also chew it up to make themselves a nice nest. Now fleece as a cuddle cup or a hanging corner bed they loved but they did pee in them and tore them up to make it more comfy. I was always replacing them. My daughter had a 4 story rat house and used the hangling fleece and cuddle cups. The bottom floor she used carefresh and their litter box.
Thanks a ton everyone. That helps me alot. I'll definitely grab some vinegar then. I live in an apartment so I am not sure if our washers are quite that awesome to let me tweak it between cycles lol but I will play around with them and see.

Actually from everything I read and the forums I have gone too it seems the majority still use fleece for rats too with little problems. With only the bedding type stuff in their litter box. Probably some rats are more destructive then others though.

Thanks again. I will also check out walmart for their fleece that seems like a good deal.
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