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Fleece Won't absorb after five washings


Cavy Slave
Apr 24, 2012
I want to give a big thanks from myself and my inherited GP, Chester, for all the invaluable information I've received from this website and forum.

Chester went from a small footprint upright cage to a 2x3 C&C cage and fleece bedding which was layered fleece, terry towel and puppy pad. The urine absorbed down to the puppy pad, but got a bit smelly after three days so after more research I decided to start sewing and bit the bullet to buy some good quality fleece (100% poly anti-pill).

I sewed his first liner using a mattress pad, which I already had, between a layer of fleece. One layer fleece, mattress pad, bottom layer fleece. I washed both the fleece and pad twice prior to sewing so that it wouldn't shrink. Fitted it inside the cage and put Chester in, but quickly realized the urine wasn't being absorbed and was puddling on top. I took everything back out and threw the bedding into the wash again and after five or more washes and dries the water still puddles up and I'm at a loss as to why.

I don't use fabric softener or dryer sheets and wash with home-made laundry soap with no perfumes or chemicals, however I did add 1 cup of vinegar to the wash water because I think I read on here that it helps to remove the chemicals from the fabric to make it absorb.

Does anyone have any ideas of what else I could do or what I possibly did wrong to the fleece?
When you say homemade laundry detergent, are you possibly referring to soap flakes or the common borax recipe? Both are just awful for laundry.They don't dissolve well and soap flakes leave film in hard water. I personally recommend a liquid detergent, such as Arm and Hammer's for sensitive skin.

Some extra things I do:

- Make sure you're not overloading the washing machine. The water needs to flow through the fabric to rinse everything out
- Use hot water
- Add more vinegar than just 1 cup. I throw in a 32 oz bottle every time, but that's excessive.:D
- use less detergent than normal. I reduce the recommend amount of soap by a 1/4 or sometimes 1/2
What's the mattress pad made of? If it has a high polyester content, it could be the culprit since polyester is not absorbent like 100% cotton.
We washed the fleece and dried it 4-5 times (wash, dry, wash, dry, etc) in unscented liquid Tide, no dryer sheets or fabric softener. We use baking soda to cut down on the smell. Fleece bedding with towels underneath. This has worked really well for us.:)
Hi MissJean. My laundry detergent is borax, washing soda and grated ivory soap. Borax actually softens the water making the two other ingredients work better to get the clothes cleaner. I only use a tablespoon of it and have never had a problem with any of it not dissolving. My clothes are brighter and the wash water is more dirtier than when I was using the commercial brands.

Since you mention it, I may have overloaded the machine because I had bought a bunch of fleece remnants that same day and was washing everything at once. And yikes! That's a bunch of vinegar for one load. :eek:hmy: I'll try washing it again with a smaller load and more than a cup of vinegar and see what happens.

Hi Pinky - I honestly don't know the makeup of the mattress pad. It's one I've had for years that was taking up space in the closet. I can tell you that it does absorb because the other half not sewn with the new fleece is in the cage now below a piece of fleece I had bought prior to the good stuff and so far so good. In fact, it's been in there for seven days and there isn't any odor other than the sweet smell of his timothy hay, but I know I need to change it soon.

(broken link removed)Hi Piggilicious. Initially I had a piece of fleece over a terry towel, but didn't try washing with the baking soda washing. Wouldn't vinegar in the rinse do the same to take out odors or no?
spy9doc!! I've seen your posts about your Chester and yes, I have a Chester too. lol He is/was my granddaughter's GP, but as with all things new they loose interest. My daughter loves the little guy and was taking care of him for the most part, but is now allergic and breaks out in hives when she loves on him. She is going through chemo and her immune system is shot. So that's how I inherited him and I don't know if I will be able to part if/when my daughter beats this cancer. Anyhoo, I'm not really familiar with breeds/types cuz I have enough info overload as it is. My Chester is solid white with red eyes. I'll attach a picture of him stretching out in his hammock.

I have done a search on u-haul pads and the closest center that has them is 20 miles north of me. I will get there eventually, but wanted to try what I already had before breaking down and getting one. They sound so much better than the mattress pad from what I've read here. I'm just trying to get my fleece to absorb first.

[GuineaPigCages.com] Won't absorb after five washings
I've been told not to throw it in the dryer. I am a fan of PiggiePigPigs on YouTube and I have always had a high opinion of her. My admiration only grows the more I learn about guinea pigs. I'll let her tell you how she washes her fleeces.

How to wash your Guinea Pig Fleece items - YouTube
spy9doc - I thank you for your $.02 re the hay and I will bring it up to her and see what she thinks. Chester has always had timothy hay available to him since my daughter brought him home and she has never broke out in hives from picking him up until going on chemo. They also have two bunnies and she can no longer pick them up either, but they are well cared for by my older grandsons. In fact, she started getting hives with the bunnies months before the hives started with Chester.

CritterLuvva - thanks and I will watch it, however I don't have an outside clothesline and the other piece of fleece that he's on has no problems absorbing and it has been washed and dried less than the new stuff.
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