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Your reptile carpet is supposed to act like a piece of desert – or rainforest – in your living room.
And where there’s a carpet to slither over, there’s all kinds of germs too.
But how do you clean a piece of desert, kahm, a reptile carpet? It’s not hard, but you will have to follow several steps!
Read on for my guide on how to clean the reptile carpet for your scaly friend!
But First, Why Should You Clean Reptile Carpet?
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A reptile carpet is a common alternative to sand and soil substrate. It is a synthetic and non-absorbent option; however, it must be cleaned regularly. The carpet is usually used for desert reptiles who are accustomed to living in the wild on top of flat rocks. You can also use it for reptiles who need a moist hiding area.
In the wild, nature slowly cleans itself with changing seasons, air circulation, rain showers, and supporting the natural cycle of plants and animals. However, your pet reptile cannot rinse itself in a river or move to a cleaner place. That’s why you need to clean their living space and reptile carpets.
The most common reptile pets that people have are bearded dragons or lizards. Although they don’t require much attention, cleaning their living quarters is super important.
Before I proceed with my quick and dirty guide, let me tell you one thing. If you’re thinking to just clean your reptile’s carpet the way you clean yours, forget it. That would totally destroy the substrate, and it ain’t cheap!
How to Clean a Bearded Dragon Carpet?
This is what you need:
- Bucket of water
- Paper towels
- Scrub brush
- Rubber gloves
- Special reptile carpet cleaner (optional)
Before doing anything, take out your little friend and place them in a container. You can add some warm water to the container to allow them to soak while you’re cleaning up.
You can also entertain them while cleaning!
Prepare the Area
The place where you’ll be cleaning your reptile carpet must be flat and must not have any objects nearby that may be damaged.
Place old towels around your workstation before starting. This is to prevent water from going everywhere. Put on your gloves, and let’s begin!
Wipe the Carpet With Paper Towels
Use paper towels to pick up large dirt such as poo, bugs, dead skin, or bugs. Use a clean paper towel each time to avoid cross-contamination. Wipe it with another clean paper towel.
Once you have cleared the carpet of all visible dirt, mix a solution with water and dish soap in the bucket to begin scrubbing.
Some household products may contain toxic chemicals that may not agree with your pet. I recommend that you use a specific reptile carpet cleaner for this. This cleaner won’t destroy the carpet and harm your reptile friend. However, you can also use a natural and eco-friendly detergent.
Dawn dish soap is okay too!
Once you have got your soap for the scrubbing, pour a small amount into the bucket and mix it with clean water. The water should be lukewarm and not very hot, as reptiles cannot withstand very high heat. Begin scrubbing.
When you get to scrubbing very dirty patches or getting out mold growths inside the cage, make sure to have clean towels to wipe the dirty water off. Use light pressure as if you scrub too hard, you can damage the fibers of the carpet.
Swap Out Your Dirty Water
Dump out your dirty water outside or in a sink. Rinse the bucket with hot water and make sure all the remaining dirt is out. Refill your bucket with more warm water, but don’t put anything in it.
Rinse the Carpet
Now, you’re going to have to rinse the soap that’s left on the carpet. You can drop a little water onto the carpet and massage with your hands until the soap is gone, or put the carpet in the bucket.
Ensure that the carpet has no soap suds!
You have to use a reptile disinfectant, as our disinfectants are too strong and can damage the reptile carpet. Spray both sides of the carpet.
Leave for 5 minutes, then rinse again with water.
Let It Dry
Leave the carpet to air dry before putting it back into their cage. When it’s completely dry, you can put it back into the enclosure and warm it up with the lamp before putting Mr./Ms. Reptile back into their home. They love warm settings!
How Often Should I Clean My Reptile Carpet?
How often you clean your reptile’s carpet and the cage is based on various factors. A large, active reptile would need more cleaning than a smaller reptile in a large tank. The species also play a part here.
Corn snakes or milk snakes and lizards are usually low maintenance than turtles and iguanas. Whatever reptile pet you have, their tanks and carpets must be cleaned regularly and not be left to get too dirty where it may cause health problems.
- Daily cleaning – You should replace food and water dishes every day, and any uneaten food should be taken out. Spills can be wiped out, and any poo or dead skin should also be removed. This will not disturb your pet as they are quick tasks.
- Weekly cleaning – This is more thorough, all habitat surfaces should be wiped with reptile disinfectant, including rocks and wood. Any dying plants should be removed, and other toys or fixtures should be wiped. For this, your pet should be kept somewhere else to avoid disturbing them.
- Monthly cleaning – This is deep cleaning, but it may not be needed every month for certain reptiles. Everything must be taken out of the tank, and you should scrub everywhere. All rocks, feeding, and water bowls should be soaked in disinfectant or replaced. You should let the enclosure air out for a couple of hours afterward. Your pet should be kept in a temporary home until you complete setting up its habitat.
A happy habitat means a smiling reptile! (They don’t really smile, but you get the idea!)
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I put reptile carpet in the washer?
Reptile carpets are machine washable.
Just ensure to read the care label before popping them in not to damage the carpet or your machine! The temperature shouldn’t be higher than 104 F.
How do you clean reptile poop?
You can use your hands (with gloves) or a litter scooper. Make sure to remove all the poop and the bedding around it. This should be done every day, and wash your hands after! Avoid touching other things after doing this.