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Old 07-26-2021, 10:24 AM   #1
Hamster Pup
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Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Essex, England
Posts: 215
Question Vinegar for cleaning

So, I always knew vinegar could be used for cleaning. But not any vinegar, usually your white vinegar + water.

However, I asked my gran to pick up a bottle of white vinegar for me whilst she was out at the shop since I wasn't going out today and she offered to pick me up a few bits and bobs.

But, of course my luck is always bad and the local store didn't have any white vinegar in whatsoever. Our stores near us (and I mean every single one) have actually been pretty sparse/empty because no one's wanting to go out here in my area of Essex. No one is wearing their face masks!! I'm half vaccinated but I know there's still a lot of people who aren't yet, and half vaccinated still isn't as good as being fully vaccinated. Rest of my household is fully vaccinated, besides my brother as well though, he's half vaccinated like me.

Anyway, she picked up distilled malt vinegar instead. It's not brown, it's completely clear like your usual white vinegar. It's the Sarson's Distilled malt vinegar.

Would this still work or no?

I'm completely out of cleaning stuff now. I can't seem to find white vinegar anywhere and I want to try and stay away from those pet made cleaning sprays.

What else could I use? I have no vinegar in the cupboard nor anything that isn't non-toxic or non-fragrant. The only non-toxic thing I have is lavender scented surface spray which is not okay obviously.
Age: 20 years old Hamsters I currently own: 2 Hamsters at the Rainbow Bridge: 1
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: Vinegar for cleaning

What do you need it for? I generally only use vinegar for cleaning the white stains out of cage corners. Malt vinegar doesn't work as well for that but you could try. Lemon juice can also work as you just need an acid to dissolve the calcium. You can also use vinegar to try to get smells out of stained wood. You could use malt vinegar for that but then you'll need to let it air for a while for the smell of the vinegar to dissipate.

If it's just routine cleaning, hot, soapy water is fine for plastic and ceramic things. Vinegar isn't a reliable disinfectant, especially malt vinegar as it's less acidic than white or cleaning vinegar. Wood is more tricky so I seal it where possible or just throw it away when it gets really stained. Things don't really need to be fully disinfected during routine cleaning if they're going to be used again by the same hamster (who isn't ill).
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:45 PM   #3
Ria P
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Wiltshire, UK
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Default Re: Vinegar for cleaning

I was going to ask the same question. What for? Or what do you need to clean?

I use the pet disinfectant spray when i want to clean a cage or toys i bought second hand but rinse it off well after leaving it on for 10 minutes.

The things i reuse for foster hamsters i wash with hot water and fairy liquid then rinse well. For normal cleaning of our own hamster's things i only use a damp cloths because i don't want to remove their smell completely.
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Old 07-27-2021, 05:21 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Essex, England
Posts: 215
Default Re: Vinegar for cleaning

Ah, thank you!

A few people told me that those disinfectants were super bad for hammies as well as they recommended to use white vinegar for full enclosure cleans once every few months or for products.
Age: 20 years old Hamsters I currently own: 2 Hamsters at the Rainbow Bridge: 1
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Old 07-28-2021, 07:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: Vinegar for cleaning

You don't need anything apart from a bit of washing up liquid in a bucket of warm water . The small pet disinfectant by beaphar and johnsons is fine, if rinsed well afterwards and left to air so it doesn't leave too strong an aroma. But that is only needed if there's been ilnness or disease. For normal cleaning you just use warm water (I sometimes don't even use soap in it). If you use soap water, again rinse well to remove any residue or scent.

But for a general clean I just wipe the inside of the cage base with a soaked cloth.

Vinegar isn't a full disinfectant. It will kill some bugs but not all. So it's not a substitute for disinfectant. It's a cleaner. So not much point really and it still leaves a strong smell which can take some time to wear off.

The only time I used vinegar to clean a cage (which probably wasn't necessary) was after our hamster had been left at another house while we were on holiday, with his cage, and he went a bit bonkers when he came home and couldn't settle - very stressed. After about 10 days I decided to do a full cage clean in case he could still smell the other home (which also had hamsters) and it was upsetting him. That did the trick. I used the vinegar to remove the scent on the cage. Afterwards he turned his nose up at the smell (even though well rinsed) but settled straight away.
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cleaning, distilled, vaccinated, vinegar, white

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