About fleece bedding …..
How to use it, How it works and How to clean it.
Using Fleece Liners in your pet cages is cost effective, better for the environment as it is washable and reuseable, and also much healthier for your pets overall well being.
Not to mention with so many fun prints and colours, pet cages need not be boring!
Our Fleece Cage Liners are made with 3 layers – all stitched together – quality polar fleece on the top and bottom layers which wicks away the moisture from your pets and a non-toxic, highly absorbent core on the inside which holds the liquids and keeps your pets comfortable and dry. Liquids will not leak thru the bottom.
There is no plastic barrier layer used in these liners, it’s not needed.
Fleece Cage Liners simply lay in the bottom of the cage – there’s no velcro, no clips, no hooks.
Make cage cleaning easier and quicker by washing one single item – no stinky towels, no slushy newspaper, no puppy pads into the landfill, no soggy wood shavings to dispose of ….. just one item to wash, easy!
A single layer that’s absorbent and washable – Nothing is required underneath, or on top of the Liner to make it work.
I recommend the liners should be spot cleaned daily to keep your pet’s home clean and healthy. Easily done using a small broom and dustpan or even a hand-held vacuum.
Of course you can also just remove the fleece liner and take it outside, shake it out into the garden or bin, and put it back in for a quick cleaning day.
All fleece liners should be changed out every 4-7 days or as needed. Please do not keep them in the cage any longer, even if the cage liner still feels dry to the touch.
All liners are machine washable and dryer safe – however, I do recommend that you only use a dryer if you really have to. Out side undercover in the fresh air is far better for the liners. They’re made to dry quickly, and be ready for use again sooner.
Setting Up your Fleece Liners : So you have your new fleece bedding, now what?
To allow Fleece Liners to do the job we intend it to do and draw the liquids through it into the absorbent core in the middle – called wicking – the Fleece Liners MUST BE washed and dried AT LEAST twice before using in your pet’s home.
This is due to all new Fleece Fabric having a type of waterproof coating – this is why your fleece jumpers keep you dry. Once they’ve had a couple of washes, and the coating is removed, they will work hard for you.
The little tufts will pull the liquids into the core layer and keep it there – no liquids will run thru and leak out the bottom.
Please DO NOT USE Fabric Softener, as it will put the waterproof barrier back on the fabric.
Cleaning Soiled Fleece Liners – options
Before you start, remove the bowls, cubbies, animals etc from the cage while you are cleaning it.
Firstly, take a dustpan and give the cage liner a sweep – to remove hay, poops and cage rubbish.
Then roll up the liner and remove from the cage. I find a laundry basket is good for this task.
It is important to sweep, vacuum or shake off as much hair, hay and poops as possible before you try actually washing it.
HOW I WASH MINE HERE AT HOME: Myself – I hang the soiled liners on the clothesline outside and give them a brush with a dry scrubbing brush to remove rubbish, hair etc, in a downward action onto the pavers. I just sweep the rubbish up off the floor when done and bin it. I let my liners dry off for a few hours in the breeze before washing them in a separate machine, just for animal bedding. I use cold water.
CLEANING OPTIONS – decide what works best for you, your household and your budget.
HOSING TO CLEAN THEM OUTDOORS: If you feel the liner is just too gross to throw into the household washing machine, brush it off then get the garden hose to it instead. Some folks throw the liner onto a gate or fence, throw on some liquid detergent, and hose them clean.
There’s nothing wrong with this method – however, you don’t want to hurt your back, or break the clothes line trying to hang a very heavy one. If you can’t spin the water out, it will take a lot longer to drip dry.
MACHINE WASHING: use a regular cycle, warm or cold water, with liquid detergent, and spin dry. No fabric softener.
HAND WASHING: You could handwash the liners in your laundry tub instead, and then peg them on your clothes line to dry undercover or in the shade outside.
Remembering that the more water you get out by spin cycle in the washing machine or squeezing, the sooner your Fleece Liner will be dry.
When washing, use a liquid detergent to wash your Fleece Liner. The eco friendly generic ones are fine. If the liners are a little smelly or really dirty, add half a cup of vinegar to the wash for an extra boost in cleaning.
DRYING: I highly recommend drying your Fleece Liner outside undercover by pegging them over your clothes line and depending on your weather they will dry quite quickly. Fleece is made from plastic, so is not UV stable – repeated exposure to sunlight will degrade the fabric.
As with any washing the more water you can squeeze out after washing, the sooner your Fleece Liners will be dry. Line drying is kind to the environment, and saves on energy costs to you.
TUMBLE DRYING: Fleece Liners may be tumble dried on a low/medium heat in 5 minute bursts. It should be noted that Fleece is a synthetic fabric and repeated tumble drying on high temperatures may reduce the lifespan of your Fleece Liners.
Tumble dryers are a little like cheese graters on fleece – this is where the lint in the door comes from. Little bits of fleece are scraped off on each tumble, thus, less tufts to wick liquids effectively down into the absorbent layer.
ODOURS: Depending if your cage is indoors or outdoors, if you have odours that tend to linger after washing, try a cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle.
**Do check with your manufacturer if this is recommended for your machine. Vinegar can neutralize many odours without harsh chemicals, it will also soften many fabrics.
RINSE THE MACHINE:
I highly recommend putting your washing machine through a extra rinse cycle after it’s finished cleaning your Fleece Liner – as it will remove any loose pet hair from your machine – stopping hair from getting on any clothes in the next load of washing.
You could also add a rinse additive such as Canesten or Dettol Laundry Rinse to kill any germs from the bedding.
Alternatively, if you do not want to use the family washing machine to do the cage liners in, try the laundry tub and hand wash them instead.
BUT I DON’T WANT PET BEDDING IN MY HOUSEHOLD WASHING MACHINE – Laundromats often have machines just for pet bedding, or you could invest in a second washing machine just for the bedding only.
WANT TO REDUCE WHATS LEFT BEHIND IN THE WASHING MACHINE?
Why not try one of our mesh washbags.
They’re 80cmx60cm, ideal for washing fleece bedding items including liners, cuddle sacks, hammocks, tunnels etc – for more details find them in the SHOP section of the website. $6.00 each, or 2 for $9.96 + postage.
WHY CHANGE FROM USING PUPPY PADS?
– Puppy pads can take hundreds of years to decompose in landfill sites, not unlike disposable nappies from babies.
– They can contaminate underground water supplies, they are also generally toxic if chewed or ingested by pets due to the gels, crystals contained within them as an absorbent layer.
We all know that we can’t sustain the practice of just throwing these toxic items into landfill each week.
Washable, reusable bedding has to be a better option for long term use in pet cages.
Puppy pads were basically invented for short term use, while you trained your new dog to go outside to the toilet. They may be convenient, and a ‘no-touch’ way to absorb pee in guinea pig and bunny cages – but they cost us all in the long term. Cheap to buy, quick to throw away – but there are better and more sustainable bedding options.
Snowy’s Quick Guide to a Clean Cage:
I have taken some snaps here at home, of myself going through the steps of cleaning the cage for Snowy.
The instructions are easy to follow – it really does not have to be difficult to have a clean and tidy cage.
Take your pets out and put them somewhere safe while you clean their cage.
Remove food bowls and cage accessories.
Roll the liner up and carry to the rubbish bin or garden.
Give the liner a good shake or brush off into the bin or garden.
Remove any left over odd bits with brush and dustpan, and wipe over with a vinegar/water disinfectant.
Put the same liner back in reverse or a fresh clean one back into the cage.
Put the food bowls and cage accessories back in, as well as your pets.
Now it’s all clean, you can wash the dirty fleece liner either by hand or machine.
FINISHED: All in less than 10 minutes ?
The instructions above are for a full clean out – some people only need to do this once a week or less.
In between liner washes, you can simply sweep up the rubbish off the liner with a brush –
or take the liner out and give it a shake either into the bin, or into the garden.
Once you have tried fleece cage liners – you won’t go back to stinky towels, soggy paper and wet hay.
It’s better for both you – the cage cleaner, and the animals – the cage dirtiers!
Benefits of using Soaker Pads with Fleece Cage Liners..
Using soaker pads along with your fleece cage liners can actually save even more cleaning time!
The soaker pads are made exactly the same as the fleece cage liners, they are just smaller sizes. They perform the same, get cleaned the same, and are a great investment for your cage or enclosure. Wash and dry them twice before use, and use no fabric softener.
How to use them:
Place the soaker pad in a spot that gets wet often: under a drippy water bottle, under a frozen bottle to catch the water dribbles as it defrosts, under the corner litter pan, under the hidey house, or perhaps in that corner that seems to be an extra toilet area.
Liquids will be drawn into the absorbent core layer and held there – the liquids will not travel further down into the main floor liner. This means you can change or wash the soaker pads more often, and the main floor liner less often.
Soaker pads are sold as singles, pairs or sets. Perhaps consider having some soaker pads made to match your next fleece cage liners, then you can swap and change the decor around as you like.