Bearded dragons have miles of space to roam in the wild. They have plenty of room to drop their poop without their waste accumulating in the areas where they live. However, poop can quickly build up and become a problem in a terrarium.
Routinely cleaning up bearded dragon poop is the best way to keep the substrates, logs, rocks, walls, and water in their enclosure clean and odor-free. However, a weekly or monthly deep clean must accompany this routine spot cleaning. The pet must also be wiped and bathed to rid them of feces.
This article will show you how to clean bearded dragon poop from its terrarium, your clothes, and even the bearded dragon itself. You might also find some helpful cleaning products here. So, keep reading if you just got a bearded dragon or are having trouble cleaning up its poop.
Table of Contents
Why Clean Up Bearded Dragon Poop Daily?
Like any animal, bearded dragons have to poop and will do so daily or every two days, depending on their age.
In any case, poop builds up and provides an environment where bacteria, parasites, and fungi can grow and spread quickly. Leaving this buildup in the tank will inevitably harm your bearded dragon’s health and yours.
As the goal is to keep a bearded dragon in a healthy environment, cleaning up its waste should be a priority for its owner.
Moreover, a beardie’s poop can stink! Many find that their poop can smell worse than that of other reptiles.
If your bearded dragon smells awful, you can bet its tank is dirty.
Also, their diet can make their poop stink as well. Bearded dragons are omnivorous, so they eat many different things.
Because of this, their waste can smell different depending on what they’ve eaten. Just ensure your dragon gets only a few smelly foods, like fish, and always has access to clean water.
Spot Cleaning The Bearded Dragon’s Enclosure
To avoid owning a stinky beardie, make sure its tank is always clean.
Maintaining a clean environment for your bearded dragon is as simple as daily spot cleaning of its tank.
At the end of the day, clean up any leftover food, such as dead or partially eaten insects and uneaten fruit and vegetables. Do not leave food lying in the enclosure for more than a day.
Also, soap and clean out the water bowl and pour in fresh water daily.
Remove or pick off any poop you see on the tank’s floor, plants, logs, rocks, or hard decor.
A daily check and routine cleaning like this will help you from getting overwhelmed by the amount of lizard poop you may have to clean in a week or month.
Deep Cleaning The Bearded Dragon’s Enclosure
Now, some people have dragons that do their business only in their water bowls. They don’t think they see feces on the floor of the enclosures, so no thought about cleaning up poop goes beyond the water bowls or baths.
Unfortunately, dragons can still spread fecal bacteria by rubbing their vents or butts against items or the walls of their enclosures.
So it is crucial to clean and sterilize everything because you don’t know where those butts have wiped off some poopy matter.
You can use bleach or vinegar in a pinch to do so, but bear in mind that these cleaners are not strong enough to kill coccidia and yellow fungus.
Ammonia can kill, but it can smell too intense for many people. It’s best to use milder veterinary disinfectants that are safe for reptiles, such as F10sc and Spartan HDQ Neutral.
Watch how an effective weekly deep clean is done:
Noticed a substrate shovel for scooping out sand or loose substrate (including poop)? You can get this shovel from Amazon here.
With all these in mind, let’s dive in to learn how to clean up bearded dragon poop off specific tank accessories.
Cleaning Up Bearded Dragon Poop Off Reptile Carpet
Check the reptile carpet daily for any droppings. If you see them, remove them by scooping them up or picking them out with a paper towel, which you can also use to blot any moisture left.
To be sure, you can immediately disinfect the spot where the poop has been by spraying it with disinfectant mixed with water. Then scrub the area.
For a weekly or twice-monthly deep clean, here’s what you need:
- Scrub brush
- Bucket of water
- Reptile-safe soap like Lugarti’s Natural Reptile Soap
- disinfectant spray
Step 1: Put your pet in a carrier cage or other enclosure. Remove all the accessories, toys, dishes, and the repticarpet for cleaning.
Step 2: Beat the rug against a wastebasket to dislodge any food pieces and loose poop. This way, you can do away with the extra stuff immediately.
Step 3: Rinse the reptile carpet thoroughly under a faucet or leave it to soak in a pail of water. Do whatever works best for you, but remember to use cold water to keep the carpet from shrinking. Make sure to allow it to soak in the water thoroughly.
Step 4: Get some reptile-safe soap and use it well. Use your scrub brush to scour all that debris and excrement from the repticarpet. After that, thoroughly rinse the carpet to remove the soap and any other debris that may still be there.
Step 5: Allow your reptile carpet to dry thoroughly before reinstalling it in the tank. If it is returned damp, mold will grow on it. Use a fan to speed the drying, but don’t use heat.
Step 6: Once dry, you can reinstall the carpet. Now, apply a disinfectant. You could use diluted bleach or alcohol solutions. But if you want something pre-made and quickly bought off the rack, try the previously mentioned F10sc, HDQ Neutral, or Nature’s Miracle cage cleaner.
Cleaning Up Bearded Dragon Poop Off Tile
Scoop or pick up the poop as soon as you see it. Then disinfect the spot with any reptile-safe disinfectant.
If your tile is natural slate or stone, do not use vinegar as a disinfectant. As vinegar is acidic, it can discolor or create ugly markings on your tile.
Note: As a disinfectant, vinegar is less effective than a bleach solution or a commercial disinfectant.
For deep cleaning, remove the tile substrate from the terrarium. Wash and wipe it dry thoroughly. Then disinfect the tile with a bleach solution or commercial pet-grade product.
To make a bleach solution, use 5 tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water. Let the solution sit on the tile for one minute before rinsing thoroughly and air drying.
Warning: Never mix bleach or hydrogen peroxide with vinegar. Toxic vapors can result.
Cleaning Bearded Dragon Poop Off Rocks and Logs
You can clean tank decor with hot, soapy water and a brush or toothbrush.
Logs, Branches, and Wooden Accessories
To remove bearded dragon feces from wood, wash the branch with soapy water before baking it or passing high-pressure steam over it. Heat kills all parasites, so bake at 250-300 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Boiling is also helpful for cleaning wooden items.
Remove bearded dragon feces from wood by scrubbing it off logs and branches with a brush or toothbrush. Wash them in hot, soapy water, then bake these at 250–300 °F for 25–30 minutes.
You may also boil wooden accessories to kill parasites.
Another way to disinfect is to steam-clean bacteria with a steam cleaner (like this one). Kill all parasites by subjecting the wood to high-pressure steam at 250–300 °F (121–149 °C). By the way, you can sterilize your entire tank with just this nifty equipment.
Rocks and Hard Accessories
Aside from washing and scrubbing them thoroughly of poop, you can steam clean stones, rocks, and other hard-surfaced decors afterward.
But if you do not have a steam cleaner, you can spray a bleach solution to disinfect.
Cleaning Bearded Dragon Poop Off Enclosure Walls
When deep cleaning the tank, there are a few options. Chlorhexidine solution is an excellent choice as it is non-toxic, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. Mix this in water for cleaning.
A steam cleaner also comes in handy for destroying parasites on the glass walls. It uses only boiling hot water, so it is non-toxic.
For scrubbing the tank, a non-toxic reptile cleaner like this one from Fluker’s can make cleaning easy.
You can also use a 1:1 solution of vinegar and water. Let it stand for a few hours to allow the vinegary scent to dissipate.
Remember, vinegar is a weak anti-parasitic solution because it cannot kill all types of bacteria or fungi.
Cleaning Poop Off The Bearded Dragon
Bearded dragons sometimes soil themselves and drag their waste around the tank with their movements. Poop can get on their tails or stick to their vents.
Soak your beardie in a pale blue bath of water mixed with chlorhexidine to clean your pet. You can also use reptile-safe soap. Gently scrub your dragon with a toothbrush to wash away the poop.
Watch a beardie enjoy being cleaned, scrubbed, and refreshed:
Cleaning Poop Off Rugs and Upholstery
Accidents happen, so poop can happen on our area rugs and carpets. Here’s how to clean up after your beardie:
Step 1: Pick up as many poop pieces as possible with paper towels. Make sure the paper is dry, not wet.
Step 2: Take a wet paper towel or baby wipe and pinch the carpet fibers to remove the poop. Don’t worry if it smears a little.
Step 3: Combine 1/2 tablespoon of dish soap with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Mix in 2 cups of warm water.
Step 4: Dab the stain with the detergent-vinegar solution using a clean, white cloth. Keep blotting with the solution until the stain disappears or the cloth no longer absorbs it.
Alternatively, you can use commercial sprays like Biokleen’s BacOut and Bissell Professional Pet Stain and Odor.
Step 5: If the stain remains, put some hydrogen peroxide on it with an eyedropper. Then put a drop or two of ammonia on it. (Avoid using ammonia on wool rugs because it can discolor them.)
Step 6: Use cold water to sponge, then pat dry.
Cleaning Bearded Dragon Poop Off Clothes
Oops, did your bearded dragon poop on your white shirt? Don’t worry; here is how you can deal with the stain:
Step 1: Remove and rinse. Brush off any excess on the garment. Then rinse the stained area under running water. Rinsing under strong water pressure makes it simpler to wash away the stain.
Step 2: Pre-treat. Quickly and directly apply undiluted liquid detergent to the poop stain by pouring it from the bottle or the cap. Cover the poop stain well with detergent.
Make sure to distribute the washing liquid across the stain’s surface and into the fabric of the garment for more effective stain removal. Let it sit for a while.
Step 3: Wash. Put the garment in the washing machine with your usual load without rinsing off the detergent.
Leaving the detergent on the poop stain will give your wash a little extra cleaning power to help get rid of poop stains.
Cleaning up bearded dragon poop will not be difficult if you pick up after it daily and do some spot cleaning. Schedule a deep clean once a month or twice a month to make sure parasites don’t grow and put your pet’s health at risk.
Owning a bearded dragon takes self-discipline to consistently maintain a clean, fresh-smelling pet and terrarium you can be proud of.
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