What a job it is to try and clean cages. I split it up into two days this last time and began my task with the first cage on 09/08/09 and the second one on 09/09/09. I have to really psych myself up to even begin this as to do a really major cleaning it takes me about 5 hours per cage.
It begins with deciding where to put the gliders while undertaking the cleaning task. I put Jack, Luna and Milk Dud in the tent while doing their cage and Cosmo and Lucas in the hospital cage while doing theirs.
Then I begin pulling everything out that cannot be hosed off outside. Cutting all ther zip ties holding the wheels in place, holding the fleece around the cage and etc. I split that stuff into three groups; the dishwasher group, the washing machine group and the wash by hand group. I push the cage outside, fill my bucket with vinegar water and begin the cleaning task. Hose the cage down, wash it and then hose it down again. I load the dishwasher and start it and then load the washing machine and start it. Then I begin washing the hand wash items like plastic water battles. I learned from the last major cleaning that they tend to loose their shape in the dishwasher and become ruined if they are not glass so now I wash them by hand as well as the wodent wheels.
Up to this point it's been the easy part. The hard part is putting it all back together again. After drying the cage; hopefully in the sun, (on 09/08/09 I had to wash it in the rain so I had to hand dry it myself), I pull it back inside and begin the task of "where to put what". This time I hung the wheels at the top of the cage hoping it would encourge the cautious and skiddish gliders to play in it more as they really hate the bottom of the cage. Finally once all back together and looking and smelling wonderful back in go the gliders.
The way they act when they get put back in the cage is so very funny. They are either terrified to move and just sit there, (I'm assuming they have no idea they are in their home), or they begin running everywhere looking around and marking all the fresh clean stuff. I love to watch them rub the chests all over everything and just chuckle at their antics. I imagine while they are looking at a particular toy or pouch or climbing rope they are saying something like "doesn't that belong there, and I never knew I had that, or wasn't that over there last night and finally I liked that better when it was over there".
I can't help but laugh everytime I do this and really enjoy watching them explore all their old stuff put in brand new places.
Jack, Luna and Milk Dud's Cage
Cosmo and Lucas's Cage