Fighting grime, and other unpleasant reflections

Pretty much as soon as we got the steel trays for the big cage, I started thinking about steam cleaners. For years we have used a combination of cleaning techniques, usually involving cage furniture being taken away and washed in hot soapy water which the cages themselves were wiped down with disinfectant. This is generally fine for plastic cages and shelves, but I found it wasn’t working so well with the galvanised steel trays, and if you’ve even had to clean dried-on poo off galvanised steel you’ll know what I mean.

I was aware that other owners used small hand-held steam cleaners for their cages so I started looking around for good ones. Then I changed tack and started looking for cheap ones on the grounds that if it was going to be a waste of money I’d rather it was a waste of a small amount, not a large amount.

A few weeks ago I found a suitable one with money off in a local shop, and decided to buy it and see how it went. The answer is that it’s very good, and I’m pleased with how easy it is to use. A lot less elbow grease and picking away at stubborn bits, and I don’t have to worry about using disinfectant, which I’d rather not do around the rats anyway. So far I’ve only used it a couple of times but it’s good. I haven’t tried it on the plastic cage as I’m not sure that would be a good idea.

In other news, we went to a rat show last week – first of the year for us. We weren’t showing anyone; as I said last time, ours are all starting to get on a bit. Since my last post, Scarecrow has had to have a mammary lump removed and we are keeping an eye on her and her sister Ragweed in case more appear. Cromarty isn’t really iproving on his current medication so we may have to rethink. Sam and Susan’s lumps continue to grow, slowly thanks to the Galastop, but even so… Though they are all still lively and active we are getting the sense much more of an ageing population. One of the things we took the opportunity to do at the show last week was to talk to a couple of friends who breed rats and get ourselves on their waiting lists for later in the year, just to be on the safe side.

But we don’t need to think about that just yet.


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