During the cleaning process, you will need to relocate the snake so that you can clean and sterilize the entire cage components, including perches, decorations, substrate, etc. To be able to do this thoroughly, you will need to temporarily relocate your Gopher Snake to a different holding cage or cell. As usual, make sure that this cage is secure and clean, and is sufficiently ventilated.
Before doing a full cleanse of your Gopher snake’s cage, you must first find a suitable temporary cage for your snake. Check for components you need to clean and replace such as the bedding of the cage. After doing these, you may start cleaning by following these steps:
Step 1: Gather your cleaning materials. Grab paper towels, spray disinfectant, water sprayer, trash bag, spray bottle, brushes, buckets, sponges, gloves and other materials you think will come in handy.
Step 2: Relocate your Gopher snake to a temporary cage. A medium-sized tank with a lid and air holes will do or another smaller.
Step 3: Unplug all the electrical devices on the cage. This includes your basking lamp and under tank heater or other heat source. Remove your gauges or thermometers as well.
Step 4: Remove all the cage furniture items and decorations. Water bowls, hides, branches, rocks, plants and substrate. You can place them in the bathtub or sink where you’ll wash them. You can also replace old substrate with new bedding. If your bedding of choice is shavings or coconut fiber and the likes, you can easily dump it or use a vacuum.
Step 5: Clean the empty cage. Use a spray bottle with water and paper towels to clear the dust, feces, and other dirt. Afterwards, use an antibacterial disinfectant.
Step 6: Leave the cage open and let it dry. You can also wipe the glasses clean with a soft cloth or rugso it can finish drying completely while you clean the other items.
Step 7: Clean the cage items with antibacterial soap and hot water. You may soak some items overnight in a diluted bleach solution if you have difficulty getting the dirt out. Do not scrub plastic bowls with fingernails or scouring pads. It will leave scratches on the bowl and it will make it harder to clean in the future. Instead, use the smooth part of your finger to rub the bowl clean, or soak it overnight.
Step 8: Make sure to clean the water bowl. Rinse it with hot water thoroughly with antibacterial soap and hot water. You can also use water cleaner that you can purchase from pet stores to make sure that your water is safe for your snake.
Step 9: Add new bedding and replace the furniture (optional). Or you can just return the materials you cleaned in the cage. Don’t forget to fill up the bowl with fresh water.
Step 10: Put your snake back in and plug in the electrical devices. Make sure all the locks and latches are secure, and clean up your separate tank or the temporary cage as well.