Removing Reptile Pet Odors

Grumpy’s Tips To Remove Pet Reptile Odors

I hate how having a reptile as a pet means you have to deal with odors. For once it’s not the pet; reptiles produce little waste and do not have secretions. But bacteria loves to breed in their cages and cause a horrible odor. I have some tips to help out with that.


Old Grumpy’s Quick Solution

  1. Keep the environment dry to prevent bacteria growth
  2. Conduct cleaning spot checks every evening
  3. Sanitize the cage with an animal safe disinfectant
  4. Freshen the air with activated bamboo charcoal


Odor Prevention Tips

Dry Environment

Keep the pet’s environment dry since most of the odors associated with reptiles are due to bacteria. Moisture is ideal for bacteria growth and reducing it, will in turn reduce the odor. If you have a reptile that requires misting, be sure to allow the cage to dry between sessions. Keep an eye on that the drinking water does not spill.

Spot Cleaning

It’s a good idea to do a spot check every evening. Frequently spot clean the cage by removing feces, spills, shed skin, or uneaten food. Use a toothbrush to loosen harden material. Clean the food and water dishes before refilling.


Giving your pet a bath is something you will need to do if you have a reptile like a bearded dragon. The general consensus is to use lukewarm water about twice a week. If you are lucky, your pet will poop while being washed which will reduce odors later. Provide water prior to a bath session to prevent drinking during the wash.


Grumpy Says: “It’s a good idea to do a spot check cleaning every evening.”



Cage Cleaning


The frequency of a full cage clean will vary by the reptile. A large iguana will require more frequent cleaning in comparison to a snake. On average you should be doing a full clean every other week.


When conducting a full cage clean, use soapy water and dry it well. Make sure to rinse the accessories and decorations with hot water as well. Sanitize the cage with an animal safe Disinfectant. Don’t forget to wash your hands when you are done, since the bacteria such as Salmonella can found in reptile environments. You should be cleaning with gloves…

Occasionally you should do a deep clean to completely wipe any signs of bacteria. Mix 1 ounce of bleach with a tablespoon of dish soap and 1 quart of water. Scrub the cage or aquarium thoroughly. Wait until it is completely dry before putting the reptile back in.

Do not use cleaning solutions on porous objections like a climbing branch. Scrub these with hot water and soap instead.

Odor Absorber

My number one recommendation for absorbing impurity odors from the air is to use activated bamboo charcoal. I usually suggest a brand that comes in little bags that you can place just about anywhere in your home. Although you could use them, I would suggest Activated Charcoal Enclosures in case your pet feels the need to rip bags open.


Grumpy Says: “Do not use cleaning solutions on porous objections like a climbing branch.”



Food Considerations

Much of the odor will be produced from your reptile’s food. Crickets smell horrible, mealworms are bad as well. Remember to clean the feeder cage when you clean your pet’s cage. Only feed enough food that will be consumed within 20 minutes. This goes for any vegetables that you feed since spoilage will occur quickly.