Can You Vacuum Guinea Pig Poop? {How to Clean Your Guinea Pig’s Cage}

It’s that time again to talk about guinea pig poop. What’s the easiest way to clean it up? Can you vacuum guinea pig poop?

Are guinea pigs scared of vacuum cleaners? I was nervous too when I first used a vacuum around my guinea pigs. Some of them hated it while my other cavies were fascinated!

In this article, we’ll find out the ways to clean up the poop in your guinea pig’s cage and find out if you can vacuum guinea pig poop.

Can You Vacuum Guinea Pig Poop?

Yes. I find that a vacuum is the most convenient way to pick up guinea pig poop, but there are some drawbacks.

  1.  Some of my guinea pigs get scared of the noise.
  2. Some cheaper vacuums are known to kick up dust through their vents as they scoop up the poop.

You can use a vacuum to pick up hay pieces, debris and make it a part of your weekly cleaning routine. Some handheld vacuums are better than others.

Check your local pet store to see if they have any specifically designed for rodents which they should. I still use a broom and dustpan to finish up the job once I’m done vacuuming.

Maybe I’m a clean freak, but my guinea pigs appreciate the spotless cage and it keeps them a lot calmer and happier.

Can My Guinea Pig Stay in the Cage While I Vacuum?

In our experience, we find that no two guinea pigs are alike. Some don’t mind the sound of a vacuum or the intrusion of this handheld device entering their safe space, but others are terrified.

If your guinea pig has been newly introduced to your home, they might be a little bit more skittish or shy. Other confident, boisterous, curious or adventurous guinea pigs pay attention to the vacuum and react to it in a way that is indifferent or not negative.

Some guinea pigs are known to be traumatized by the sound of a vacuum. Pay close attention to their reaction. It might be best to remove them and their toys so you can vacuum the space a lot easier to make sure you get all the debris and poop out of there.

Can I Vacuum Hay in My Guinea Pig’s Cage?

It all depends on the quality of your vacuum. Keep in mind that vacuuming up too much hay in your handheld device can create blockage, or even damage the vacuum altogether.

If the pieces of hay are smaller, it will be easier for the vacuum to pick it up. If you can remove some of the larger pieces of hay by hand, it will be better.

Make sure you wear gloves when you are vacuuming or cleaning up inside the cage because guinea pig waste make may contain harmful bacteria that you do not want to interact with your open pores.

What I like to do is start by sweeping with a hand-held broom and dustpan without touching anything with my own hands, then I finish it off with a vacuum.

Why Is My Guinea Pig Scared of the Vacuum?

Guinea pigs aren’t the only animals that could be terrified of vacuum cleaners. We’ve had a dog for 9 years in our house who is still completely mortified when a vacuum enters the room.

The sound, movement and intrusion of this object entering the territory of a guinea pig makes him feel uncomfortable, scared or downright freaked out.

Two out of our three guinea pigs show discomfort when the vacuum turns on. They want to hide in the corner while one of our guinea pigs gets excited. He steps forward towards the vacuum cleaner and wants to explore, investigate or learn more about it.

We recommend getting a vacuum cleaner that is as quiet as possible. Vocally praise your guinea pigs and offer them a treat once you’re finished vacuuming to connect the moment to something positive.

Otherwise, you should take your guinea pigs out and put them in a playpen or in another room while you vacuum.

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Is a Vacuum the Best Way to Pick up Guinea Pig Poop?

This is entirely up to you to decide. I think a vacuum cleaner is the easiest and most convenient way to pick up guinea pig poop, but there are some downsides to it.

You can kick up dust through the vents while you’re vacuuming. A vacuum can also make your guinea pigs more uncomfortable. If you use a broom and dustpan or your own hands with gloves on you might be able to do a more thorough job.

You can also use vinegar and water in a spray bottle with a paper towel to fully clean the substrate and cage bars as well.

How Can You Clean Poop Out of a Guinea Pig Cage?

There are many ways to clean poop out of a guinea pig’s cage without having to buy an expensive vacuum cleaner if you don’t want to.

  1. You can start with wearing gloves end scooping the poop out with your hands.
  2. You can also use a paper towel and pick up the poop.
  3. We’ve also tried pooper scooper spoons before, but found that using our hand with a glove on was easier.
  4. It’s also easy to use a dustpan and small broom to sweep everything up.
  5. You can finish the job with a wet tissue, paper towel and spray bottle with mostly water and a little bit of vinegar.
  6. When this process starts to become tedious, you might want to switch over to a handheld vacuum. Look for ones that have been designed for rodent cages. Otherwise pick up a vacuum cleaner that is quiet, reliable and convenient for you to use.

How Often Do You Clean a Guinea Pig’s Cage?

Maybe you don’t have to clean your guinea pig’s page as often as I do, but once every 3 to 7 days is considered the average. This doesn’t mean that you can leave guinea pig poop piling up for 3 days.

Cleaning the poop has to happen every day. You might have to clean up even more often for younger guinea pigs who poop in smaller pieces more often throughout the day.

Guinea pigs also poop hundreds of times per day. We suggest daily cleaning of guinea pig poop with a broom and dustpan, vacuum cleaner or your hand with gloves on. Full cage cleaning should happen every 3 to 7 days.

Is Guinea Pigs Poop Harmful to Humans?

I’m not going to tell you that you’re going to get sick if you touch a guinea pig’s poop accidentally. What I will say is, they it may contain bacteria like salmonella.

This may not be true all the time, but harmful bacteria and guinea pig poop can lead to fever in humans or other types of infections and illnesses. It’s better not to take the chance.

When you’re cleaning up your guinea pig’s poop, don’t make direct contact with your hands. Use gloves if you can, a dustpan, broom or a handheld vacuum cleaner.

Even when I use my dependable little vacuum to scoop up guinea pig poop, I still wash my hands when I’m done. Maybe I’m a clean freak, but I don’t want to take any chances.

If you want to find out why your guinea pig poops on you, check it out in this article I wrote about that

Do Guinea Pigs Get Sick in a Dirty Cage?

Guinea pigs hate being forced to live in dirty cages. Not only is there a chance that this unclean environment can lead to health problems such as respiratory diseases, liver problems and gut issues, it can also make them agitated.

I find that my guinea pigs are more likely to get involved in tussles with each other or limit their interaction with chew toys. Sometimes they retreat to the far corners of their cages and will be less excited to see you.

If you aren’t taking care of their living space and keeping it clean, you’ll notice their agitation or frustration.

This is one of the first questions a vet may ask you if you bring your guinea pig that is noticeably or visibly unwell. how often do you clean your guinea pig’s cage?

How to Clean Your Guinea Pig’s Cage

It’s time for a weekly guinea pig cage cleaning! You can repeat this process every 3-7 days.

  1. Let’s get them out of there and put them in a playpen or somewhere safe.
  2. At the same time, the hiding spaces toys and hay should also be removed.
  3. Begin with spraying down the entire enclosure with a mixture of vinegar and water. This is the least toxic way without involving chemical soaps and other cleaners.
  4. If there are fleece liners inside, remove them and give them a separate washing.
  5. Grab a mini vacuum or dust pan and broom to pick up all the poop.
  6. Look around the corners for other debris like stray pieces of waste or hay.
  7. Now you can put back all the toys, hiding spaces, hay, food bowls and bottles back in the cage.
  8. Supply more fresh hay and clean water bottles at this time.
  9. Bring your guinea pig’s back in and let them enjoy their space once again.

Best Vacuum For Guinea Pig Poop

I’ll let you know my secret. My favorite handheld vacuum cleaner for sucking up guinea pig poop was actually a no-name brand model that I found in a discount pet store that was sold as a product intended for rodent poop.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a long-lasting product. My husband took it apart and tried to fix it. It got clogged up easily.

He got it working a few times, but suggested that we switch to a more popular brands such as the Black & Decker Dustbuster or the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser handheld vacuum.

Both of these two brand-name models are more expensive, and the latter has different nozzles that you can use for cleaning up, hay, hair, debris and of course, guinea pig poop!


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.