The Easiest Way To Do Fleece Bedding

This is the easiest way to do fleece bedding for guinea pigs, rabbits, and other small animals. Over the years I’ve done all kinds of different things for bedding in my habitats. Yes, I call them habitats. I have indoor ones, outdoor ones, I don’t call them cages. I try and keep them as open and free as possible for all of my pets because they’re part of my family. Their habitat is to keep them safe just like my house keeps me safe. It’s not there to trap them like a jail, or at least that’s what we try and avoid!

Fleece bedding can be a daunting task. It needs regular cleaning and can be tough to organize and create if you don’t know the steps! I’ll be posting the more difficult fleece bedding pads that I make in the near future but for now I want to show you the easy way to do fleece bedding! This might be a sort of cheat and keep in mind that it won’t work for everyone. If you have burrowers this will likely drive you mad. You will need to do the fleece pads if you are dealing with diggers. Thankfully most of my piggies do not root their bedding around or pull up their pads so this seems to work really well for me!

First thing you need to do is clean out your habitat. I take everything out, wash it well with a vinegar solution to make sure it’s sanitary, and then I wipe down the base or liner. I use MidWest Cages because I’ve gotten really good deals on them and they’re cheaper than making a C&C Cage. If you are using a homemade C&C Cage this will likely still work for you as they are VERY similar!

Next thing you do is EASY (like most of these steps) place down your absorbent lower layer. I used an old towel as you can see. I never throw towels away. Once every year or so my mom buys me new towels for my bathrooms as a gift, usually on Christmas, after that I cycle all my other towels out to the animal room! Note that I used just one towel. You can use more layers if you typically end up with a more moist cage. My piggies eat a diet that is mostly veggies and hay. They rarely eat pellets because they can cause more harm than anything. I’ve found that this generally means they’re drinking a whole lot less. They don’t need to flush all that extra calcium out of their system and I usually don’t have a problem with moisture.

That being said, don’t be afraid to put down two layers. Moving blankets work really well as absorbent lower layers but they don’t wash well for me so I stopped investing in them. Use what works best for you!

Next, grab a fleece throw . It was just a super great shopping weekend so I picked up a bunch of fleece throws for gifts and just to have on hand for in the car, etc. I realized after some research that these throws are made from exactly the same set up and materials as regular fleece for projects. I essentially realized that I’ve been over-spending for fleece for the last three years! These fleece throws are new, I’ve not washed them. If you like to pretreat your bedding you can wash them a few times on warm, dry on low with no dryer sheets. The dryer sheets should always be avoided for fleece bedding because it creates a layer that resists moisture absorption.

Fold this blanket in half and tuck in on top of your absorbent layers! It’s as simple as that…really. Next you can see that I lay in some extra fleece pads under their eating area and their hideaways. This is usually a heavily soiled area and I change these pads out after about three days. You can use towels or smaller pieces of fleece for this or you can check out my upcoming post to see how to make these great fleece pads for yourself!

The benefits of fleece are vast. I’ve never had any of my pigs get rashes or skin problems with fleece. They don’t end up with chips stuck in their feet or in their genital areas. It’s much more sanitary for me. It’s a bit more work because I have to wash the fleece pads and layers each week but in the long run it’s much more economical. I don’t spend on bedding and I have never had to replace the bases of any of my habitats. With paper or chipped wood bedding the bases and liners can get built up and gross after awhile. You can see in the photos that the bases of my habitats are still like new! It really can save you quite a bit of money if you are willing to put in the work. With this super easy method you’ll be amazed at how easy fleece bedding can be!

Do you use fleece bedding in your habitats? Do you have questions about how to make this process work for you? Feel free to comment with any questions or insights!
Here you can see the types of blankets I’ve picked up to use in the cages. The sizes are a little different but they should both work well!


22 thoughts on “The Easiest Way To Do Fleece Bedding

  1. Thank you for your post! Some really great advice… I bought some fleece pillow cases when I saw them on sale…they were 100 % polyester… so I thought that might work well. I just got my kids 2 baby guinea pigs and we are trying to figure it all out. They are so adorable! I appreciate the advice.


  2. Really good idea, besides sanity is way more pretty. But I have a problema with these, my Guinea pig is super fluffly and her hairs get stuck in the fleece, even when washed in machine.


    • You can use a lint roller to help remove the hair before it goes in the washer. I’ve also had great luck using a bristle brush to give them a bit of a brushing before they go into the laundry! Our long haired piggies used to have this issue as well 🙂


    • Hi Catherine, Sorry I’m just seeing your comment. Some things do stick but something that can’t be brushed off. We use a dust pan and brush before giving a good shake and then they go into the washer. We do a bit of light clean up twice a week and then change the pads every 5-7 days.


  3. I use fleece and my main issue is the hair! My long-haired male, Ruger, sheds on the fleece. It is next to impossible to sweep or shake off the hair. When I wash the fleece my washer and dryer are coated. I have to then run an empty load to rinse it all out. I worry about clogging the lines. Any ideas?


    • Hi Tammy! I’m sorry to hear you are struggling. We use a dust pan and brush twice per week to give the cage a good sweeping and then if I still notice a lot of extra hair during the shedding sessions I’ll hang them out on the line and allow them to dry and then I’ll just brush them again, give a good shake, and then into the washer. A lint roller might work well after they hang out and dry it’s easier to remove the hair.


  4. I’m looking into getting a guinea pig and i’m doing as much research as possible to make sure i can take care of it properly. I am wondering how the cleaning works? Do you replace the towel & fleece more often than you would with chip bedding? Can you use fleece bedding if you potty train your guinea pig to use a litter pan? Want to make sure i choose what will be best for both me and the guinea pig. Thanks


    • HI Aimee, Sorry I’m just seeing your comment.
      We do a little more cleaning than with chip bedding but it’s so much more comfortable for the piggies that I don’t mind. Guinea pigs are not quite as easy as rabbits to litter train but it can be done. And yes, you could still use the fleece bedding you would just put it under whatever you are using as a litter pan area.

      In the long run it’s a bit more work but it’s more cost effective and comfortable for the piggies!


    • Hi Hailey! Good question. No. They don’t make the washer or the dryer smell at all. I am pretty proactive about cleaning and disinfecting my washer on a regular basis to begin with but I make sure most if not all the debris is off the pads and blankets before they go into the washer.

      If you are worried about putting the pads and blankets into the washer while they are so smelly or dirty you could do a couple of things. Change the pads more frequently. Or especially when it is very nice outside you can hang them out on the line and give them a rinse with the hose before you run them through the washer / dryer!

      Good luck and please let me know if I can help any further!


    • Hi Tunisia,

      We use regular laundry soap and occasionally vinegar if I notice that they are not smelling so great but usually just laundry soap on a hot cycle does the trick.

      I do use vinegar to clean and disinfect the cages after I remove the soiled bedding!

      Remember never to use fabric softener or a detergent with softener included. This will make the fleece less absorbent and means that the urine will not be wicked away from the surface as quickly as it should!!


      • I came across this and thought I could share some of my experiences with fleece.
        After I sweep the hay and poop off, give it a good shake, then I use a lint roller on it before it goes in the wash. It doesn’t get all the hair, but it is a HUGE game changer for me in the wash machine. Cleaning all that hair out of the washer is never fun!
        I use only vinegar to wash my bedding on the sanitize cycle, but I have one guinea pig sensitive to laundry detergent. They do not have an odor, but I do clean the cage/change pee pads daily and change bedding once a week. I hope this is useful to one of you! Good luck with your guinea pigs!


  5. My guinea pig loves to popcorn around her cage so fast, it’s amazing. I think the fleece would be all wrinkled and pulled away from the sides of the cage unless they were held down some way. I thought of making fleece flippers so the fleece would withstand her racing around her cage and stay smooth and flat. What would you do if you were me?


    • When we are using this method with the racers (we have a few that get a little crazy too) we use a brick or a heavy book in each corner and just simply wrap the fleece around the back. It keeps the fleece in place but it’s also possible to stitch a velcro square to the corners and stick the opposite side on the cage sides!!


  6. Thank you so much for this post, I was hoping there was a different bedding method than chips. It is so messy. We just got our little piggies last week and we call their home a habitat also.


  7. I’m just wondering if there is another way to make the fleece more absorbent than what I’ve done. I’ve bought new fleece and have washed it in hot water and vinegar many times and it still won’t absorb.


    • If you are drying it in the dryer are you using fabric softener of any kind? That can prohibit the absorption. Also, I have had some types of fleece that I’ve had to wash 6-7 times to get the absorption levels up. Mine have all gotten better the more we have used them in terms of absorption so with use and age they should get better!


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