How to Wash a Hamster?

dried hamster

Proper grooming is an essential part of keeping your pet hamster healthy and happy.

This means occasionally washing them to remove dirt so their coat remains clean.

A dirty hamster is more likely to contract infections that could potentially shorten their life. This article will explain how to properly wash your rodent friend.

Self-Cleaning in Hamsters

Hamsters clean themselves throughout each day, but sometimes there will be an area on their body they cannot get to. This is when you will need to give them a good washing. A hamster cleans itself with its mouth and paws. 

There are, however, certain spots on their body they cannot easily get to. An older hamster might have a particularly difficult time keeping themselves clean.

When to Wash Your Hamster

First off, you will need to know whether or not bathing your hamster is actually a good idea. You should really only do this if they have something sticky or toxic on them. The fact is that regular bathing is not required or recommended with these animals. This is something that you should only do if it is absolutely necessary.

Handling Your Hamster

Before you start washing your hamster, you need to consider how to handle them. Most hamsters are very fast and slippery, so it can be easy for them to get away during bath time. You will therefore need to make a point of keeping a firm but gentle grip on them.

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Consider giving Your Hamster a Sand Bath

While you might not be familiar with the concept of sand baths, they can be very useful when it comes to cleaning hamsters. This involves pretty much what it sounds like—putting your hamster in a container filled with sand.

Immersing your hamster in sand will likely remove most if not all of the dirt that is on their body. This is, however, not a good option if there is anything sticky on their fur. Sand will do nothing to help with this.

You can find sand to bathe your hamster in at pretty much any of your local hardware stores. It is recommended that you first sterilize it by putting it in an oven that is set at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure that your hamster doesn’t get an infection of some kind that could threaten their health.

dried hamster

Choosing a Bathtub for your Hamster

The first thing you’ll need to do is to choose a container to wash your hamster in. A shallow bowl or dish is ideal for this. You shouldn’t try to bathe your hamster in a bathtub or the sink. You’ll only need to fill the container with three or four centimeters of water.

The water inside of the container should be fresh and clean. Make sure that it is room temperature. You don’t want the water inside of the container to be either too cold or hot. This will keep your pet from getting injured and make them more comfortable.

Adding the Shampoo

Next you will need to put just a drop or two of shampoo in the water. Make sure that it is unscented shampoo that isn’t going to cause any irritation to your rodent friend’s skin. There are shampoos on the market that are designed specifically for rodents.

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Use a Cloth to Clean Them

You will want to use a clean and soft cloth to rub the sudsy water all over your hamster. Again, make sure that you maintain a firm grip on them while doing this. It can be very easy for these animals to slip out of your hand and go scurrying away.

Dry them Off

Once you have thoroughly cleaned your hamster, you will need to dry them off completely. Make sure that you use a soft, non-abrasive towel to do this. You need to make sure that your hamster is totally dry before putting them back into their cage.

Other Tips for Bathing Hamsters

You will want to keep a few other tips in mind when bathing your hamster. These tips can make doing this a lot easier and less of a hassle overall.

Give your Hamster a Treat

It is a good idea to give your hamster a yummy treat while you are them so they stay calm. If they are fidgeting around like crazy, this could help with keeping them still.

Do not submerge your Hamster

At no point while washing your hamster should you ever submerge them in water. This is not necessary, and it will only make cleaning them a lot harder. These rodents generally despise being wet, so you’ll want to avoid doing this altogether.

Get someone to help you out

Washing a hamster is almost always easier when you have someone to help you out. Keep a friend or family member nearby in case the hamster slips out of your hand. This will ensure that they do not escape, which can be a nightmare to deal with.

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You could hold the hamster in your hand while someone else washes it with a soft cloth. This makes the whole process of cleaning your pet a lot easier all around.


  • Hamsters clean themselves frequently throughout each day with their mouth and paws, but there are some areas of their body they have trouble cleaning.
  • You should only consider washing your hamster if it really needs it. This means that there is something sticky on them, or they are dirty in a place they cannot clean themselves.
  • Consider giving your hamster a sand bath if they are just dusty.
  • Fill a shallow container up with three or four centimeters of water.
  • Add some non-scented shampoo to clean lukewarm water.
  • Do not submerge your hamster in the water at any point. Instead, hold them firmly in your hand while cleaning them with a soft cloth.
  • Thoroughly dry off your hamster with a soft towel.
  • Try getting someone to help you out when you need to wash your hamster.
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