How to prepare old toys for a new mouse?

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How to prepare old toys for a new mouse?

Post by Cow on Mon 11 Jul 2016, 7:43 pm

Hey everyone,
I lost Cow to a respiratory infection earlier today and as I go through his toys, I can't help but wonder if there's a way I can make them safe for new mice. Is it safe to just wipe them down with a glass cleaner if they're plastic, and then boil them if they're wood? Should I get a new tank (they're on sale) or risk sanitizing my old one? I don't want for any new mice to catch what Cow had, so how do you guys usually handle your sick mouse's toys?

Thank you!
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Re: How to prepare old toys for a new mouse?

Post by CallaLily on Mon 11 Jul 2016, 8:24 pm

Plastic or ceramic toys and the tank can be bleached (dilute it 1 part bleach to 10 parts water) - rinse and dry well. Wooden toys probably can be boiled or baked, though I'm not sure on exact directions.

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Re: How to prepare old toys for a new mouse?

Post by Cow on Mon 11 Jul 2016, 9:18 pm

If I don't actually own any bleach, could I substitute for something like Windex?
I may just boil them for something like a half hour to be sure, perhaps with salt to raise the temperature

Edit:
I checked my windex and it's the antibacterial multi-surface kill-99.9%-of-bacteria-in-seconds type, not the original formula

What about hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol?
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Re: How to prepare old toys for a new mouse?

Post by CallaLily on Tue 12 Jul 2016, 8:29 am

Honestly, I would be satisfied in washing them with hot water and Dawn dish soap. Wood items I would scrub off as best I can and soak in diluted white vinegar, air dry. I dont often have bleach on hand either. It makes me sick. But if you're super worried about germs, bleach is probably the best method. I'm really not sure on the safety of using the others. Hopefully someone else will come along with better answers for you.

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Re: How to prepare old toys for a new mouse?

Post by MouseLover on Tue 12 Jul 2016, 1:04 pm

I don't know if windex is safe. Bleach is safe because if any got left on there, once it's dry it breaks down into salts. You can buy animal safe disinfectants at some pet stores.

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Re: How to prepare old toys for a new mouse?

Post by Cow on Tue 12 Jul 2016, 2:14 pm

Alright, thanks all. I took the wooden toys and scrubbed them down with dawn dish soap and boiled them for about ten minutes. I think I might sun dry them too.

I agree about the bleach, it gives me pretty serious headaches so I can't imagine what it would do to my cat. I didn't know that it broke down into salts though, that's actually quite reassuring.

For the tank and plastic toys, I think I will just go the hot water and dawn soap approach until I'm satisfied it's clean enough. I may go pick up some new mice tonight, so I'll see if there are any cheap animal safe disinfectants. I know we sell them, we just seem to charge more than I'd like!
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Re: How to prepare old toys for a new mouse?

Post by peas on Tue 12 Jul 2016, 5:50 pm


Did he die of an infection of some sort?

Wood is porous and there is no guarantee that boiling will kill certain types of bacteria and viruses. Just as an example, boiling will not kill the aids virus quickly.

When one of my mice died of a mystery illness, i just tossed away anything that didn't have a nice flat surface that could be easily washed.

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Re: How to prepare old toys for a new mouse?

Post by CAPSLOCK on Tue 12 Jul 2016, 9:12 pm

If you're going out anyways, why not grab a little bleach to be able to disinfect the tank and solid surfaces (water bottle, dish, water bottle holder...)? It'll definitely work, doesn't take long, and is cheap. And can be done outside if the smell is bothersome.

If nothing else, I'd recommend waiting a few weeks before giving anything wooden / not bleached to a new mouse. Just because you know that URI was present with Cow. So you'd really want to disinfect anything with bleach or something that is going to work on viruses. Many viruses are not great at surviving in the environment very long, so sometimes even just having items sit out for a period of time will remove certain contagions - in a dry environment, not anywhere humid and warm and hospitable for viruses. This doesn't work with every virus, but it's an easy enough step to take.

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