How To Clean A Bearded Dragon Tank: 8 Steps (with Pictures)

Reviewed by Dr. Rocio Villalobos, DVM

How To Clean A Bearded Dragon Tank

A clean tank plays an important role in your Bearded Dragon’s comfort, safety and happiness. Without regular cleaning, your Bearded Dragon can be exposed to harmful bacteria. This can often lead to illnesses such as infections, fungal growth and parasites.

Cleaning a Bearded Dragon tank shouldn’t be a difficult task, but it should be a regular one.

I have been keeping Bearded Dragons for over 20 years, and at times have had more than 10 different enclosures. It was very important for me to find a simple and practical cleaning routine that didn’t take up too much time.

In this article, I will share with you what materials I use to clean my Bearded Dragon’s tank and my exact routine.

Cleaning Tips

  • Cleaning your Bearded Dragon’s enclosure plays an important role in keeping them healthy.
  • To clean a Bearded Dragon’s tank, you will need F10SC veterinary disinfectant, white vinegar, gloves, a mask, a sieve and paper towels.
  • The three cleaning methods that I find highly effective are daily spot cleans, weekly cleans and a monthly deep clean.
  • Daily spot cleaning is a simple and effective way to keep your enclosure healthy and should only take a minute or two each day. The maintenance of a tidy environment helps to reduce bacteria and keep disease away.
  • A deep clean includes cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces and replacing the substrate. Disinfecting and sanitizing the environment helps to remove stubborn bacteria.

Supplies List

Cleaning your bearded dragon’s enclosure shouldn’t be a daunting task and you don’t need a whole stockpile of fancy equipment. Most products are readily available and easy to access.

Try to keep the following items always on hand:

  • F10SC veterinary disinfectant
  • White vinegar
  • Gloves
  • Mask
  • Sieve
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Paper towel

While there is no such thing as a Bearded Dragon tank cleaner, a reputable veterinary disinfectant is an essential product.

F10SC veterinary disinfectant

F10SC is a total spectrum veterinary disinfectant that has no adverse effects on animals or humans. It is an active sanitiser which safely disinfects all surfaces and equipment, including furnishings, hammocks, and bowls. It is a reliable and cost-effective cleaning product, and a great choice when it comes to disinfectants.

As a Bearded Dragon breeder I find this disinfectant particularly effective in controlling nasty parasites like giardia and coccidia.

If F10SC is unavailable, please use a reputable total spectrum veterinary disinfectant.

Author Tip: It is important to remember to protect yourself by using personal protective equipment when using disinfectant. Protecting yourself is as simple as using gloves and a mask and will lower the risk of exposure to harmful bacteria.

White vinegar
White vinegar works best as a solution mixed with water in a ratio of 1:1.

White vinegar is another useful cleaning product which is affordable and safe to use. This cleaner works best as a solution of white vinegar and water, mixed in a ratio of 1:1. This solution is useful for dissolving stubborn deposits, works actively against bacteria and fungus, and is an excellent deodoriser.

This cleaner will safely clean bacteria on all surfaces and leaves your tank with a streak-free shine.

Author Tip: It is important to read and follow the directions on each cleaning product. Failure to comply can result in improper and ineffective application, leaving you and your bearded dragon at risk from a dirty tank.

Personal protective equipment should be used when cleaning a bearded dragon tank.

Gloves and a mask will protect you from being exposed to harmful bacteria. After cleaning the enclosure, it is important to pay attention to personal sanitisation in order to avoid any contamination.

You will also need cleaning cloths and paper towels to help sanitize all surfaces.

How To Clean A Bearded Dragon Tank

As a breeder, I have seven adult and three juvenile Bearded Dragon tanks to keep clean. During breeding season, the required amount of cleaning, along with the poop, increases dramatically. This is why it was important for me to find a practical cleaning routine, with a focus on efficiency and time.

My cleaning routine consists of three methods:

  1. Daily spot cleaning (a few minutes)
  2. Weekly thorough clean (half an hour)
  3. Monthly deep clean (two hours)

In our annual survey, 82% of Bearded Dragon keepers, said that they perform daily spot cleans. In addition to this, 26% of keepers said the perform monthly deep-cleans as opposed to weekly (14%) or fortnightly deep cleans (14%).

How often do you clean your bearded dragon's tank survey results

Spot Clean

Daily spot cleaning is a simple and effective way to keep your tank clean.

Spot cleaning is an effective way to promote hygiene. I apply the steps below as a daily response to avoid any likelihood of spreading disease, illness, or injury:

  1. Immediate removal and disposal of poop! Pay close attention to any surrounding areas and contaminated substrate. No one enjoys the aftermath of walking through poop.
  2. Removal of leftover food directly after feeding.
  3. Tidying the substrate of any debris.
  4. Cleaning all feeding bowls with F10.

These tasks should be done where necessary throughout the day and will only take a few minutes. They are also safe to carry out without removing your Bearded Dragon from her tank. Daily spot cleaning is a good start to keeping a clean bearded dragon enclosure and promoting good hygiene.

Weekly Clean

Toward the end of each week, it is very important to apply a deeper clean.

For this method, you will need to remove your Bearded Dragon from the enclosure to keep her safe from exposure to harmful chemicals. In my experience, it is handy to have a clean, safe container available. This will help keep your Bearded Dragon safe and prevent any exposure to harmful irritants.

Bearded Dragons in a clean, temporary enclosure
Hatchlings in a plastic tub to keep them safe from cleaning chemicals.

A weekly clean will help you maintain a hygienic environment and has six key steps:

  1. Dispose of any poop.
  2. Remove all leftover food.
  3. Tidy the entire tank of any debris.
  4. Clean down all surfaces, food bowls and decor, including branches, shelters, and rocks. Pay attention to any plants, which may require trimming or replacement.
  5. Sanitise all cleaned surfaces, furnishings and feeding equipment with F10 disinfectant.
    Wipe down glass surfaces inside and out with hot water and paper towels. Follow up with a clean-down with white vinegar and water, mixed at a 1:1 ratio.

This routine will require half an hour of your time each week.

Once all surfaces have been cleaned and are completely dried, it is safe to return your Bearded Dragon to her clean enclosure.

Author Tip:Disinfecting and sanitizing the environment helps to remove stubborn bacteria remaining on surfaces after cleaning. By eliminating germs, we can further lower the risk of spreading disease.

Monthly Deep Clean

Monthly Deep Clean of a Bearded Dragon Tank

At the end of each month, it is important to undertake a complete deep-clean of the tank.

A deep clean includes changing the substrate and paying special attention to cleaning all surfaces and equipment. This begins with removing your bearded dragon from the enclosure and transferring her to a clean, safe container. If you have the assistance of an extra set of hands, this is the perfect time to have an assistant bathe your bearded dragon.

When I perform a monthly complete clean, I will use F10SC veterinary disinfectant, white vinegar and steam cleaning.

Author Tip: I like to be organized. It is a good idea to keep your cleaning tools and products together, in a bucket or something similar, for easy access.

Steam cleaning is a safe cleaning method for Bearded Dragon tanks and clears away stubborn pollutants, stains and odors. Studies have shown that steam cleaning effectively kills 99.99% of common bacteria and viruses.

My monthly deep clean has the following eight steps:

  1. Remove all hides, bowls, furnishings, and decor from the tank for disinfecting. Soak all of the above in F10SC for 10 minutes and then scrub clean.
  2. Remove all substrate until you are left with a completely bare tank. Use a scrubbing brush to remove any stubborn stains. I use a regular dish scrubbing brush for those hard-to-remove poop stains. When all else fails on solid poop stains, I use bicarbonate of soda! It acts as an abrasive and is great for shifting stubborn stains and removing odor.
  3. Wipe down the entire tank, including walls, doors and floors using F10 disinfectant.
  4. If you have a steam cleaner, apply steam to all surfaces.
  5. Using a paper towel and hot water thoroughly wipe down the entire tank, removing any chemicals as you go.
  6. Wipe down all surfaces with a vinegar and water solution, at the ratio of 1:1.
  7. Replace flooring with fresh, clean substrate.
  8. Ensure furnishings are clean and dried and then replaced.

Your tank should now be thoroughly clean, sanitized and free from odor.

Please remember, to thoroughly cleanse and sanitize your hands, and dispose of any cleaning products and personal protective equipment.

Once all surfaces have completely dried, it is safe to return your bearded dragon to the tank.

Maintaining a clean habitat is an important part of owning a bearded dragon. A responsible approach towards husbandry and care will always rely upon a clean tank.

Remember, a clean tank normally means a happy, healthy Bearded Dragon.

Clean Bearded Dragon Tank
Clarice enjoying her clean enclosure

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