We always want to make sure we’re keeping our guinea pigs safe, clean, and healthy.
For the most part, guineas are good at grooming themselves.
But when they do need your help to clean up, make sure to use materials safe for their sensitive skin!
Baby wipes are not safe to use on guinea pigs. Even unscented baby wipes remove important natural oils from your piggie’s skin and expose them to chemicals which, while safe for humans, are bad for your small pets. It’s safer if you use warm water and soap to clean your guinea.
Many people don’t realize it isn’t safe to use baby wipes on their small pets.
But the process of washing your guinea pig is delicate.
There are several more things to be aware of before you begin cleaning your friend to avoid harming them.
Why Aren’t Baby Wipes Safe for Guinea Pigs?
There are two main reasons to avoid this product as a method of cleaning your furry friends:
- When your pet grooms themself, they may accidentally ingest some of the chemicals left on their skin from the wipes.
- When you use these wipes, they take off important natural oils simultaneously as they clean away dirt or feces.
It may seem counterintuitive to say a cleaning material is safe for babies but not for guineas.
But it’s true! Why? Infants don’t groom themselves.
You rarely find yourself needing to wash your furry friend at all.
This is because, for the most part, they know how to keep themselves well-kempt without your help.
When you wipe up your guinea, they will go back to cleaning themselves soon after.
They’re likely to ingest some of the chemicals from the baby wipes you’ve used when they do so.
These chemicals may not be harmful to their skin, but we don’t want your guinea lynx ingesting them!
To our second point, your guinea has thin and sensitive skin and produces natural oils which help keep their skin safe from damage and dryness.
Now, this risk may increase or decrease depending on guinea pig breeds:
- It’s especially true for hairless guinea pigs, which should rarely be washed.
- For longhaired guinea pigs, the risk of harming sensitive skin diminishes.
Do not use baby wipes on your hairless guinea pig.
Their extra sensitive skin needs as much moisture as it can get, and its naturally produced oils should be left untouched if possible.
If your guinea does end up with dry skin, this puts them at greater risk of developing a fungal skin infection and other problems.
So, it’s better to be safe than sorry here.
Haired guinea pigs do not have quite the same level of risk.
But, because of the other issues we’ve talked about, it’s still best to avoid baby wipes for these guys.
What Are Some Safe Alternatives to Baby Wipes?
For safe, clean animals, we know we should avoid wipes.
But how should you clean your guinea pig?
Use warm water and gentle soap to be kind to your guinea’s skin.
What do I mean by gentle soap?
You have two main options:
- Quality, fragrance-free dish soap
- Small-pet-safe shampoo
Avoid concentrated dish soap, but diluted, unscented dish soap is perfectly safe for your small pets.
Read more in our post on whether Dawn dish soap is safe for guinea pigs.
Be wary of the fragrances in soaps because these options will likely contain more chemicals and be harsher on your piggie’s skin.
If you decide to use dish soap to clean your guinea pig, dilute the soap with clean water.
This will ensure the soap doesn’t scrub away the natural oils from the skin.
We know of another safe option if you don’t feel comfortable washing your guinea with even gentle dish soap.
Fragrance-free animal shampoos make good substitutes.
You always want to be careful, though.
Double-check that the soap you buy is considered safe for small animals like guineas, who have more tender skin.
If these soap and water cleaning methods don’t appeal to you, there are wipes available that are safe to use on your guinea.
Ask about them at your local pet store.
Just as with animal shampoos, though, double-check the wipes are safe to use on small pets like guineas before purchasing.
The cleaning agent in these products will be gentler and kinder to your guinea’s skin.
Remember to never use human shampoo on your small pet!
Even baby shampoo is not recommended for these guys, and there are plenty of small-pet-safe products out there.
If you’re having trouble finding some, we recommend this affordable one on Amazon.
It is advertised as a safe option for small pets like guineas.
How To Safely Bathe Your Small Pet
Keep your touch light if you opt to use soap and water baths to clean your piggie.
Always use fresh, clean water, and consider using a water bottle to pour a slow, gentle flow of water over your guinea pig’s skin.
Also, consider using a soft, warm cloth to bathe your pal. But again, gentleness is key.
It may be best to avoid scrubbing altogether.
If your pet is a troublemaker and gets especially dirty, submerge them in lukewarm water only up to their middle.
Their ears, eyes, and mouth should be kept safely out of the water.
The water bottle method is safer, though, and it’s still a good tool for rinsing your friend with fresh water once you’ve finished cleaning their skin.
Some guinea owners use wet paper towels to wipe away dirt or feces from their pet’s skin.
But we don’t recommend this because paper towels can leave behind residue in your guinea’s fur.
For hairless guinea pigs, this won’t be much of an issue.
But for furry guinea pigs, be mindful.
If you decide to use wet paper towels, choose a good brand so the material will not be too rough against your pet’s skin.
Dunk the paper towels in clean water combined with whatever soap you decide to use.
Then wipe tenderly at the problem area.
Once you’ve cleaned your pet, gently towel them dry.
Don’t scrub or dry them with too much force.
Remember, the idea throughout this process is to help preserve those natural oils from the skin for a happy, healthy guinea pig.