Can You Give Hamsters A Bath? (Do They Need One?)

Your hamster’s fur is looking a little grubby…

…But, can you give hamsters a bath?

Key Takeaway:

Hamsters do their own grooming, so do not bathe them. Keeping their cage clean and providing them with grooming sand for a sand bath is the best way to help them with their hygiene.

But what should you do if you have no other choice but to give your hamster a water bath? Then you’ll need to find out what to use for bathing him and how to do it in the next section of this article.

hamster bath

Do Hamsters Need Baths?

Do you love hassle-free pets as much as we do?

Hamsters are about as low maintenance as you can get. They do all their exercise in their cage, do not eat a lot, and don’t need a lot of attention.

And it gets better.

Hamsters are very clean animals. They groom themselves frequently and do not need bathing.

What more could you ask for?

Most hamsters don’t need baths because they are naturally clean animals and groom themselves. We do not recommend you give him even the occasional bath because your hamster’s coat has a lot of important molecules on it that you would wash away with a water bath.

When You Might Need to Give Him a Bath

The only time a hamster might need a bath is if he is suffering from wet tail. You will then need to partially bathe his hindquarters with a damp cloth to remove the filth.

If he is ill, you will also need to take him to a specialist that will give him veterinary medicine to take as soon as possible.

Can You Bathe a Hamster?

Now, while you can bathe a hamster, you might not need to. Take a look at a couple of reasons why.

  • Your hamster’s fur is covered in important molecules and natural oils you would wash away when you bathe him. Doing this frequently will cause skin conditions. That’s right, bathing him could do more harm than good.
  • Your hamster bathes himself regularly.
  • Hamsters are naturally clean animals.
  • Clean your hamster’s cage once or twice a week to help him with his hygiene.

Ok, but we have said you technically can bathe your hamster when he really needs it. But does that mean you literally immerse him in water?

No! Please don’t!

Never immerse your hamster in water, as he could drown. Avoid washing all his fur but give him a spot clean; that is, only wipe the sections of it that are dirty.

Use mild pet shampoo to do this. (More about washing tips and techniques in just a mo.)

How to Clean a Hamster

Bathing your hamster is likely an unnecessary task.


Because hamsters do their own grooming.

Phew! That’s saved you a job!

Even still, there are some things you must do to help your hamster stay clean. Here are some of them.

Keep Your Hamster’s Cage Clean

hamster cage sand

The best way for pet owners to clean their hamsters is by keeping their cages clean.

You need to clean your hamster’s cage at least once a week. You must clean it more often if you have more than one hamster in your cage.

Here’s how to clean it.

  1. Remove the food bowl, water bottle, chew toys, exercise equipment, and anything else from the cage.
  2. Take all of the bedding out of the cage and throw it in the garbage.
  3. Wash the base and mesh of the cage.
  4. Completely dry the cage.
  5. Put all new bedding in the cage.
  6. Disinfect the food bowl, water bottle, chew toys, and exercise equipment. Dry them off, and then put them back in the cage.

Wipe Your Hamster’s Coat

Is your hamster suffering from wet tail?

Many hamsters suffer from wet tail disease as they enter old age. This can make your hamster smell bad.

If your hamster is ill, you’ll need to get him medical attention as soon as possible, and specialists will put him on a course of veterinary medicine to get better. In the meantime, you will need to help him keep himself clean.

Hamsters with this illness will have matted fur around their hindquarters and tail. Here’s what you must do to bathe a hamster safely.

  1. Test the water temperature with your elbow. Use warm or lukewarm water.
  2. Wash him in a warm room.
  3. Use as little water as possible.
  4. Never submerge your hamster’s head.
  5. Use unscented pet shampoo and partially wash him.
  6. Dry him off with a towel when you finish.
  7. Do not put him back in his cage until he is completely dry.

Give Him a Sand Bath

Sand baths are natural ways for your hamster to clean himself. You’ll find the perfect sand for hamsters at the pet store, but just in case you cannot get hold of hamster sand, chinchilla sand will also work well.

Here’s how to give your hamster a sand bath.

  1. Pour the sand into an appropriate size dish for your hamster. Just half full.
  2. Put the sand bath into the hamster cage.
  3. Allow the hamster time to bathe himself.
  4. Remove the sand from the cage.
hamster sand product

How to Bathe and Clean a Hamster

We all want to keep our pets clean to help them stay healthy. But bathing your hamster might not be the answer.

One of the safest ways to keep your hamster clean is by making sure you disinfect and replace the bedding in his cage regularly. Do this at least once a week for a super clean cage.

But what if your hamster has matted or stained fur? Then you might need to give him a partial bath as a last resort.

Coming up are all the instructions you’ll need for bathing hamsters with water. You’ll also see tips on how to give them sand baths.

How to Bathe Your Hamster Clean

To bathe your hamster safely, follow these tips.

  • Never immerse his head.
  • Use as little water as possible.
  • Dry him off completely before putting him back into his cage.

Are you ready to give your little guy a bath?

Then meet us at step one.

  1. Put lukewarm water or warm water in a small container. Test its temperature with your elbow to make sure it is not too hot.
  2. Do not immerse the hamster in the water; rather, do spot cleaning. Use a wet cloth and mild small pet shampoo to clean the dirty area. Use a soft cloth to do this, but if you need to give him a little scrub, use a soft, wet toothbrush. Wet toothbrushes are especially effective at cleaning long-haired hamsters.
  3. After giving your hamster a bath, dry him carefully with a towel.

How to Give Your Hamsters Sand Baths

Take a look at these steps that will help when you are sand bathing your hamster.

  1. Pour the sand into a small container until it is half full (one that is big enough for your hamster to lie in but not too big).
  2. Put the dust bath into your hamster’s cage.
  3. Your hamster tumbles around in the sand to clean himself.
  4. When he finishes, remove the bath from the cage.

How to Give a Hamster a Bath

So, you’ve tried giving your hamster a sand bath, and you’ve cleaned his cage a dozen times. But after all that, your hamster’s fur is still dirty.

What can you do?

If your hamster’s fur is matted or covered in places with hardened feces, he might have an illness, so get him medical help as soon as possible. If your veterinarian says it is ok for you to bathe your hamster, proceed to do so.

But how?

What You Will Need

To give your hamster a water bath, you will need the following tools.

  • Soft cleaning cloth
  • Soft toothbrush
  • Warm water
  • Pet shampoo (mild). Good pet stores will sell the right shampoo that you need for your furry friend.

The Method

Here’s how to give your hamster a water bath.

  1. Pour warm water into a small container. Do not use hot water. The water should not be too warm or cold.
  2. Start spot cleaning the hamster. Do not submerge his head in the water, as he might drown. Gently wipe him with a soft cloth. If his fur is particularly dirty, gently brush it with a soft toothbrush. Soft toothbrushes are great at tackling the fur of any long-haired hamster.
  3. If there is chewing gum or any other toxic substance stuck to his fur, carefully trim it away.
  4. After his water bath, get your hamster dry by rubbing him gently with a towel.

What Is the Maximum Volume of Water In a Hamster Bath?

As a proud pet parent, you are no doubt keen to give your hamster the best attention possible. But giving your hamster water baths might not be the best way to do that.

Most hamsters do not enjoy baths, but you might find yourself forced to give him one if his fur is very dirty due to a bowel obstruction or illness. He might also need a bath if there is a toxic chemical on his fur.

Here are some points that will help you to safely bathe him.

  • You can fill a hamster bath with the volume of water that is easiest for you to work with, but you should never immerse the hamster in the bath. Only give him a spot bath. Dip a cloth in the water and rub him with it.
  • Only use warm or lukewarm water.
  • Add a small amount of pet shampoo to plain water.
  • Gently clean him.
  • Comb an unused toothbrush through longer fur.
  • Dry him with a small hand towel. Make sure you thoroughly dry all the wet areas.

Can You Bathe a Hamster In Warm Water?

None of us like getting into a cold bath, and neither does your hamster!

If you need to bathe your little hamster, make sure you use warm or lukewarm water. The water should be warm and comfortable enough for you to dip your elbow in.

Do not submerge your hamster in the water. Most dirt will come off if you spot clean your hamster and then fluff him up with a dry towel.

The Key to Keeping Your Hamster’s Fur Clean

Do you ever wonder whether you should bathe a hamster? While some small pets don’t have an issue with a bath, hamsters are a little different.

This article has helped us to see that the best way to keep a hamster clean is to disinfect its cage regularly and provide him with sand for a sand bath. If your hamster’s fur is really dirty, give him a spot bath with warm water.

Have the tips in this article been useful to you?

At Oddly Cute Pets, we love providing you with the best and most up-to-date advice on how to look after your small animals. So, for more tips on how to look after your hamster and other animals, make sure you check out our website.

Thanks for reading!

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