Ball Python Tank

Presumably, you are reading this because you are thinking about cleaning your ball python tank. It may seem complicated, but it is actually pretty simple. You can easily do it yourself. It is common to see bioactive tanks for tropical species like frogs and lizards, but you can also do it for desert reptiles like bearded dragons, leopard geckos, desert snakes, etc. It is essential to keep the tank clean to keep your snake healthy and to keep your pet’s home tidy. You will have to spot clean, deep clean, and sanitize. The general rule is to spot clean daily and deep clean weekly

Why are Ball Python’s Popular Pets?

Ball pythons are nonvenomous snakes that are popular pets among snake enthusiasts. They get their name from their tendency to curl up into a ball when they feel threatened. Ball pythons are native to Africa and typically grow to be between three and five feet long. They live for an average of 20 years in captivity, although some have been known to live for up to 40 years. Ball pythons are relatively easy to care for and don’t require a lot of space, making them ideal pets for those who live in apartments or small homes. They are also relatively docile snakes, which makes them a good choice for first-time snake owners. In addition, ball pythons come in a wide variety of colors and patterns (morphs), which allows owners to pick the perfect pet for their personality and preferences.

Note: If you plan on getting a ball python, you want to make sure you are willing to commit to caring for them for quite a few years.

Why Do You Need to Clean a Ball Python Tank?

You should make a cleaning schedule and follow it. This will not only keep your fellow friend healthy and free of reptile mites, but it will help you will stay healthy, particularly if you are someone that often likes to handle your pet. Otherwise, your snake will feel stressed in its environment which could impact its eating and overall health.

How Often Do You Need to Clean a Ball Python’s Tank?

Maintaining a clean environment in the tank for ball pythons is important. For this, you should daily spot clean, weekly deep clean the tank, and monthly fully sanitize the tank.

Daily Cleaning (spot cleaning)

Spot cleaning is the simplest way to keep the tank clean. The best way is to wipe off dirt, poop, or waste whenever you see it in the tank. You can spot cleaning several times a day. This will prevent a large gathering of mess. While doing this, make sure to use disposable gloves. If you use reusable gloves, you have to disinfect the gloves before and after every use. Spot cleaning can be done instantly within a few minutes as you can simply wipe off the poops, dirt, etc., using a towel.

Weekly Cleaning (deep cleaning)

You have to clean slightly more in-depth than daily care for weekly cleaning. Take out all the dishes and accessories, place them in hot water and wash them properly using a gentle soap. Weekly cleaning can take 10 to 15 minutes. Wash the carpet properly once a week. Do a deep cleaning once a month. Sanitize to kill the germs and keep the environment healthy, clean, and sustainable for the animal.

Monthly Cleaning (sanitizing)

Daily and weekly cleaning are not enough at all. You have to sanitize and clean the tank once a month at least. Otherwise, an unhealthy environment can disturb your animal. Sanitizing, which is done once a month can take up to an hour, depending on the amount of debris and waste present in the tank.

How To Clean a Ball Python Tank

Though cleaning a ball python tank is not a tricky thing to do. But you have to keep in mind some tips and safety tricks while cleaning. There are plenty of different ways that people use to clean tanks. Here we will discuss the most effective and simplest methods of all.

What You Need

  • Gloves
  • Hot water
  • Container to place your Ball Python
  • Gentle Soap
  • Towels
  • Vinegar (if needed)
  • Disinfectant
  • Sanitizer

Step 1 – Move Your Ball Python to Safety

The first thing you have to do is take out your ball python and place it in a container while cleaning the tank. Moving your pet animal while deep cleaning is not a big issue. You can place them in a separate tank or large plastic container. Make sure the walls are high enough for your snake so that it cannot escape out of the container, or you can also place a lid over the container.

Always wear gloves while cleaning. It is better to use disposable ones, but if you use reusable gloves, make sure to disinfect them. Always use separate cleaning tools and gloves for cleaning the tank. Never use the tools in other household chores.

Step 2 – Empty the Ball Python Tank and Clean the Dishes

Then take out all the plants, hides, water dishes, dishes, and anything else that may be in there. Remove the carpet out of the tank, clean it properly and let it dry enough to get back into the cage. Also, wash all the other things you have taken out of the tank using gentle soap and hot water. This will kill all the germs.

Step 3 – Clean the Ball Python Tank

Using a wet towel and a reptile-safe cleaning agent (amazon link – opens in a new tab) clean off the glass. However, if you do not have any, you can mix vinegar and water, which makes a safe cleaning solution for animal enclosures.

Note: Do not use any harsh home chemicals because it is terrible for your ball python and can make them sick.

Step 4 – Replace all the Furniture

Once you have cleaned up the entire tank from the inside and out, make sure everything is dry to prevent the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms, and then replace the dried carpet. Then pour fresh water into the water dish, place the water dish, calcium dish, and all the snake hides on the carpet.

Step 5 – Put Your Python Back

Then put back the ball python in the tank and let it enjoy it safely. Your ball python might behave strangely after seeing the changes and can take some time to adapt. Always sanitize yourself once you have done cleaning.


Providing a healthy and tidy environment for your ball python is essential for your animal and for the bond between you and your pet. If you don’t keep a ball python in a clean environment, then there will be a high chance that the animal could get infections and become ill. It is best to keep to a regular cleaning schedule and do a spot clean each day, a deep clean each week, and a fully sanitized clean once a month.

How to clean a ball python tank infographic

Reptile Wrestler Tips!

“Always spot clean – daily; deep clean – weekly; full sanitize clean – monthly!”

“Never use any kind of pesticide or insecticide when cleaning your ball python enclosure, these chemicals are harmful to your pet!”

“We don’t recommend using the kitchen sink for washing your ball python hides, it is best to get yourself a large bowl specifically for this task!”

“We recommend having one or 2 spare reptile carpets for your python tank that can be changed as necessary – this can save you a little time when cleaning!”


Is vinegar safe for cleaning a ball python tank?

Yes, white vinegar diluted with water can be safe for cleaning a ball python tank. Vinegar is a great cleaner because it has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It’s also a natural deodorizer. Just be sure to rinse the tank well after cleaning to remove any traces of vinegar.

What can I use to clean my ball python tank?

There are reptile-safe cleaners available but the best way to clean your ball python tank is to use a mixture of white vinegar and water. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and will help to remove any build-up of bacteria or dirt from the tank. Dilute the vinegar with an equal amount of water before using it to clean the tank.

Can I clean a ball python tank with vinegar?

You can definitely clean a ball python tank with vinegar! In fact, it’s actually highly recommended. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and will help to keep your ball python tank looking clean and healthy. Plus, it’s gentle and won’t harm plants or animals. Just be sure to rinse everything thoroughly afterward with water.

Can I reuse the bedding after cleaning the ball python tank?

It depends on the type of bedding. Some types can be reused after cleaning, such as coconut fiber. But other types, like paper-based bedding, should be disposed of after use.

Can I clean the ball python tank while the snake is still in it?

It’s not recommended to clean the tank while the snake is still in it, as the cleaning chemicals and process could stress the snake.

Can I use regular cleaning products on a ball python tank?

It is not recommended to use regular cleaning products on a ball python tank, as they may be too harsh and potentially harmful to the snake.

Are there any special precautions to take when cleaning a ball python tank?

When cleaning a ball python tank, be sure to wear gloves and a mask to protect yourself from bacteria and dust. Avoid using cleaning products with strong odors as they can be harmful to the snake. Also, make sure to keep the snake in a safe and warm place during the cleaning process.

About Me

Hi, I’m Stuart and I’ve had reptiles for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I studied for a master’s in Herpetology. Over the years I have worked at several zoos before opening my very own reptile sanctuary. In my spare time, I run this website – which is a resource for people who want to learn more about their little beasties.

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