Bearded Dragon On Reptile Carpet

There are many different types of reptile carpets available, so it is important to choose one that is right for your animals. In this article, we will discuss the different ways how you can keep your reptile carpet nice and clean. While it is generally low-maintenance and easy to clean, reptile carpet is commonly used as a substrate for reptile cages. It is attractive, economical, and a popular choice for reptile owners because it is soft, absorbent, and easy to clean. However, it can become soiled over time with the excrement and urine of the reptiles housed on it.

What is a Reptile Carpet?

If you are new to reptile keeping, then you may be wondering what a reptile carpet is. Reptile carpets, also known as substrates, are an important part of any reptile’s habitat. A reptile carpet, also known as a vivarium carpet, is usually a piece of felt-like material or artificial turf that is used to cover the bottom of a vivarium or terrarium. This can help to make the environment more natural for your reptile and provide them with a comfortable surface to walk and lay on, and they can also help keep your enclosure clean.

How Often Should I Clean my Reptile Carpet?

It is good practice to spot-clean your reptile carpet daily and then wash it properly at least once a week as part of your regular cleaning and maintenance schedule for your pet enclosure. Daily spot cleaning is no problem and can be done in just a few seconds, but the full weekly wash will invariably take quite a bit longer.

Pro Tip: Have 2 or 3 spare reptile carpets cut to the correct size ready to be swapped in/ out when required.

How To Clean Reptile Carpet?

It is essential to clean your reptile carpet regularly to prevent the build-up of allergens, bacteria, and dirt. Cleaning your reptile carpet is a relatively simple process, but you will need the right tools. Here’s what you need to get started.

What You Need

  • Paper Towels
  • Clean cloth
  • Container to Place the Gecko
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Spare Reptile Carpet
  • Gentle Detergent
  • Washing Machine

Spot Clean (Daily)

First, pop on your disposable gloves and remove any loose debris from the surface of the carpet. If the reptile carpet is stained or soiled, you can spot-clean it with paper towels or a damp cloth. Then, gently blot at the stained area until the mess is gone. Avoid scrubbing or pressing down too hard on the carpet, or you may damage it.

Deep Clean (Weekly)

A weekly clean should already be part of your regular cleaning schedule and this is where having a spare reptile carpet or 2 comes in very handy.

  • Place your reptile carpet in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase and tie it off the top. Now, add 1/4 cup of non-scented, hypoallergenic detergent to the washer and set it to the gentle cycle.
  • Once the cycle has finished, set the machine to another rinse cycle to ensure that there is no detergent residue left over that could harm your pet.
  • If you do not have access to a washing machine, you can fill a bucket with hot water and detergent and scrub it by hand.

Note: Replacing the reptile carpet immediately with a fresh one whilst you clean the dirty one speeds up the process making it less stressful for your pet.

Can I Wash my Reptile Carpet in the Sink?

Although you can handwash a reptile carpet in a sink, we do not recommend it due to the transmission of dirt and harmful bacteria that may be present.

  • If you need to handwash the carpet, we recommend using a bucket.
  • Fill the bucket with hot water
  • Add a few drops of dish soap
  • Give the carpet a scrub in the soapy water until it is frothy
  • Rinse extremely well with clean water

Note: When handwashing, make sure that you rinse off all soap or detergent as any leftover chemicals could harm your pet.

How To Dry a Reptile Carpet?

Once you’ve finished cleaning the reptile carpet, it’s time to dry it. Drying is a vital step, as a wet carpet can become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. There are a few ways you can dry the reptile carpet. One way is to leave it out in the sun to air dry. If it’s a hot day, the sun will help evaporate any excess moisture. You can also use a hairdryer on a low setting to help speed up the drying process.

Note: Avoid getting the hair dryer too close to the reptile carpet, as excess heat could damage the fibers.


Now that you know how to clean a reptile carpet, it’s important that you have backups on hand. When one is soiled, simply toss it in the washing machine and use an extra rinse cycle to make sure all of the soap is gone. If you don’t have access to a washing machine, no problem! You can still get the job done by using a bucket and some hot water. With these simple tips, your reptile carpet will stay looking great for years to come.

How to Clean a Reptile Carpet Infographic

Reptile Wrestler Tips!

“Keep spare carpets to make it easier to swap them out and clean them!”

“Wash your reptile carpet in non-scented, hypoallergenic detergent to ensure the greatest safety for your pet!”

“Do not wash your reptile carpet in the sink, it will be extremely dirty and be covered in reptile urine and fecal matter!”

“When spot cleaning, we advise using gloves to prevent any of the dirt and bacteria from being transferred around the home!”


Is a reptile carpet machine washable?

Yes, reptile carpets can be machine-washed. We advise an extra rinse to be sure that all the soap and detergent has gone, as it can be harmful to the reptile.

Can reptile carpets catch fire?

A reptile carpet itself will not cause a fire however, if there is a fire, it will provide fuel and potentially increase the size and intensity of the fire. Reptile carpets made of synthetic materials, such as nylon or polyester, can be especially dangerous because they melt and drip when on fire, spreading the flames quickly. Flame retardants in carpets can slow down the spread of fire, but if there is enough heat present, even these retardants will fail.

Can reptile carpet go in the dryer?

Yes, reptile carpets can usually go in the dryer. However, you should always consult the manufacturer’s instructions to be sure.

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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