How to Clean Rocks for Reptiles

Are you a beginner reptile keeper? If so, you may be wondering if adding rocks to your terrarium is a good way to give your reptile new climbing and hiding spots. Well, yes, it is however, you’ll need to clean the rocks before you add them to the tank because a clean environment is an important part of keeping your reptile healthy and happy. In this article, we will teach you how to clean rocks for your pet reptile. Keep reading for more information!

Why Clean Rocks for Reptiles?

Many people keep reptiles as pets and one common requirement for reptiles is that they need a clean place to live. This means that their owners often have to clean the rocks in their tanks. There are several reasons why it’s important to clean the rocks in a reptile tank. The rocks in your reptile’s enclosure can quickly become a hotbed for bacteria and fungus if not cleaned on a regular basis. Not only is this unsightly, but it can also be dangerous for your pet and make them sick if ingested. Cleaning the rocks helps to remove any of these contaminants and helps to keep your pet healthy.

How to Clean Rocks for Reptiles?

Just like us, reptiles need clean environments to thrive. One of the most important aspects of reptile keeping is keeping their habitats clean. Below, we’ll show you how to clean rocks for reptiles in a way that is safe and effective. Let’s get started!

What You Need

  • White Vinegar
  • Nail Brush
  • Tap Water
  • Kettle
  • Large Bowl

Step 1 – Rinse the Stone

The first step in cleaning your stone is to rinse it off with running water. This will help to remove any dirt or debris that may be on the surface. In addition, rinsing the stone will also help to loosen any dirt that may be embedded in the pores of the stone.

Step 2 – Mix the Cleaning Solution

As any cleaning enthusiast knows, white vinegar is a versatile and effective cleaning agent that is great for removing built-up grime. To make your own all-purpose vinegar cleaner, simply mix one part white vinegar with five parts water in a large bowl.

Remember: There is no need for harsh chemicals or expensive cleaners when you have vinegar on hand!

Step 3 – Soak Your Rock

Once your solution is ready, soak the rock for 15-20 minutes. This will help to loosen any dirt or debris that is clinging to the rock and make it ready for scrubbing.

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Step 4 – Scrub Your Rock

Now that you’ve soaked your rock, it’s time to scrub it clean! Using a stiff brush, thoroughly scrub the surface of the rock to remove any dirt, dust, or debris. Pay special attention to any crevices or cracks, as these can be magnets for dirt and bacteria.

Step 5 – Let Your Rock Dry

Once you’re satisfied that the rock is clean, rinse it off with plain water and allow it to air dry completely. Once it’s dry, your rock will be ready for your reptile to enjoy!

Can You Use Rocks from Outside for Reptiles?

Many people ask whether they can use rocks from outside for their reptiles, and the answer is generally yes! There are a few things to keep in mind, however. Make sure you wash the rocks thoroughly before bringing them inside, as they may be contaminated with bacteria, pesticides, or other harmful substances. It’s also a good idea to avoid using rocks that have been near roadside or heavily trafficked areas, as these may also be contaminated. If you’re unsure about a particular rock, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and leave it out.

Once you’ve selected your rocks, it’s time to give them a good wash, scrub them with the vinegar solution mentioned above, then rinse them well.

What are the Best Rocks for Reptiles?

There is no definitive answer to this question since different reptiles prefer different types of rocks. Some reptiles like to bask in the sun on top of rocks, while others enjoy hiding under rocks. That said, some good options for rocks that are suitable for reptiles include granite, sandstone, and slate. These rocks are all relatively hard, which means they won’t break easily and can withstand the wear and tear that comes with being used by a reptile.

How to Clean Porous Rocks for a Reptile?

The best way to clean porous rocks is to bake them in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 90 minutes. This will kill any bacteria or parasites that may be living in the pores of the rock. It is extremely important to ensure that the rocks are thoroughly dry before you begin. If the rocks are even slightly damp, they could easily break or crack when the water expands as it boils. After baking, let the rocks cool completely then give them a good scrub before using them with your reptile.


The rocks in your reptile’s enclosure can quickly become a hotbed for bacteria and fungus if not cleaned on a regular basis. Not only is this unsightly, but it can also be dangerous for your pet if ingested. While scrubbing with vinegar and water is the best way to clean rocks for reptiles, it’s important to note that porous rocks should be baked in the oven to kill all bacteria that may be hiding deep within the cracks and crevices. By following these simple steps, you can keep your reptile happy and healthy.

How to Clean Rocks for Reptiles Infographic

Reptile Wrestler Tips!

“Porous reptile rocks are best baked in the oven at 200°c for 90 minutes before scrubbing!”

“If your rock is particularly dirty, you may have to repeat the process before placing the rock inside your terrarium!”

“If bringing rocks indoors that you have found, ensure that you give them a thorough clean so that you do not contaminate your reptile habitat!”

“If you do not have white vinegar, you can use dish soap with warm water – note that this may leave a residue so will need thoroughly rinsing afterward!”


What is best to clean rocks for reptiles?

You can clean rocks for reptiles using a mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 5 parts water. This will kill any bacteria or germs that may be on the surfaces of the rocks. You can also use this solution to disinfect any hiding places, such as crevices or caves, that your reptile may use. Just be sure to rinse the rocks thoroughly with clean water before putting them back in your reptile’s enclosure.

How do you sanitize rocks?

You can sanitize rocks by scrubbing them with white vinegar and water. The vinegar will kill any bacteria or other contaminants on the rocks, leaving them clean and safe to use.

How to sterilize a basking rock?

Sterilizing a basking rock is the same as sterilizing any other rock. Soak in 1 part white vinegar to 5 parts water for 20 minutes and then scrub hard.

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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