How to Clean a Snake Tank: Essential Tips for Snake Owners

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If you’ve recently become the proud owner of a pet snake, then you might be wondering how to keep their tank clean and hygienic. Cleaning a snake tank is essential for the health and wellbeing of your slithery friend, so it’s important to get it right. In this guide, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to know about how to clean a snake tank.

Supplies Needed

Supplies Needed

Paper towels, a bucket, a sponge, a reptile-safe cleaner, a clean cloth, a snake-safe disinfectant, and a water dechlorinator.

Removing the Snake

Removing The Snake

Steps Instructions
1 Prepare a storage container with moist paper towels, a cover and air holes.
2 Gently pick up the snake from the enclosure, supporting its body and head. Place it in the container.
3 Close the lid and use a towel to cover the container and keep the snake from feeling exposed.
4 Handle the snake as little as possible to reduce stress. Move the container as needed, but do not shake it or move it too quickly.
5 Keep the snake in the container until you finish cleaning the enclosure.

Removing the Decorations

Removing The Decorations
Decorations, such as rocks and logs, should be removed from the tank before cleaning and disinfecting. Put these items in a bucket of clean water and scrub to remove any dirt.

Cleaning the Tank

Cleaning The Tank
Use a damp, soft cloth or sponge to wipe down the inside of the tank. Pay special attention to the corners and crevices, as these can harbor bacteria. Rinse with clean water when finished.

Disinfecting the Tank

Disinfecting The Tank
Mix a solution of one-part white vinegar with one-part water in a spray bottle. Spray the tank liberally with the solution and wipe off with a clean cloth. Rinse with clean water and allow to air dry.

Replacing the Substrate

Replacing The Substrate
Remove all substrate from the tank, such as gravel or sand, and replace with a fresh layer. If the substrate is especially dirty, it may need to be completely replaced.

Replacing the Decorations

Replacing The Decorations
Clean the decorations as previously discussed and rinse with clean water. Place the decorations back in the tank in the same positions as before.

Cleaning the Accessories

Cleaning The Accessories

Accessories Cleaning Method
Tank decorations Soak in hot water with a mild detergent, rinse and air dry.
Logs and rocks Soak in hot water with a mild detergent, rinse and air dry. Alternatively, boil for 10 minutes.
Climbing branches Soak in hot water with a mild detergent, rinse and air dry. Alternatively, boil for 10 minutes.
Substrate Discard and replace with new substrate.
Hides and bowls Soak in hot water with a mild detergent, rinse and air dry.

1 Cleaning the Water Bowl

1 Cleaning The Water Bowl

Step Description
1 Remove the water bowl and empty any existing water from it.
2 Wash the bowl with a mild soap and warm water.
3 Rinse the bowl thoroughly to remove all soap residue.
4 Refill the bowl with fresh, clean water.

2 Cleaning the Hide Box

2 Cleaning The Hide Box
Removing the hide box from the tank is the first step in cleaning it. To do this, use a small brush or a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris from the box. Rinse it with warm water and a mild soap, then dry it with a clean cloth. If the hide box has any removable parts, then these should also be cleaned separately. Once the hide box is cleaned, it can be placed back in the tank.

Cleaning the Snake

Step Instructions
1 Gently scoop the snake out of its enclosure using a snake hook.
2 Place the snake in a clean container filled with lukewarm water.
3 Use a small brush to scrub the snake’s body, paying special attention to the area around the eyes and nose.
4 Rinse the snake with lukewarm water and allow it to soak for a few minutes.
5 Gently remove the snake from the container and place it back in its enclosure.

Tips for Cleaning a Snake Tank

• Remove the snake from the tank and secure it in a safe, warm place.
• Unplug the water and heating equipment, then remove any decorations.
• Dispose of the substrate (bedding) and rinse the tank with warm water.
• Use a mild reptile-safe cleaner and a rag or sponge to scrub the tank.
• Rinse thoroughly and dry the tank before refilling with substrate.
• Place the heating and water equipment back in the tank.
• Add decorations and replace your snake.
• Clean and replace the water daily, and spot-clean the tank as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to clean a snake tank?

The best way to clean a snake tank is to start by removing the snake and all of its accessories, such as bedding, hides, and any decorations. The tank should then be thoroughly scrubbed with a mild detergent and warm water. Rinse the tank thoroughly and dry it completely. Replace the bedding, hides, and decorations and return the snake to its tank. Clean the tank every two to four weeks to ensure a healthy environment for your pet.

What supplies do I need to clean a snake cage?

To clean a snake tank, you will need a scrub brush, chlorine-free water, an aquarium vacuum, a cleaning solution, paper towels, and a water conditioner. A reptile-safe disinfectant is also recommended. If you plan to rearrange your snake tank, you will need substrate, decorations, and hides.

How do I safely clean my snake tank?

Clean the tank with a snake-safe cleaning solution, such as a 10% bleach solution. Make sure to rinse the tank thoroughly after cleaning. Replace the substrate and any decorations. Clean any water bowls and accessories. Disinfect the tank and accessories with a snake-safe disinfectant. Make sure to rinse the items thoroughly. Put the tank back together, add fresh water and replace the decorations. Monitor your snake throughout the process to ensure it is comfortable.

What should I Avoid when Cleaning a Snake Tank?

Avoid using strong chemical cleaners or abrasive cleaners, as harsh chemicals can be toxic to snakes. Additionally, avoid using scented detergents, as snakes have a sensitive sense of smell. Additionally, avoid using a wet cloth to wipe the walls of the enclosure, as this can create a damp environment that can encourage the growth of bacteria and fungi. Finally, avoid removing your snake from its tank during the cleaning process, as this can be stressful for the snake.

How often should I clean my snake cage?

Snake cages should be cleaned every 2-3 weeks. Spot-cleaning should be done as needed in between. Change out any soiled substrate, spot-clean and disinfect any surfaces, and perform a full clean and disinfection of the entire cage.


Cleaning the snake tank is an essential part of caring for your pet snake. It’s important to stay on top of the cleaning schedule and to use the right equipment and products. With the right supplies, the right techniques, and a bit of dedication, you’ll have your snake tank clean and your pet happy in no time.

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