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January 5, 2015

A problem that many herp owners have is terrarium glass becoming cloudy. This can be caused by minerals left behind when misted water evaporates, salt deposits secreted by iguanas and some other species or wastes deposited or smeared onto the glass by the enclosure inhabitants. Cleaning these caked-on materials can be time consuming and unappealing.

One solution is to use a glass cleaner and there are several that will do the job. Exo Terra Terrarium Glass Cleaner is an easy to apply gel that was specifically developed to remove calcium and lime stains from terrarium glass. It also works on plastic and other smooth surfaces. The nontoxic formula is free of ammonia, alcohol, dyes, perfumes and petrochemicals.

Of course, the terrarium glass isn’t the only surface in a herp enclosure that gets soiled so hobbyists need cleaners for the décor, water bowls and other enclosure features.
Wipe Out I from Zoo Med Laboratories is a terrarium and small animal cage disinfectant, cleaner and deodorizer.

According to the Zoo Med website, it kills Salmonella choleraesis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa and can reduce the spread of bacterial infections among animals and from animals to people.

The Exo Terra Terrarium Cleaner & Deodorizer removes stubborn organic stains and odors caused by reptiles. Biodegradable ingredients, including naturally derived bacterial cultures and fermentation extracts, remove a large range of organic stains and odors from all types of surfaces. It is free of fragrances, VOC, nonylphenols, chlorine and organic solvents. The solution is safe for reptile pets. It will continue to reduce odors in between cleaning applications.

Fluker’s Super Scrub with Organic Cleaner uses a safe and natural formula to clean and sanitize enclosures and accessories. It comes with a brush that enables the keeper to scrub the tank and accessories while the organic cleaner naturally dissolves stuck-on materials.

“Kanberra Spray and Kanberra Wipes use the power of Kanberra’s blend of Australian tea tree oils for cleaning surfaces and because they are water-based, the tea tree oils in them are also released into the air through the simple process of evaporation,” said Joel Solly, president and CEO of Kanberra Group.

“We feel as though most consumers are looking for more natural solutions—whether that is for cleaning products, food products or odor control products,” he said. “Pets of all species are being treated more like human family members. Additionally, people are realizing the effects these chemicals have on their environment—both their specific home environment and the larger environment that we all share.”

“Our blend of oils has been certified as pure by the Australian Tea Tree Industry Association,” said Solly. “This means that you never have to worry about adulterated or synthetic (chemical-based) oils in our products.”

Healthy Habitat by Natural Chemistry is a cleaner and deodorizer that is specifically formulated to effectively eliminate odor and soiling caused by animal and food waste. It’s safe for use in any pet habitat and can be used to clean a wide range of surfaces. According to the company website, it can be used with the reptile still in the enclosure.

Turtle tanks need frequent cleaning and quickly become dirty and unhealthy if the owner doesn’t stay on top of the maintenance. Fluker’s Eco Clean Waste Remover is specially formulated for turtles as well as other aquatic reptiles and amphibians. It contains a mixture of all-natural bacteria and enzymes that helps eliminate solid waste and uneaten food in aquatic reptile habitats.

For the most part, herps are not smelly animals. But there are exceptions. Kanberra Gel may be the solution to a stinky snake or malodorous monitor.

“Kanberra Gel is a great product to keep around any sort of animal habitat,” said Solly. “As the gel evaporates, Kanberra’s blend of tea tree oils are released into the air, eliminating odors at their source.”

Hobbyists also need to clean the sand in the enclosures of desert-dwelling species, such as leopard geckos, collared lizards and Kenyan sand boas.
Zilla’s Litter Scoop sifts wastes out of sand without trapping the substrate so the hobbyist doesn’t throw out any clean sand unnecessarily. The washable plastic scoop is 4 ½ inches wide to clean terrariums fast. It comes in two shapes, a regular square shape and an angled shape that fits into the corners of the enclosure.

Cleaning products are not the most exciting items in the reptile department and many hobbyists may overlook them. Store owners should use the products themselves and let the customers know that fact through signage and employee education. You can also include a scoop or a bottle of cleaner in your starter kits.

“Kanberra Products are best displayed near the register,” said Solly. “They are a perfect point-of-purchase item and since our products are so versatile, they can be recommended to almost every customer who comes through your retail location.” This advice is just as appropriate for other herp cleaning products.

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