How to Clean a Snake Tank 

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A pet snake spends most of its life in its enclosure. As solitary creatures, they are most content in their enclosures, but that means they’ll also relieve themselves in the same place that they eat and sleep. 

Cleaning your snake’s tank is one of the most important things you can do for them to keep them happy and healthy. In this article we’ll go over all of the snake cleaning questions you have. 

What can I use to clean my snake tank? 

cleaning products

For a full list of safe cleaning solutions to clean a snake enclosure using household items CLICK HERE

These cleaners are safe to use on snake enclosures. Most of these are household chemicals you might already have. 

Other recommended cleaning supplies: 

How often should I clean my snake’s enclosure? 


Most snakes won’t require daily cleaning, but it’s always best to spot clean their waste as soon as you see it. Clean any urates, feces, and uneaten food. 

Leaving feces or other waste in a snake’s enclosure can cause unwanted bacteria to grow which will lead to health problems and stress to your snake.

When spot cleaning you should always remove the feces, urates, and the surrounding substrate since the substrate tends to absorb most of the liquid. 


One benefit of having a pet snake is their easy care. Most snakes only require a weekly spot cleaning of their urate and feces and a deep cleaning every 3-4 weeks. 

Deep cleaning a snake cage includes cleaning the enclosure, replacing the substrate, and disinfecting all added items like the water bowl, hides, and enrichment. 

How to clean a glass snake terrarium

clean reptile tank

The benefit of using a glass terrarium as a snake enclosure is that you can see your beautiful pet snake at any angle. The downside to this is that you can also see all of the dirt gunk that builds up on the glass. 

I’ve found the best way to clean a snake terrarium and get rid of hard water stain on glass. Follow these steps for a deep clean of your snakes enclosure. 

  1. Remove your pet from the enclosure you want to clean. A plastic, ventilated container works perfect for this. 
  2. Remove loose enrichment and decor items like the water dish, fake plants, wood features, etc. 
  3. Remove and discard the substrate. I’ve found it easiest to remove most of the substrate with a dustpan and vacuuming the smaller bits. 
  4. Soak the loose items in a disinfectant solution of your choice. 
  5. While those items are soaking, rinse the enclosure with hot water to get rid of and loosen any remaining debris. 
  6. Spray with a cleaning solution or disinfectant. For tougher, caked on messes, let the solution sit for up to 5 minutes. 
  7. Scrub and wipe the disinfectant off of the enclosure. Repeat step 6 until the tank is as clean as desired. 
  8. Rinse with water again to remove any remaining cleaning solutions on the enclosure. 
  9. Wipe dry with shop towels or microfiber cloth to prevent scratching or abrasions. 

How to clean plastic snake enclosures

When your enclosure is made of melamine or any other type of plastic, you should follow the same steps as cleaning the glass enclosure, except don’t use abrasives or scrubbing brushes. 

These tools will cause your plastic to wear and get scratches where you scrub.

Instead use a hose or soft cloths to wipe and dry the enclosure. 

How to clean wood in snake enclosure 

Reptile enclosure stack

How to cure wood for reptile enclosures

It’s important to clean wood pieces in a snake’s enclosure because it can hold bacteria, mites, and other harmful bugs if not cared for properly. 

Soak the wood pieces in a disinfecting solution of your choice. After soaking for at 15-30 minutes, let the wood piece air dry before putting it back into the enclosure. 

You can find the proper bleach:water ratio here

Other tank features, like the water bowl or fake plants should be cleaned with the same cleaner you used throughout your snake’s tank. 

Use a scrubbing brush to remove any dirt build up on these items. Even dish soap will do the trick. 

Once you rinse off the cleaning solution from the snake’s enrichment pieces you can put these back into the enclosure. The water from the items you cleaned will add humidity to your snake’s home. 

How to clean hard water stains on a glass enclosure 

Most snakes need added humidity in their enclosures, so spraying them with water should be a part of your every day routine. 

Unfortunately, this shows up on glass enclosures as hard water stains and calcium build up. 

This is one of the hardest stains to remove from glass since most cleaning solutions don’t break it down. 

The best way to remove hard water stains from glass is by scraping it off with a blade. I’ve used a razor to scrape off hardware stains, although this could damage the glass if not done properly. 

Cleaning bucket

My magic cleaning solution

Cleaning vinegar + baking soda + dish soap

Cleaning vinegar seems to be the best way to get rid of hard water stains on glass. For an even stronger solution, add the cleaning vinegar to a spray bottle. 

Spray the glass with vinegar, then pour dish soap and baking soda onto your sponge. 

Let the vinegar soak for several minutes before scrubbing it off with your abrasive sponge with dish soap and baking soda(scrub daddy’s work best for this).

This cleaning method will clean off a lot of the caked-on water stains.