You may have heard people speak about “wicking” their guinea pig fleeces or fleece liners before use… but what does it mean? Find out in this guide how to prepare fleece for your guinea pig cage before use.
Wicking is the process of making the fleece more absorbent so water can pass through it.
With brand new unwashed fleece, if you pour water on it, the water tends to pool on top and is slow to absorb the water. After you have used the fleece and washed it a number of times the absorbency improves. If you pour water on the fleece after washing several times the water should soak straight into the fleece.
If your fleece liners aren’t wicked, when your guinea pig urinates it will create a puddle, which can result in your pet getting soaking fur, which isn’t hygienic or healthy for them.
We find the GuineaDad fleece liners absorb really well on first use so you may find they don’t need wicking. However, other brands and handmade fleece liners may require this process and if you’re using just fleece with some kind of absorbent layer underneath you’ll definitely have to wick your fleece before use.
You can wick fleece by washing it a few times before use. Most fleece liners should be washed in cold water and this shouldn’t impede the wicking process.
Some laundry detergents contain conditioner, which stops the wicking process, so it’s worth checking the detergent description and ingredient list. Many also contain harsh chemicals and are not good for sensitive skin.
Some people like to add vinegar in with the wash but this isn’t necessary for wicking. However, as distilled white vinegar has disinfectant properties, you could put ¼ to ½ a cup in your fabric conditioner compartment as it can help remove any lingering smells.