“ Brand: Pets at Home / Type: Cleaning Products „
I use bottles for all of the guinea pigs as it's what they were brought up on and it's also a far more hygienic way of providing them with water compared to bowls as the liquid can't become soiled due to urine, faeces, dirty bedding etc. Unfortunately bottles have a tendency to get a bit gunked up fairly quickly and due to the nature of their design it's virtually impossible to get a sponge or anything in there to clean and remove the build up of grime. That's where a bottle brush comes in handy and why I decided to purchase one from pets at home. The bottle brush is exactly the same sort of thing you'd use to clean a baby's bottle only it has been aimed at pets, the bristle brush end attaches to a bendy wire pipe cleaner (if you don't understand what I'm waffling on about I just mean the middle wire part) with an even smaller bristle nozzle at the top. To use I simply fill the water bottles part way with a cooled water and sterilising tablet mixture and push the bristles into the bottle, reaching right down to the bottom where I give it a good swizzle about in order to catch all the grimy bits, then I will swish the brush up and down to clean the sides of the bottle before removing the brush and giving the bottle a good shake to dislodge any particularly clingy dirt. Next I tip the water out and give the bottle a good rinse 3-4 times with cold water, just to remove any traces of the sterilising tablet mixture as I don't want my boys drinking traces of anything that could potentially be harmful. Then of course I will fill with filtered water as normal (my guinea pigs only drink brita) and attach back to the cages. I found that despite its flimsy appearance the brush is actually quite sturdy and the bristles have remained intact despite using it for vigorous cleaning, the middle wire part is a bit too bendy for my liking but you can't win them all. I find that the brush does a great job is removing any grimy bits and once more restoring the bottles to their crystal clear former glory. The smaller bristle nozzle is handy for reaching right into any nooks but I can't say that I've had to use it often, the bigger brush tip is more than capable of doing the job. I paid about £3.00 for mine but can't seem to find the product on the pets at home website anymore which makes me think that perhaps they have stopped selling it. The brush is the same as any you can pick up from most stores so this shouldn't be a problem, any old bottle brush will generally be fine for cleaning pet bottles.
As some of you know I have a number of pet rats and as standard with caged pets, they have water bottles to drink from. Unfortunately the way these water bottles are constructed means that the opening is so small that they are impossible to clean (inside) in the conventional way. Eventually the bottles started to go green on the inside and I attempted to clean it with an old toothbrush, but it just wasn't flexible enough so I made a trip down to Pets at Home to get a bottle brush cleaner. This bottle cleaner comes simply packaged in plastic with with a carboard top to hang it from the shelf and explaining what the product is. It's roughly 34cm long which is more than long enough to reach in to even the biggest water bottle. The brush has a large number of firm plastic bristles at the end of a metal shaft (which has some flexibility). The other end is a plastic handle for grip and allows it to be hung from a hook if desired. This plastic handle also contains a further brush inside it - this one is short at around 6cm long and has short bristles spiraling up it's length, I've thought long and hard about it's purpose and can't figure one out. In practice you squeeze the large brush through the small neck of the water bottle and effectively swirl it around the inside to dislodge any unwanted growths, you then remove the brush (and get flicked in the face with water in the process) and swirl water around inside before emptying it out. Personally I've found that the brush effectively cleans the walls of the water bottles, but is unable to clean the base and top as these are flat surfaces and the brush does not have enough bristles pointing downwards or any pointing upwards. Therefore it is only really half effective for it's intended purpose. My boyfriend has however found additional uses for this brush such as cleaning the inside of a very narrow vase. Price wise this can be purchased for £2.99 which I think is a fair price to pay for convenience as this is widely available in Pets at Home stores and on their websites. On the other hand - as it doesn't completely fullfil its intended purpose I would suggest that you look for a bottle cleaner elsewhere, trying to find one that has bristles pointing in all directions so you can clean the top and bottom of the bottle too. For these reasons I feel I can only give this particular product 3 stars out of 5.