Quick Trick | Cleaning Glass with a Lemon

I get quite a few messages a week about how to clean cages properly and safely. This is not going to be a revolutionary blog post, but if you're anything like me then you might appreciate this easy, cheap trick to make life easier. If you have glass cages for any of your pet reptiles (and if you do not use RO/DI water for spraying) then you've inevitably going to get water spots on the glass that a normal cleaner just won't get out. And if you're afraid to use harsher chemicals there is a really easy trick that works pretty darn well, especially if you do use it every few weeks and don't allow the build-up to get too bad. Unfortunately, this will not work if you have etching on the glass due to uric acid in snake feces, for example, but it will work on typical hard water build up.

The acid in citrus, like limes, lemons, or oranges, works wonders to break apart the water stains on glass. And it is non-toxic, so you should feel comfortable using it. I will clean the entire cage's glass when I do a deep clean (along with a bit of bleach to disinfect), but sometimes I just get irritated with how the doors are starting to look and clean those quickly when I can. Especially if I am expecting guests so that they can have a clear view into the cages.

Ugh! Water stains that will not come out with water, soap, or even harsher home cleaners. 

The same door panel after scrubbing with the lemon and wiping it off with a wet rag and then a dry rag. If I had spent a couple more minutes I could have gotten the sides to look just as impeccable. But in a quick 5-minute effort the front of the cages look like new. And now the geckos have a fresh canvas upon which to defecate, leave finger-paintings, and otherwise make a mess again. Case and point:


  1. Hey, I have already try this before It's smelling like lemon so fresh and amazing. I love my windows(they are so many) so I clean them very often with lemon or orange.The results after spending 1 hour of cleaning only the windows are so effective.

  2. you can't keep chameleons in glass enclosures!!!!

    1. Hi Tyler,

      This is a common misconception, but you certainly can! For some climates, in fact, it's the ideal way to keep chameleons. Keepers in cold and/or dry climates can benefit from having a glass cage like the Exo Terras ones, because it still allows air to circulate but it keeps in humidity and warmth, and keeps the parameters more stable. Glass (or similar, like acrylic) is the standard cage for keepers in Europe, for example. In Miami it would be unnecessary with our natural heat and humidity, but many of my friends keep their chameleons in glass cages because the environment is easier to maintain. They are not as easy to drain, however, so that is the big down-side; it’s much harder to set up a drainage system for a glass terrarium.

      Here is a good link with photos on the Chameleonforums.com that goes into the myth of glass cages as well: http://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/for-everyone-who-knows-you-cant-keep-chams-in-glass.31937/


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