I spend at least a half hour EVERY DAY cleaning out poop, wiping down the floors of each level, picking up scattered food hulls and crumbles of lab blocks, and hae only been able to make it a max of three days before a full bedding change (even though, when they are actually ON the bottom floor, they mostly use the littler pan. Mostly). I even have a special 'rat hand-vac' that I use to pick up spare poop as I see it. It is amazing how easily they adapted to the sound of that and don't mind it at all. :)
I don't have anything wooden in there to absorb orders, and all slides, ladders, and housing get wiped down weekly.
Yet you can still smell them when you walk into the room. I get used to it pretty quicly, but I do notice it when I first enter.
I've also tried just about every kind of safe bedding I can think of - Care Fresh, Aspen, Yesterdays news, corn cob, and Colorfresh recycled paper.
Any ideas? Since I'm just using water to clean their cage levels and toys, are there SAFE cleaning products that might help kill off whatever is making it smell so bad? Are there air fresheners that can be used in the room (not in the cage) that are safe?
I don't so much mind the smell, but my family might, and I don't want guests to get the idea that rats are just 'filthy, smelly animals'. I want them to see how snuggly and sweet they are. :)
SHIT! Meant to post this to my rat community!!!!!