How to Clean Reptile Tank Glass – Easy Step by Step Guide

  • By: Craig Winters
  • Date: November 7, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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Cleaning your reptile’s tank Glass is a very important aspect of tank Maintenance. You need to ensure that you are using something safe for your reptile and also is not going to cause any scratches or damages to the surface.

There are many things that can accumulate on the glass over time that need to be removed. This includes dirt, algae, leftover food, watermarks and mineral deposits.

Some people use chemical cleaners like Comet or Ajax to clean their tank’s glass, but I’m always concerned about how these products’ ingredients may affect my reptile.

Vinegar can be used as a great cleaning agent for your reptile’s tank Glass. It is always advisable to use distilled vinegar instead of white vinegar since distilled vinegar has fewer impurities which will help with the cleaning process. It also doesn’t have such a strong toxic smell which can be harmful to your reptile too.

Vinegar might sound like an unusual option, but it actually works really well with glass because of its mild acidity level and it doesn’t leave any streaks behind unlike some other products that are meant specifically for glass cleaning purposes.

This step by step guide will guide you through the simple steps of using distilled vinegar as a glass cleaner and show you how to clean reptile tank glass easy and chemical free.

Things You Will Need:

  • Warm water
  • Vinegar
  • Cleaning Cloth or sponge
  • Power Towels
  • Disinfectant
  • Long Handled Scraper Tool
How to Clean Reptile Tank Glass Step by Step Guide

Step 1: Combine Water and Vinegar 1:3 Ratio

Scrubbing with a vinegar and water solution is a popular way to remove food, soap scum, dirt, stains and bacteria from glass surfaces.

Mix one part white vinegar with three parts water in a spray bottle. 

Combine Water and Vinegar 1:3 Ratio in a Spray Bottle

The solution should last at least six months before you need to replenish it if you use it regularly.

You can make a stronger solution even going to a 1:1 ratio for heavy-duty cleaning.

Step 2: Add Disinfectant (Optional)

Veterinary Disinfectant products are designed to reduce the risk of the spread of infectious diseases from animals to humans. This is one that we have used in the past.

F10SC Veterinary Disinfectant 

  • Hospital Grade Disinfectant used by leading Reptile and Exotic Pet Breeders and Keepers.
  • Non-toxic, Non-corrosive & Biodegradable Disinfectant so has no adverse effects on People and Animals
  • Can be used in a wide range of applications – Disinfecting Cages, Water Bowls, Floors, Racks, Shelving, Toys, and Food Preparation Areas.
  • Disinfect after cleaning with no need to rinse off. Unlike many other products F10 stays active providing an ongoing protection.

These Disinfectants are used to kill or prevent the growth of microorganisms on inanimate objects like glass.

This process is done by applying the disinfectant to the surface of the object, letting it sit for some time, and then rinsing it off.

If you’d rather not use a commercial product then Lemon juice is a great cleaner and disinfectant. The juice will help break down the bacteria in the enclosure while giving it a more pleasant smell.

Step 3: Time to Scrub

Combine the vinegar with water in a spray bottle and spritz away on your tank’s glass. If you are worried about contamination then spray directly onto your cleaning cloth or sponge and then get scrubbing.

There is no getting away from the fact that there is some scrubbing involved, but this solution should make that pretty straightforward.

Time to Scrub the Glass Clean

Step 4: Long Handle Large Cleaning Scraper Tool for Scale Removal

For those hard to reach areas or those areas of the tank that have heavy water stains it’s important to have the right tools. 

If you’ve had difficulty scraping algae and soap scum off your glass tank, then this scraper might be the perfect tool for you! 

This is the one that I use.

4 Inch Long Handled Razor Blade Scraper

  • Perfect for removing water scum and debris from your reptiles tank glass.
  • 4-inch large scraper that has a larger cleaning area than many other mini blades or short blades.
  • 10-inch stainless steel long handle making it easier to get to those hard to reach areas.
  • 10 additional high carbon steel metal replacement blades.
  • Heavy duty scraper is made of high-strength aluminum alloy, stainless steel, and an engineered plastic non-slip handle.

The scraper has a long handle and is made of durable plastic material that won’t rust over time and can be a great time saver. I absolutely love it.

Step 5: Wipe Down and Dry

Once you’re done all the heavy scrubbing and scraping all that’s left to do is wipe down the glass.

Wipe the glass down.

By using a paper towel to dry off the glass will allow you to easily identify anywhere you may have missed during your clean.

It can also enable you to polish off any smear marks left on the glass.

How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Reptile Tank Glass?

There are lots of different types of reptiles, but they all fall into four categories – snakes, lizards, turtles, and tortoises. Sadly not all reptiles are created equally and some are dirtier than others.

A good rule of thumb is to do it every week or every fortnight. A simple wipe over may be all you need weekly and a thorough deep clean every month.

The glass of your reptile tank will get soiled with food, water, and faeces over time. So it is important to make the glass cleaning a regular part of your pet care routine and over time you’ll know how quickly the glass on your pets tanks needs cleaning.

What Else Can I Use to Clean My Reptile Tanks Glass?

Lemon juice is also an excellent cleaning agent that can be used for a variety of tasks. Juice from half a lemon mixed with water and soap creates a powerful cleaning solution and can be used to clean your reptile’s tank glass effectively.

Best Commercial Terrarium Glass Cleaner

Another great option you might want to consider is a commercial cleaner, like the Exo Terra Terrarium Glass Cleaner.

Exo Terra Terrarium Glass Cleaner

  • Quickly and efficiently removes various mineral deposits from your reptiles tank glass.
  • Perfect for removing calcium or lime stains
  • Non-toxic formula is free of ammonia, alcohol, dyes, synthetic perfumes and petrochemicals.
  • Works great on glass, plastic and other smooth surfaces.
  • Work really well on hard water marks

Exo Terra Terrarium Glass Cleaner is made from natural ingredients and it’s safe for those living creatures that live inside the tank. It also does not leave any residue or streaks on the glass which makes it easier for you to see what’s happening inside of your tank.

It also removes stubborn algae from the tanks without any scrubbing or hard work on your part.

This Glass Cleaner can be used as a great alternative to help keep your glass looking great without all the hassle!


Commercial cleaners that we use for our household items are great but can be very harmful and dangerous to use for cleaning your reptile tank glass.

As demonstrated using a few basic household items like vinegar can achieve the same results if not better and is the safest way to clean your reptile tank glass.

Go ahead and give it a try you might be quite surprised by the results.

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