Fixing A Squeaky Wheel

Hey Terri (and all your friendly lil degus),

I see you use metal wheels in all your degu’s cages, I have a wheel just like yours but sometimes when they use it, it started to squeak like crazy! How can I make that stop? Is there a way to modify the wheel to stop the squeak or any sort of temporary solution? This noise is driving me nuts! And they always want to run extra on school nights!!!!

– Kimmy (13 years old)

Fixing a Squeaky Hamster Wheel
Yep Kimmy, I have a great solution for temporarily fixing that crazy squeak!

Dab the axle with some vegetable oil or olive oil. It’s a safe lubricant that will reduce the squeak for a day or two and won’t harm your little ones if [more like when] they ingest it. Just make sure you give your metal wheel a good cleaning every time you clean out the cage, the oil will build up some dust /dirt residue on the axle making the squeaky noise return.

Note: Don’t use any of those fancy flavored olive oils for a couple reasons.

  1. You don’t want to encourage your degu to lick off the oil
  2. It’s more expensive and doesn’t provide any better de-squeaking than regular veggie oil

I keep a small bottle of vegetable oil with my degu food supply, along with a pile of q-tips (or cotton swabs) and some paper towels.

If the axle is clean or you need a quick fix:
  • Leave the wheel in the enclosure
  • Dip the end of a Q-tip into the veggie oil
  • Use the oiled end of the Q-tip to dab some oil onto the contact points on the wheel (see photo above)
  • Spin the wheel a little and dab the other sides (inside, outside, top and bottom!)
If the axle is a little dirty:
  • Take the wheel out of the enclosure
  • Separate the wheel from the stand
  • Dab some veggie oil onto a paper towel
  • Use the oiled paper towel to lubricate the axle contact points on both the wheel and the stand while rubbing off the build up
  • Put the wheel together then back in the cage
If the axle is really dirty:
  • Take the wheel out of the enclosure
  • Separate the wheel from the stand
  • Throw em in the sink or tub and wash em down with a mild soap or detergent
  • Rinse and completely dry the pieces
  • Dab a tiny bit of veggie oil on the axle contact point
  • Put the wheel together then back in the cage