The best way to keep your pet chinchilla healthy is to keep the cage clean. A dirty cage can lead to parasites or infection, not to mention will smell bad.
What to clean with:
Vinegar – use 50% vinegar/ 50% water solution and rinse.
Bleach – use 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Be sure to rinse thoroughly several times. Note that bleach will eat away powder coating on cages
Daily: dump out the fines or crumbs from the pellets before you refill food. Refill water if needed (changing the water daily is also a good idea especially if you have a vacuum ball bottle) and test that the bottle is working once it is on the cage. Spot clean cage as necessary, sweep droppings off shelves and empty houses and hammocks, wipe down walls behind and near cage if they have been sprayed.
Weekly: wash water bottle and food dish. Dump pan weekly or as needed. Wire bottom cages or cages with more than one chinchilla may need the pan to be changed more often; wash/scrub pan. Sand down any dirty wood shelves, houses, or toys.
Every couple months: Wash full cage thoroughly, wash or replace wooden shelves and accessories.
**Wood is porous and harbors bacteria so it is very important to the health of your chinchilla to keep the wooden areas of the cage clean. You can soak wood in bleach or vinegar solution, rinse, and air dry. **
Q. What if I clean my cage often but the room still smells of ammonia?
A. Try different type of shavings, the more the shavings get mixed up, the more urine they will absorb. Generally I’ve found that small shavings work better because they get mixed better and the wet stuff will fall to the bottom of the cage, leaving the dryer shavings on top. Another possibility is that the room has poor ventilation or high humidity, try improving ventilation or adding a dehumidifier.