The only "stink" I've ever had associated with a hamster are females - but that's their scent to attract males, and it's better to just suffer through it than risk exposing them to chemicals or chilling them from a bath. If this hamster is stinky, I'm assuming it's female. It never failed - every single female hamster I had, once they reached maturity, started giving off this horrible, stunk-like smell that sticks to your hands and clothing. That's one of the main reasons I tried to stick with males, unless a particular female called to me. Males don't stink at all. Otherwise they are very clean creatures, they're habitual washers just like cats. But if the hamster hasn't reached sexual maturity yet, or is male, being stinky isn't a good thing, and I'd question the care of it by the previous owners. I'm speaking of Syrians, by the way. I don't know how it is with dwarves - but I imagine any stench that isn't associated with sexual maturity is not a good thing. I only had one dwarf hamster, and didn't have a good time with her(she was mean), so, I haven't had any dwarves since.
And honestly, I never use bleach for any of my pets' cages or things. Actually, I don't use bleach, period. Vinegar is a fantastic disinfectant by itself. I use dish soap like once a month, or in preparation for a new arrival to make sure any traces of the last one are gone. For every usual cage cleaning, though, I just use straight vinegar. Also, vinegar and baking soda are a neat, highly effective cleaner mix that's completely safe.
Last edited by FlickeringHope; 01-30-2011 at 04:47 PM.