How to Sterilize Sand

Sterilizing their sand every four weeks can help keep hermit crabs and other creatures healthy.
Sterilizing their sand every four weeks can help keep hermit crabs and other creatures healthy. (Image: Jeffrey Hamilton/Lifesize/Getty Images)

If you are keeping animals such as crabs or reptiles that require sand in their habitat, keep that sand as clean as possible by sterilizing it. Over time, bacteria can come to inhabit sand, often as a result of animal excrement. Sterilizing the sand can remove this possible health hazard and prevent infections. Keeping the sand clean also helps eliminate mite infestations.

Things You'll Need

  • Deep bowl
  • Large pot
  • Large bucket
  • Baking tray

Empty the sand into a deep bowl.

Boil a large pot full of water. Pour the boiling water on the sand and stir until all the sand gets fully submerged in boiling water.

Let the sand stand for five minutes.

Drain the sand and repeat the process if the sand is really dirty.

Drain the sand into a large bucket and rinse thoroughly under running water. Once the water from the buckets is running clean, it means that the sand is also clean.

Drain the sand on a towel to soak up excess water. Get as much water out of the sand as possible.

Put the sand on a clean baking sheet.

Bake the sand in the oven at 180 degrees Fahrenheit for 1/2 hour to remove any remaining water and complete the sterilizing process.

Remove the sand from the oven, allow it to cool and crumble any lumps.

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