Do Chameleons Need Baths?

When was the last time you wanted to hold a dirty pet? Well, we guess the answer is ‘Never’. After all, who wants to see their pet covered with mud and dirt, right? Even if they get a bit dirty, a bath should be enough to clean them. But what about bathing a unique pet like a chameleon? Do they really need it? 

Well, baths are unnecessary for chameleons since they usually do not clean themselves using this method. In addition, with a few exceptions, they avoid coming in touch with water, even if they’re in the wild. And if you’re asking about forced bathing, it actually stresses them up.

But how to give a chameleon a bath when it has become an absolute necessity? After all, you never know when you might need to go for that (under your vet’s advice, of course). So, we thought of putting some light on that topic with this article, along with some more aspects that you might need to know for your favorite color shifter.

Is Bathing Your Chameleon A Good Idea? 

We wish there were an easier answer to this. In most cases, a chameleon can go a while without a bath. Nonetheless, when you’re chameleon gets excessively dirty, where its skin can get infected, giving it a bath shouldn’t be wrong. At times, even your vet might suggest going for a bath under certain health issues.

But no matter what makes you do it, using lukewarm water is the best way to get the job done. By the way, while bathing the reptile, you must ensure that water is not getting into its eyes and mouth. To be on the way safe side, you can simply pick a spray bottle filled with lukewarm water and spray all over it

Don’t worry; nobody said that putting it in a container filled with water is a bad idea. So, that option is open for you as well. One more thing! Before you wash anything, make sure it needs a bath badly. 

By the way, there’s something interesting we’ve found lately. Some chameleon owners have said that keeping their reptiles in front of a fan reduces the frequency of bathing. We haven’t checked out the fact’s authenticity yet, but that surely can be less stressful for the reptile if it’s true. 

How to Bath a Chameleon? 

Chameleons are never a fan of bathing, and they’ll never be. But under certain circumstances, you might have no other choice but to do that. Now the question is – how will you do that? After all, they’re nothing like any of your random pets and require extra attention on the care part, even when you’re trying to give them a bath.

Well, don’t worry; it’s no rocket science and won’t make you take any extra headaches like using specialized bowls or cleaning soaps. In order to give a chameleon a bath, the first thing you’re going to need is a shallow dish that is filled with warm, filtered water. 

See also  What To Do With Chameleon When You Are Going On A Vacation?

After that, put the reptile in the water, and after about 15 minutes, allow it to soak in the water. Be careful and keep a close check on them to prevent them from drowning. Once the 15 minutes have passed, take the chameleon out of the water and set it on a towel so that it can dry off.

When bathing your chameleon, try to match the water temperature with the room temperature, or you can just keep it slightly warmer. And don’t forget to use a large enough container so that it gets enough room to make a move.

In case you’ve got nothing like that, feel free to use whatever is most convenient for you. It can be a sink, bathtub, or even outdoors, if the weather permits, of course. And while rinsing the reptile, make sure that you’re getting rid of all the crevices you’re seeing on their skin.

What is the Biggest Benefit of Bathing Your Chameleon?

Chameleons are creatures native to deserts that have evolved to live in situations with minimal humidity. Many people have the misconception that chameleons do not need to be bathed and that getting too much water in their bodies can simply kill them. Well, calling it an urban legend won’t e anything wrong.

Bathing is actually useful for chameleons not only because it helps them stay hydrated or healthy. It can also help them out in keeping their body temperature right on point, which is especially important on hot days. 

Similarly to the humans, clean skin is essential for them as well, to stay away from diseases. Plus, a bath can simply save them from scale rot and any other infections that can be triggered by parasites. So, if you’re thinking of never giving your chameleon a shower, then we’ll say it better come out of that decision in order to keep them healthy. 

Can Bathing Help Chameleons with Shedding? 

Like lot of the reptiles, chameleons too have to deal with shedding problems at times. As a logic in favor of bathing, we can say – warm water and maintaining a high humidity level can occasionally be helpful in eliminating any shedding that has been lodged.

Again, from a rational perspective, you may believe that a relaxing soak in a hot bath is a wonderful remedy for this problem. But in reality, it’s not. The thing is, a bath is more likely to stress up a chameleon than it is to aid in the process of losing its skin.

Now the question is – is there any other way more effective than bathing when it comes to fixing up the shedding problem? Well, when you’re reptile is fighting with shedding issues, then the best solution we can think of is increasing the duration of misting session. 

And yes, we’re talking about misting with warm water. After all, this is a far more effective option compared to bathing. By the way, if you’re not okay with that too, things can be improved even further by giving your reptile a shower.

How Chameleons Get Themselves Cleaned Without A Bath? 

For any chameleon enthusiast, this might be a common question – if these reptiles hate bathing so much, then how do they clean themselves up in the first place? Well, the credit here goes to their amazingly long and strong tongue. 

Yup, you’ve heard it right. They can clean themselves with their prehensile tongue. And guess what? They even use it to wipe their noses and eyes. But do your know what is more surprising? They do take a bath when they get exceptionally dirty. But the frequency of that is nothing close to most of the other reptiles.

See also  Why Is My Chameleon Turning White?

Which One is Better for Your Chameleon – A Bath or A Shower?

Well, it’s okay if you’re not counting bathing your chameleon as the best option to clean it up. But what about a shower? Yes, it is quite useful to give a Chameleon a shower. But you should only do so under specific conditions and only when it is absolutely required.

Just like bathing, showering too can be really helpful in fixing up major shedding issues. Actually, sometimes this method will allow the lost skin to be more easily dislodged. And guess what? Showering a chameleon is way easier than giving it a bath with your own hand. 

When it comes to giving your reptile a shower, all you have to do is just place it on a huge plant in the bathroom’s shower. Then adjust the shower’s temperature to warm, but make sure it’s not too hot for the chameleon. But the most important thing to keep in mind is you just can’t aim the water flow on your chameleon and better aim it to the wall. 

If you put the reptile direct under the shower, that’ll stress it up more than you can imagine. So, if you just simply make the shower water hit the wall, it’ll collide with the hard surface and produce a spray.

3 Best Ways to Hydrate A Chameleon Apart From Bathing? 

To be honest, we’ve never considered bathing as the best way to hydrate a chameleon. After all, the process is quite stressful for them in every way. But sometimes bathing becomes more than essential for the reptile’s well-being. That doesn’t mean there’s no other way to keep them hydrated. Actually, there are a whole bunch of other ways for you to give a shot.

1. Misting 

One of the best things about misting is it can range from a hand mister to an automated system. So, whether you prefer to do itself or leave it on an automated system – you’re free to pick both. The prime purpose of misters is to sprinkle water all over the cage and make leaves gather water on them. This water, later on, gets consumed by the chameleons, which keeps them hydrated. 

But if you’re asking for the best of the ways of misting, we’ll say think of nothing but the Automatic misters. The thing is, unlike manual misters, you won’t have to be there physically to run the misting operation. This means you’ve got no chance of missing the misting session, even if you’re on some kind of vacation or something.

And there’s one more thing about these misters that we believe you’re going to love for sure. It doesn’t stress out the reptile. Actually, when it comes to misting, the machines like this simply replicate the rain, which the reptiles usually get in their natural habitat. Thinking of it as another session of rain, they don’t stress themselves out and will also get cleaned with zero hassles.

2. Hand Spray

We can totally understand if you don’t want your retile to give a bath and put it in a stressful situation. But ensuring hydration is also something that you can’t skip at all. So, if you’re really not relying on the automated mister that much, you can always go for hand spray. 

See also  5 Best Pet Chameleons for Handling: Expert Picks for Beginners

All you have to do here is just put water in a spray bottle and spray it all over the enclosure. Don’t forget to make sure that your reptile is getting covered with the water too. But don’t even think about spraying directly on them, as that’ll make the whole situation super stressful for them. 

3. Drippers

Looking for the easiest way to hydrate your reptile? Well, go for the gravity-fed dripper. You can simply grab a cup and make a hole in there, from where the reptile can get its water. But as that might be a bit messy, we suggest using a reptile dripper that comes with its own water reservoir and also a valve that’ll help you to adjust the drip rate.

One of the best things about these drippers is you don’t need to spend thick bucks on them. Plus, you can set them up without any major technical expertise. All you have to do is just follow the instructions that come with the dripper.

Why Most Chameleon Owners Prefer Misting Over Bathing?

If you’re going to take a survey from the chameleon owners, we bet most of them will choose to mist over bathing. We don’t blame them actually, as they pick the less stressful method to hydrate and clean up their reptile at the same time. Still, for the sake of argument, let us get into some major aspects that make them prefer misting more. 

Comparatively Easy

Unlike bathing, misting is comparatively an easier operation to execute. When it comes to bathing, you need to get a container, fix up the water temperature, give the reptile a hand bath, and dry it up.

The whole process takes around one hour and sometimes even more. But when it comes to misting, it takes a click of a button to start misting, and the whole session doesn’t take more than 15 minutes. 

Less Stressful

Needless to say, the reptile goes through a lot of stress, even after you’re done with the bathing. Plus, like most of the arboreal reptiles, they don’t like to be handled. But during bathing, you’ve got no other choice but to grab them. This way, they feel stressed, and the same happens when you put them in the water. 

But misting replicates the vibe of rain, and raining is something chameleons are used to, even in their natural habitat. So that doesn’t stress them out, and they also feel safe consuming that rainwater. 


There’s no significant tech still advanced enough that can get your pet a bath automatically. Even if there’s any, it can’t give a chameleon a bath for sure. So, you’ve got no other choice but to do it manually. 

On the contrary, misting sessions can be automated. All you’re going to need is a timer and the right mister. This way, you can run the misting session without being there. 

Before You Go…..

Okay! Now you know that you can give your chameleon a bath, and you don’t have to let it roam dirty all the time. But what about soaking? Have you given a thought to that too?

Well, if you’re really planning to give that a shot as well, then we say before you do anything on that, take a peek at our newest blog – Can You Soak A Chameleon? That’ll surely change your perspective about soaking, we bet!

Sharing is caring!

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


This site is owned and operated by Muntaseer Rahman. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.