How to Moisturize a Turtle Shell?

how to moisturize a turtle shell

Turtles are one of the most popular pets in the world and there are many people who own turtles. One common problem that turtle owners face is how to moisturize a turtle shell.

The shell may become dry for a variety of reasons, but fortunately, there are several solutions that can help fix the problem.

In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why a turtle’s shell may become dry and how you can help moisturize it properly.

Related Article: How To Stop Algae Growth In Turtle Tank?

What causes dry shells in turtles?

There can be a few reasons why a turtle’s shell may become dry. One of the most common reasons is that the turtle isn’t getting enough water. This can be because the turtle doesn’t have easy access to a water source, or because it isn’t drinking enough water. Dehydration can also cause shells to become dry.

If your turtle has been in an environment with high temperatures, such as an oven-like room in the summer months or the wrong tank temperature, its shell may have lost moisture due to the heat. Another reason for a dry shell could be that the turtle is sick and not absorbing nutrients properly, which will lead to a decrease in hydration levels all over its body, including its shell.

If you’re not sure why your turtle’s shell is dry, it’s best to take it to the vet for a check-up. Once you’ve determined the cause of the problem, you can start working on a solution.

Below are some of the reasons which may cause dry shells in turtles:

Hard water

Hard water contains heavy minerals which get deposited on the turtle shell, giving it an appearance of a dry looking shell. There are a few solutions to this problem.

The first is to use a soft cloth and distilled water to wipe down the shell. This will remove any deposits that have built up on the shell.

The second solution is to use a commercial turtle shell conditioner. These products can be found at most pet stores and will help to moisturize the turtle shell.

The third solution is to give the turtle a bath. This will help to remove any built-up dirt or deposits on the shell. Make sure to dry the turtle off completely afterwards, as turtles can catch a cold easily if they are wet for too long.

Following one of these solutions should help to keep your turtle’s shell healthy and looking great!


Dehydration is one of the most common reasons a turtle’s shell may look dry. If your turtle isn’t drinking enough water, it can lead to dehydration and a dry shell. The best way to solve this problem is to make sure your turtle has access to clean water and is drinking regularly.

There are a few other solutions you can try if your turtle’s shell is still looking dry:

– Moisten their food with water before feeding them

– Use a humidifier in their enclosure

– Give them a warm bath (don’t forget to remove any chlorine from the water first!) for 20-30 minutes once every week or two.

– Put a damp towel or cloth inside their enclosure to help increase the humidity level. Change it out regularly to keep it fresh.

High temperatures in the tank

High temperatures in the tank could take away the moisture from their skin and shell. This leaves their shell looking dry. It is important to moisturize the turtle shell in order to keep it healthy.

There are a few reasons why the turtle shell may become dry. One reason is that the tank’s temperature is too high. When the tank is too hot, it dries out the turtle’s skin and shell. Another reason for a dry shell can be due to low humidity levels in the tank. If there isn’t enough moisture in the air, it will also take away moisture from the turtle’s skin and shell.

The good news is that there are ways to fix this problem! You can increase the humidity level in your tank by adding a humidifier, or you can mist the turtle’s shell with a spray bottle filled with water. You can also lower the temperature of your tank if it is too hot. If you are not sure what the ideal temperature for your turtle’s tank should be, you can ask your veterinarian or do some research online.

Turtle basking too much

The turtle will get a dry shell if it is basking too much. This is because the heat will evaporate the oils and moisture on their shell. One possible reason for this situation could be your basking light being too close to the turtle. This will expose their shell to excess heat and eventually lead to a dry shell. There are a few things you can do to help your turtle with a dry shell.

One way to moisturize your turtle’s shell is to use a turtle moisturizing lotion that is made specifically for Reptiles. Another way to help your reptile friend is to feed them foods that contain high levels of vitamin A, such as carrots or sweet potatoes.

You can also try giving them a bath in warm water with mild soap about once a week. Be sure to rinse their shell off completely afterwards so they don’t ingest any soap!

Make sure you only use these methods if the turtle has a dry shell. If the turtle’s skin looks healthy, then there is no need to apply any kind of moisture to its shell.

Improper diet

Poor diet is the number one reason for turtles having a dry shell. A lack of important nutrients can cause the shell to become brittle and cracked. If you’re not sure what to feed your turtle, ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.

Retained scutes

Turtle shed their scutes every once in a while. When the scutes are not shed properly, they will accumulate and cause the shell to look dry. This problem is very common in turtles that are kept indoors and do not bask under UV light often.

There are a few ways to help moisturize the shell so it looks healthy again.

One way is to soak the turtle in a bath of warm water for about 15-30 minutes. Be sure to use a gentle soap or shampoo if you need to clean the shell as well.

Afterwards, dry off the turtle completely with a towel and apply a coat of moisturizing cream or lotion to the shell using your fingers. Rub it in until it is fully absorbed. Do this twice a day until the scutes fall off on their own.

How to moisturize a turtle shell?

Depending on the severity of the dryness there are a few things you can do to help moisturize your turtle’s shell.

For light to moderate drying, you can use a commercial reptile skin moisturizer. This type of product can be sprayed directly onto the shell and will help to replenish moisture levels. Be sure to follow the directions on the package, as some products should only be used once or twice a week.

Another option is to create a mixture of 50% water and 50% apple cider vinegar, which can be applied to the shell with a soft cloth. If your turtle is dehydrated, make sure to increase its water intake and provide a humid environment.

It is important to keep your turtle’s shell clean and free of bacteria, so make sure to rinse off any moisturizing treatments with warm water.

In addition to moisturizing the shell, it is also important to provide your turtle with a healthy diet and plenty of freshwaters. A well-hydrated turtle will have less trouble keeping its shell moist.

If your turtle’s shell is very dry and cracked, you may need to see a veterinarian for treatment. Cracked shells can become infected, and will not heal without professional care.

Turtle shell conditioner you can try

If your turtle’s shell is dry, cracked, or peeling, you can apply a turtle conditioner to help moisturize and protect it. We recommend the following products:

Image Product Price Purchase Link
Nature Zone Turtle Bath Treatment $11.17 Buy on Amazon
Nature Zone Rot Guard Enhance Immune System of Reptiles $9.37 Buy on Amazon

These products are available at pet stores and online retailers. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product packaging.


If your turtle’s shell is looking dry, there are a few things you can do to help moisturize it. Soaking the turtle in the water, applying a moisturizing cream or lotion, and providing a healthy diet are all effective ways to keep the shell looking healthy. If the dryness is severe, you may need to see a veterinarian for treatment. Cracked shells can become infected and will not heal without professional care.