Answer: They will clean themselves and they do not naturally have a bad smell or scent glands. Bathing a hedgehog can be dangerous because it is difficult to get them completely dry and they can get chilled very easily and die from the cold. They can also over-heat in water that is too warm. Bathing hedgehogs should not be done frequently and a better alternative is to use baby wipes to spot clean their quills or feet if they get dirty. If you absolutely must bathe them do not use any soap. Use a toothbrush to scrub their quills gently and keep them wrapped in a towel for 30 min to an hour after to get them fully dry.
There are a few circumstances where a bath may be beneficial to a hedgehog. One is if you have a hedgehog with dry skin - this can happen when fed cat food, with the use of certain beddings, or if they have reactions to perfumes, soaps or detergents. They may be scratching a lot or have a red or dry belly. I like to give them a coconut oil bath in these cases. Use a shallow tray and luke-warm water with a couple tablespoons of coconut oil mixed in. Let the hedgehog run around for a few minutes in the shallow bath and use the toothbrush to softly work the coconut oil into the quills to moisturize. It is okay for them to lick or drink some of this water – coconut oil is good for hedgies. Be sure to dry your baby as much as possible after any bath and keep him/her warm for the next hour or two to avoid chills.