Chinchillas, unlike many pets, love taking dust baths. Restricting them from bathing is definitely a far worse thing to do to them than forcing them to bathe. They simply love it and chinchilla dust baths are fun to watch!
Chinchillas don’t bathe in water. Chinchilla baths consist of rolling around in dust, or ground pumice, to be precise. The dust absorbs oil and keeps the coat healthy, but bathing in dust too often can also dry out chinchilla skin.
There is a common misconception that chinchillas cannot get wet or their fur will fall out almost instantly. Chinchillas can get wet, but they do need to be dried immediately. Their fur is so dense that it has a difficult time air drying and retains moisture easily. When moisture is retained in a warm environment fungus grows, fur and skin will rot, and you will have a difficult infection to manage. Therefore, rolling around in the dust produces a much nicer looking chinchilla than water will.
Allowing your chinchilla to bathe in pumice dust several times a week in a container used exclusively for dust baths will help keep your chinchilla looking and feeling great.
Special houses are sold for chinchillas to bathe in, but any plastic container with tall enough edges to prevent all the dust from coming out will do.