I cringe when I think about finding little balls of shredded paper and corners of old boxes torn into tiny pieces. I love animals, but I must confess, mice are not animals I want in my home.
After finding a small nest of mice in an old cardboard box in the attic, I knew something had to be done. I heard rumors about dryer sheets and wondered whether dryer sheets repel mice.
Many homeowners, RV, and camper owners have had great success in keeping mice away with dryer sheets. They say Bounce dryer sheets work the best. There is some debate on whether dryer sheets work to keep mice away, as an infestation can be horrible to get rid of quickly.
When I looked into the available information about using dryer sheets to repel mice, I found two vastly different opinions on the matter. I decided I would share all the information I discovered while researching the idea of using dryer sheets to repel mice.
Do Dryer Sheets Repel Mice?
There is some debate on how effective using dryer sheets to repel mice are. Some people swear by this method for light mice issues, and others say it does nothing.
After researching using dryer sheets to keep mice away, I found that dryer sheets might keep a small mice problem at bay, but not an infestation.
Mice have a very intense sense of smell. With their noses being so sensitive they can smell a piece of food from across your home, you need to find something substantial to keep them at bay.
Dryer sheets are made from nonwoven polyester sheets coated in a softening agent. It has a powerful fragrance added that lasts the whole drying cycle. The intense fragrance is released, and it helps your clothes smell great.
Dryer sheets were explicitly created to carry intense fragrance to clothes, last for a long time, and keep their potency. It is this strong smell that mice can’t stand. The mice smell the dryer sheet, and this irritates and overwhelms their sense of smell.
If they only smell the strong fragrance and not food, it won’t entice them to enter your home.
What to Do Before Using Dryer Sheets to Repel Mice
Before you fill your house in dryer sheets, there are a few things you need to look over to help further eliminate the likelihood of attracting mice to your house:
- Fill up or repair any cracks and crevices that mice might squeeze through.
- Wash your refuse bins at least once a week to keep the foul odors from attracting any unwanted rodents.
- Don’t leave food unattended; the smell can travel, and mice will love a midnight snack.
- Please keep your pet food in sealed containers to minimize the odor it releases into the air.
- Cut down any big bushes and clean up any piles of leaves or clutter in your yard that could shelter or attract mice.
If you already have mice freeloading in your house, the first thing you need to do is clean up the nesting site, removing all the little pieces of plastic, cardboard, material, and paper they use as nesting material.
Sanitize the entire area and see if you have any cracks or places where the mice can get in, block off those entry points. Look for the trails that the mice take when going in and out of your house, and if you see droppings, follow their trail to find their nest.
If you are unsure if you have mice but want to use the dryer sheets anyway, look around at potential places mice might find appealing. These are the areas where the dryer sheets will work their magic.
How to Use Dryer Sheets to Repel Mice
Mice are attracted to food, warmth, and darkness. Using the dryer sheets in all the places they want to frequent will effectively keep them at bay.
Write down all the places you will put the sheets in to remember where you need to replace the sheets when it is time.
Now that you have your areas in mind, here is how you use the dryer sheets to keep mice away from your house:
- Take your dryer sheets (unused) and rub them all along the trial the mice take to get around your house; it will leave a sharp scent behind that will keep the mice away from their regular route in your house.
- Now place some sheets along their route; if it’s a narrow route, cut the dryer sheets into smaller pieces.
- Rub dryer sheets all along your kitchen area and even your refuse bin. Rub some dryer sheets all along your pantry, your kitchen baseboards, behind your fridge, inside your cabinets, and in any place, you might have food and warmth that might entice mice.
- After rubbing all these places with dryer sheets, place some fresh sheets in strategic places in your kitchen, pantry, behind the fridge, and your kitchen baseboards. It will keep the scent of the sheets for longer if you leave some dryer sheets behind.
How Often Should I Replace the Dryer Sheets to Repel Mice?
Because mice have sensitive noses, the dryer sheets won’t keep them away for too long. These sheets also lose some of the potent fragrance after about a week.
The best way to make sure the fragrance keeps their noses irritated enough to keep them away from your house is to change all the dryer sheets at least once a week. Remember to rub a fresh dryer sheet along all the places the mice like to frequent.
Pros and Cons of Using Dryer Sheets to Repel Mice
There are pros and cons to using dryer sheets to repel mice. Here is some food for thought:
- The smell is potent enough to repel mice, according to some homeowners and camper enthusiasts.
- Dryer sheets are very affordable, and they last a long time if you buy them in bulk.
- They are user-friendly, have no harsh chemicals that can harm you, and you place them where you need them.
- Most people like the smell of dryer sheets. It smells better than the other forms of keeping mice away, like pesticides.
- Dryer sheets are a more humane way of repelling mice. It won’t kill them; they just dislike the smell.
- Mice adapt pretty quickly, and the dryer sheets might not hold them back for long as they get used to the smell and resume their regular activity.
- Tight spaces might be a problem. Getting dryer sheets into tight corners high up in some parts of your ceiling might not be a viable option.
- Dryer sheets will only stave off a few mice at a time; if you have an infestation, you need to call in professional exterminators.
- Dryer sheets are not safe to use if your pets love to chew on new fresh-smelling things.
- If you don’t replace the old dryer sheets every week, the mice will use them to make a warm and cozy nest.
Why Do Some Say Dryer Sheets Don’t Repel Mice?
The theory behind using dryer sheets to repel mice is that dryer sheets are polyester sheets that are covered in positively charged ions; this carries and keeps a powerful odor that mice can’t stand. This theory is under heavy debate, however.
On one side, you have the people who say they have tried dryer sheets as mice repellent, and it definitely works, and on the other side, some say they have soaked their home and cars in dryer sheets, and the mice just walk over it.
What Other Scents Will Repel Mice?
If dryer sheets are debatable to use as a mice repellent, are there other smells that will deter mice from your home? Here are some other strange ways of deterring mice:
- I have seen many people comment that you can use Vicks and chili flakes to keep mice away from your house. It sounds like quite a potent combination. All you do is rub this mixture in the places mice like to get into, and they should stay away.
- Another person says that she used peppermint oil on the dryer sheets, which worked wonders for her unwanted rodent guest in the basement.
- Some of the repellents you can buy at pet stores or online have the scent of cat urine in the mix, which terrifies mice. You can try to spray this repellent on the dryer sheets; it will ensure the foul smell of cat urine can be removed when you throw out the old dryer sheets.
- Ammonia throws mice off any food smell, and putting this on cotton balls will deter them from the places in your house they love, like your kitchen and pantry.
- Cayenne Pepper and Pepper flakes are another smell and taste that mice can’t stand. If you sprinkle this in their favorite places to hang out, it will keep them away.
- One of the most potent smells that mice don’t like is eucalyptus. Put some of this oil onto cotton balls and in the small nooks and crannies that mice like to camp out. Some homeowners have found this an effective way of keeping mice away.
- If you have any small space, cracks, or holes that mice get through, close it using steel wool and a caulk gun. Mice can’t chew through the steel wool, and those spots will be mice-free in no time.
- Some suggest that using cloves or tea leaves in the mice hot spots will keep them away from your house.
What Kinds of Destruction Can Mice Cause?
Believe it or not, mice are incredibly destructive critters. Here are some of the ways they can cause damage:
- They will chew through almost anything, wires, concrete, drywall, wood.
- They will build nests in your walls, attic, basement, and even your car engine.
- They will chew through the foundation of your home to get materials for their nest or to get food.
- As if that wasn’t bad enough, mice are good swimmers, so if you have a broken or cracked pipe that leads to your house, they will swim up the pipe and into your home in search of food, warmth, and a cozy place to shack up.
It is crucial to curb a mice problem before it gets out of hand and turns into a full-on infestation.
When to Call in the Pest Control Professionals
If you have tried all manner of humane ways to get rid of mice, and nothing has worked to keep mice at bay, you need to call in the professionals to get the mice out of your home. Mice can be more dangerous than a lot of people realize.
Mice carry deadly diseases like salmonella, and this can carry over to humans. If you come into contact with contaminated droppings, urine, and bedding, you could become very ill, leading to death. It might sound like I’m joking, but the truth is, mice are a health hazard.
Professional pest control companies can use humane ways to control the infestation and keep it that way. They use humane, catch and release traps, potent rodent repellent, and baits.
They catch mice and let them go away from residential areas. They can also show you how to keep mice away in the future. So if you are overrun, the first thing you want to do is phone an expert.
Mice are not only a health hazard but can cause damage to your home and property. Even so, there are a lot of ways to keep mice away.
One way is to use fresh dryer sheets in all the strategic places that mice may find appealing. RV and Camper owners say that the Bounce dryer sheets work wonders to keep mice at bay and stick to their guns on this topic.
Many other people have said that it doesn’t work for them, and they would rather use alternative means of getting rid of mice. Whatever you decide on the matter, it is imperative to get rid of mice as soon as possible. If all the other ways don’t work, give dryer sheets a try.
I have a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies…I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.