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Does Irish Spring Really Repel Mice? The Truth Revealed

Plenty of myths are floating around the RV community about keeping pests and other critters away from RVs. One of the most common suggestions we see recommended by RVers is to use Irish Spring soap to repel mice. Some swear by it, and others say it does nothing.

So does Irish Spring repel mice? Let’s slam the trap shut and get to the bottom of this myth!

What does Irish Spring soap repel?

What Will Keep Mice Away?

Sadly, nothing will 100% keep mice away from structures, including RVs. The best way to prevent these pests is to remove whatever they hope to find, such as food, water, and shelter. Eliminating these items decreases the odds that mice will invade.

Because you can’t eliminate every possibility of keeping mice away, many people add a cat to their family. Many cats are hunters by nature and can help catch mice. Outside cats can catch them before they get into your home or RV. However, indoor cats wait patiently for their future snack to invade your residence.

➔ Of course, this begs the question, Can You Go Camping With Cats? Find out!

Does Irish Spring Really Repel Mice?

Mice and many other critters don’t like strong smells, such as the scents built into Irish Spring soap. The results are typically very unpredictable for those who have tried this method. Some have even had mice eat and scratch at the soap, which reveals that it’s useless in some cases.

Irish Spring Deodorant Bar Soap, Original, Green...
  • Helps skin retain its natural moisture
  • Invigorating scent
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When it works, the mice will likely only move far enough to where the scent no longer bothers them. This may be 3 or 4 feet away, not hundreds like you probably hope. Once the smell wears off, replace the soap if you hope it will continue to work.

So, does Irish Spring soap keep mice away? It can as long as it has strong scents and you place them properly. But it won’t work for every situation.

Irish Spring soap bar
While Irish Spring soap can help repel mice, it is not the most foolproof solution.

What Is the Best Natural Mouse Repellent?

We strongly recommend going natural when it comes to repelling mice. While Irish Spring soap may work to repel mice, you may find more effective natural methods. 

Using generous amounts of peppermint spray on cotton balls can be highly effective. Peppermint sprays have a powerful scent that drives mice crazy. However, peppermint’s smell is generally pleasing to humans and doesn’t overwhelm a space.

Mighty Mint 16oz Peppermint Oil Rodent Repellent...
  • Naturally Safe for People and Pets When Used as Directed - Smells...
  • Extra-Concentrated Strength for Long-Lasting Protection
  • Locally-Sourced, High-Grade Peppermint from the Pacific Northwest

You can easily spray the peppermint onto cotton balls and place them in areas where you’ve noticed frequent traffic from mice. You’ll want to replace them regularly as the scent can wear off and become ineffective. 

How Do I Keep Mice Out of My Home or RV?

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to keeping mice out of your home or RV. Like the best defense systems, you’ll need to deploy several methods. When all the systems work together, you can enjoy the best chances of keeping mice out of your home or RV.

Woman sitting in front of RV with mouse with an x through it
Keep mice out of your RV by sealing up any holes or cracks in your RV.

Seal It Up

Irish Spring soap may not help 100% of the time. So you first need to find where the mice enter your home or RV. These small, agile creatures can squeeze their way into tiny spaces. Young mice can even squeeze through holes or gaps as small as a pencil’s width.

We recommend using steel wool and foam gap sealant to close off any open spaces. Use a flashlight in tight spaces to reveal any holes you might miss. Look for holes around your plumbing and heat ducts as well.

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Loctite Tite Foam Gaps & Cracks Spray Foam...
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Clean It Up

Keeping your home or RV clean is also incredibly important. Mice will look for food and other materials to help them construct comfortable nests. Stay on top of cleaning up messes from food and other items that might attract mice.

Don’t leave food out on the counter, especially overnight. Once mice find a consistent source of food, they’ll come back. In the worst scenarios, they’ll spread the word to their friends and families and invite them to their newly discovered buffet.

Pro Tip: Keep your RV pest free with our tips on How to Keep Mice Out of Your Camper.

Woman refilling plastic containers in RV.
Store your food in thick plastic in your RV to keep mice out!

Store Your Food Right

The way you store your food is vital for keeping mice away. We strongly recommend investing in quality storage containers that are glass or very hard, thick plastic. They must be air-tight so the mice can’t smell or access the contents.

Amazon Basics Tritan Locking Food Storage...
  • 10-piece set with 5 clear plastic food storage containers with 5...
  • Set includes (2) 0.58-cup containers with lids, (2) 1.69-cup...
  • Ideal for storing leftovers, dry goods, fresh ingredients, school...

Using these storage containers will help keep mice away and with organization. Some of these containers can be expensive, but they’re worth every penny if they keep pests from finding your spices and other strong-smelling ingredients. Then you might consider adding other potent smells to repel mice, such as Irish Spring soap.

Use Repellents

You can find electronic and natural repellents for mice. Electronic repellents can be great, but research shows that mice can grow accustomed to the frequencies and render them useless. Look for an electronic repellent that changes frequencies to help reduce the chances of it becoming ineffective.

Pro Tip: Find out if you can use steel wool to repel mice from your camper.

Natural repellants like plants and other natural smells like peppermint oil, cayenne peppers, and cloves also work well. Irish Spring soap may have a powerful scent to do the job too. 

Mice don’t like these strong-smelling scents and will run as fast as they can to get away from them. Just make sure you check the potency regularly to avoid them becoming ineffective.

Set Traps

You can find various traps, including no-kill options. Most people typically use traps as the last line of defense. No matter what type you pick, check them regularly and make sure they’re ready to go. An unset trap is useless, and any bait is a free snack for mice.

Pro Tip: Keep critters out with these 5 Best Rodent Repellents That Actually Work.

Mouse trap set up.
When in doubt, set traps in your RV to keep rodents out.

Use Irish Spring Soap to Smell Fresh and Keep Mice Away

Keeping your RV fresh and clean will help keep mice away. However, Irish Spring soap isn’t the magical solution to keeping every mouse out of your home or RV. If you apply the tips we’ve shared today, you’ll have a solid defense against mice and a fresh-smelling residence. You can regain control of your home and win the battle against those pesky critters.

What are your tricks for keeping your RV mice free? Tell us in the comments!

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About Tom Morton

Tom, a Pacific Northwest native, is our technical genius. Born in Washington and raised in Alaska before settling in Michigan. He's the man who keeps our operation running, both figuratively and literally.

With a background in Electrical Engineering, Tom specializes in RV solar systems and lithium batteries. He made history as the first documented individual to use a Tesla battery module as an RV battery. Tom has personally assisted countless RVers with system installations and has educated thousands more through his videos and articles.

Cinematography is another of Tom's passions, showcased in his work on the Go North series. You can see his camera skills on display in The RVers TV show on Discovery Channel and PBS where he also stars as a co-host.

Tom's mechanical expertise extends beyond RVs to boats, planes, and all things mechanical. He's renowned for taking on maintenance and repair projects single-handedly and is often spotted underneath RVs, making him the technical backbone of our endeavors.

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Jan

Wednesday 31st of May 2023

Mice ate the Urush Spring soap we put in our camper. They pooed on the dryer sheets. Thise two methods don't work!

Pat

Monday 11th of July 2022

Yes have used Irish spring , and lasted one winter . Pepermint oil great if your around to refresh the oil.not good for when your not there , like if you don’t use your rv fir a few months . We use sonic plugins . We have 2 kinds and try and switch them up every 6 months or so .been almost 3 years now , no mice . Last resort we have used electronic mouse trap , bait it , turn it on and zap they are dead , no poison. Again you have to be around to empty them .

Bob

Wednesday 6th of July 2022

Copper wool instead of steel wool is a better choice to aid in sealing holes and cracks. Copper wool does not rust, leaving stains and decay over time as steel wool does. If you plug a hole with copper wool, inject foam sealant into the mass to make it near permanent. There are foam sealants that contain insecticides so you work serves double duty. If holes and gaps are larger, use hardware cloth (wire mesh) instead of copper wool. This work great along longer and elongated openings. Just fold in half, tuck in and foam. Note the RV industry (at least better builders) uses a high density foam sealant that dries harder than the big box/home owner stuff. It's typically black...

Kaydee

Friday 7th of July 2023

@Bob, This, (yours), is the only method, along with peppermint oil, that truly works. And I have a friend that keeps using the wrong steel wool and had to learn the hard way that it decays and breaks apart. The copper/wire steel wool is the one to use with the foam--just as you stated