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Does Steel Wool Keep Mice Away?

Does Steel Wool Keep Mice Away?

Mice are everywhere and almost impossible to keep out of dwellings but that doesn’t stop us from trying. There are so many products and methods that are touted to repel and keep mice away, and one of them is steel wool.

But does it work? Let’s take a closer look and see!

Does Steel Wool Keep Mice Away?

Using steel wool is one line of defense for keeping mice away. However, simply laying steel wool around your home won’t do the trick. You need to use the steel wool to plug any holes or entrances where mice get into your living space.

Once you plug the holes, it is nearly impossible for mice to chew their way through the steel wool. Due to the thick layers of steel wiring, the mice will likely give up and look for an alternative solution. This is why it’s essential to thoroughly search for any potential spots for mice to get inside.

Using Steel Wool To Seal/Close A Mouse Opening

What Is It About Steel Wool That Keeps Mice Away?

It’s not the steel wool itself that repels mice but the fact that it can be used to keep them from getting in. Steel wool is a non-toxic material that’s incredibly sharp and rough. As a result, it’s not easy for mice to chew through it without damaging their mouths. As they chew through each layer, they meet sharp edges that can be painful to touch and rub against.

While mice may be pesky and determined creatures, they’re typically no match against steel wool. They’ll throw in the towel, look for an alternative entrance, or pack up their stuff and find a new residence. If you do a good job of sealing off any holes, there’s a chance you’ll be able to eliminate mice from your home in no time.

Pro Tip: Do you live in an RV? Use our guide on How to Keep Mice Out of a Camper.

Steel wool pads
Steel wool isn’t just for scrubbing stubborn dishes. It can also keep mice away.

Where Should You Put Steel Wool to Keep Mice Out of a Structure?

You should use steel wool anywhere mice can penetrate your home. Look for any entry points that mice could use to access your home. Unfortunately, mice are small creatures and can squeeze their way through a hole the size of a nickel. As a result, you need to investigate and fill any holes you find with steel wool.

Holes could be outside your home, often around the foundation. Mice often find their way through them in windows, doors, and electrical, plumbing, cable, and gas lines. Don’t forget to look for them inside cabinets and near fireplaces.

Mouse entering house
Medium-grade steel wool can stop mice from crawling through holes into your home.

What Grade of Steel Wool Keeps Mice Away?

Medium-grade steel wool is the best to keep them away. This is because it’s thick enough to make it nearly impossible for mice to chew through but flexible enough that you can bend it to fit into holes. 

Steel wool comes in coarse, medium, and fine. Fine steel wool may be extremely flexible, so mice could easily chew through it. Coarse steel wool can be difficult to fit into mouse holes and other gaps around your home. 

Can Mice Chew Through Steel Wool?

Mice can chew through steel wool, but it will not be easy. Because the steel wool is sharp and can easily cause cuts in their mouths and bodies, they’re more likely to give up. When you combine multiple layers of steel wool with foam caulking, it’s nearly impossible for mice to chew through.

While steel wool will do the trick, it’s best to have multiple layers of defense. Using steel wool and caulking can keep mice out of your space. However, you’ll want to use traps to capture those trapped inside your home. When done right, you could have a mouse-free home in no time.

Mouse hole in house
While mice may be able to chew through steel wool, they are unlikely to get all the way through.

Do Mice Ever Just Go Away Without Intervention?

Unfortunately, mice will not simply go away on their own unless all food and water supplies are removed. If you see mice in your home or RV, there’s a good chance they’re living pretty comfortably. You’re likely unaware that you’re providing them with a source of food and shelter. Until you eliminate these two items, they’re not going anywhere.

You’ll need a solid defense plan to eliminate these critters and keep them away. Unless you seal the holes and eliminate their food source, you’ll continuously battle mice. Think about it. Would you leave a place providing you with comfortable free room and board? Absolutely not.

Pro Tip: Trying to find a natural way to repel rodents? Find out Does Irish Spring Really Repel Mice?

Mouse looking to enter house
You don’t need harsh mouse traps to keep your home free from mice.

Other Handy Uses for Steel Wool Around Your Home and RV

Aside from a layer of defense against mice, steel wool is incredibly versatile and has many potential uses. You’ll find plenty of ways to use it around your home and RV. For example, it’s great for bringing aluminum back to life. Just make sure you use fine-grade steel wool to avoid causing serious damage to the metal.

In addition, steel wool is also a great option for dealing with loose screws in oversized holes. Stuffing small pieces in them can give the screw something to bite into and stay in place. You won’t have to worry about it coming loose or not getting the grip it needs to do the job.

Another common use for steel wool is to use it while staining wood. Many woodworkers soak their steel wool in vinegar to create a stain with a rich ebony color to it. This is a substantially cheaper option than store-bought stains you can find on the shelves.

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

7 Natural Ways To Stop Mice From Entering Your Home

Use Steel Wool for a Mouse Free Home

If you spot a mouse or evidence of a mouse in your home blocking its entrances with a product that they cannot get through is important. It will help you take action against the rodents invading your home. 

Depending on how serious of an infestation you’re dealing with, eliminating mice from your home can take some serious determination. However, with enough grit, you can enjoy a mouse-free home in no time.

Have you ever had to use steel wool to keep mice away? What has been your experience? Tell us in the comments!

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Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of “Go North” on Amazon Prime Video, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

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Dan Ninedorf

Friday 24th of February 2023

I am using window screen mashed up to fit, or stretched across heater vent opening. I plan to get 1/4 inch square steel hardware cloth and put window screen stretched behind it for odd size/shape areas. I put the 1/4 inch over the end of a dryer pipe, mice used as a highway. I have also used steel wool around pipes to maintain flexibility,

Marc Goldstone

Thursday 23rd of February 2023

Another use for steel wool {0000} which is extremely fine works great to clean windows. It can remove water spots and bug residue. This can be purchased in teh paint department of most hardware stores. This stuff would be suboptimum as a deterent for mice.