Does Bleach Repel Mice? Top 3 Effective Methods

If you are dealing with an infestation of mice, but don’t much care for the idea of Stuart Little lying dead on your kitchen floor, repellants could be a viable option. Many people with pets or small children want to be careful about leaving traps or poisons around the house. This is where repellants come in.

Of course, there are some in-store repellant options that you can look into purchasing, however, if you prefer to do the do-it-yourself route there are a few common household items that can make very effective repellants. The best of these options is bleach.

In this article, we will discuss some of the most effective ways to use bleach to repel mice, as well as how bleach can be used to kill mice. We will also talk about some other scents that make great repellants for mice and rats. The goal today is to tell you everything you need to know about using bleach to repel mice.

Does the Smell of Bleach Repel Mice?

The short answer here is yes, bleach does repel mice. Bleach has a very strong smell that irritates the sensitive nasal passages and lungs of rodents, making it a very effective repellant.

Rats and mice use their own scent to create trails to follow around your home. Using something with a very strong smell like bleach will make sure that mice can no longer follow those trails which will get them to leave your home.

How to Use Bleach to Repel Mice

Using bleach to repel mice can be a safe alternative to using poisons or other toxic repellants. Bleach is also a disinfectant, so using it to repel mice comes with the added benefit of killing any diseases that mice may carry.

This doesn’t mean you can just blindly pour bleach on the floor and expect to never have mice. Using any repellant to get rid of rodents is only effective if you take everyday steps to discourage mice such as keeping food sealed and sinks dry.

There are a few different methods that you can use to repel mice with bleach. Here we will discuss three of the best methods for repelling mice with bleach.

Spray Bleach In Your House

The simplest way to use bleach as a repellant is spraying bleach around your house in areas that rodents tend to frequent. Mice and rats generally stay in places that are warm, dark, and out of sight.

This can include:

  • Under Refrigerators
  • Behind Stoves
  • In Cabinets Under the Sink
  • Along Baseboards

Using bleach as a repellant spray may sound simple but there are a few things you will want to be sure you are doing correctly. Because bleach can be such a volatile substance you will want to be sure you use a bleach solution and not pure bleach before letting it soak on any surfaces in your home.

A bleach solution can be anything from simple water and bleach to baking soda, bleach, and detergent. Some common bleach solutions that can be used to repel mice are:

  • Bleach and Vinegar
  • Bleach and Detergent
  • Bleach and Baking Soda

You should also consider testing your bleach spray on a small inconspicuous area to be sure it won’t discolor any paint on your walls before spraying it all over your home.

Once you’re sure you have your bleach solution mixed appropriately, spray it generously around your home. Mice tend to run along walls and not directly across rooms, so covering baseboards with the smell of bleach will keep mice running until they reach an exit door. Always be sure to leave one exit doorway untreated or the mice will have no way to escape and will simply be trapped inside your house.  

Bleach-Soaked Cotton Balls

Another effective way to use bleach to repel mice is soaking cotton balls in bleach to leave around the house. With this method, you will again want to use diluted bleach so the cotton balls do not strip paint or finish off of your floors. If you prefer to use undiluted bleach, wear gloves when placing cotton balls and leave them on a dish of some kind.

If you know the location of any rat or mouse nests in your home, placing cotton balls inside them will keep mice away from them for good. If you have any paper or cardboard clutter in your home, or anything stacked against walls like firewood, these are also good places to place bleached cotton balls as these are conditions mice typically build their nests in.

Other effective places for bleach-soaked cotton balls are:

  • Mouse Holes
  • Holes in Walls Around Pipes
  • Under Refrigerators, Dishwashers, and Stoves
  • Cabinets Under Kitchen and Bathroom Sinks
  • Linen Closets
  • Anywhere You Have Clutter

Cotton balls soaked in bleach can sometimes be even more effective than spraying liquid bleach because they will take longer to dry up which will make the smell last longer. You can also use the same cotton balls repeatedly, just re-soak them when they dry up and place them in the same places around your home.

Powdered Bleach   

When it comes to using bleach to repel rodents from the outside, powdered bleach is the way to go. You can keep mice and rats from getting inside your home by sealing any entry points with steel wool and caulk, however, as long as there is a regular source of food and water inside your home, mice will try to get in.

Ridding your home of mice doesn’t do any good if they can keep coming back inside. Prevent this by sprinkling powdered bleach around all entry points. Mice and rats will be repelled by the smell of bleach and will avoid these entry points to your house.

Powdered bleach is the best for use outdoors because it produces a scent without soaking into grass or doing any harm to plants. Anytime you are using repellants outdoors you have to keep in mind that there may be other animals around that could potentially be harmed if they accidentally consumed liquid bleach. Using powdered bleach outdoors helps to keep this from happening.

Does Bleach Kill Mice?

Bleach can be used to kill mice but only if they directly ingest it. Inhaling bleach fumes can harm the nasal passages and lungs of rodents but it will not kill them unless they eat it. Because mice and rats are so bothered by the smell of bleach it can be difficult to get them to consume bleach, however, it is possible. The best way to get mice to consume bleach is by mixing it with a bait of some kind.

If you want to use bleach to kill rodents in your home try mixing a small amount of liquid bleach with some sort of bait. This will work well with peanut butter, soft cheese, or wet cat food as these baits have strong enough smells to potentially overpower the smell of the bleach.

A good rule of thumb to test this is just to smell the bait after you’ve mixed it. If you can smell the bleach it is a pretty safe bet that a mouse will be able to as well and it will not work. You can continue to add more of whatever bait you are using until you can no longer smell the bleach over the bait.

What Other Smells Repel Mice?

For pests that seem to be everywhere, it is interesting how many different smells repel rodents. A great substitute for bleach is peppermint oil. Peppermint oil has a very strong smell that, like bleach, will irritate the sensitive nasal passages of mice and keep them away from your home.

Tea tree oil is another alternative to bleach or peppermint oil. Because they non-toxic substances, both tea tree and peppermint oil make great mouse repellants for people who prefer to take the more humane approach to get rid of mice.

Vinegar is another smell that can act as a natural repellant for mice. A basic principle to go by when it comes to using scents to repel mice is that if the smell tingles or burns in your nostrils it will bother a mouse.


The fact that bleach is also a disinfectant is what truly sets it apart from other mouse repellants. Because mice and rats can carry so many diseases, having a repellant that also disinfects is an incredible advantage.

This is not to say that bleach is a full proof solution to all your pest control problems. Any time you are dealing with a rodent infestation you should at least consider bringing in a professional, however, when it comes to do it yourself methods of repelling rodents, bleach is a viable option.

Overall, bleach can be a very effective method of pest control. Because it can be used both as a repellant and a poison depending on your application, bleach is also one of the most versatile substances for pest control.

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