DIY Mice Control | How to Repel Mice with Irish Spring Soap

Ah, Irish Spring Soap, the age-old pest control hack. DIYers swear by it, but does Irish Spring Soap really repel mice?

Irish Spring Soap and cheese grater, with pile of grated soap

The jury is still out on whether this pest control hack works every time. Many people report seeing mice bites in their soap, and continued infestation, suggesting the soap hardly phased the intruders. But fortunately for others, Irish Spring Soap seems to work wonders. Particularly when used as a nonharmful garden pest-repellent, which you can read about in our blog here.

Houston’s Channel 11 KHOU even reached out to Colgate-Palmolive, and their representatives said, “Our Irish Spring bar soaps were not tested to keep flies and rodents away. We, there, would not have this information as our products were not intended to be used in this way.” – Getaway Couple

While it may or may not be a conspiracy by Colgate-Palmolive to sell more soap, it’s certainly still worth investigating. Keep reading to find out how to administer the DIY fix, the pros & cons, as well as the risks…

The Pros and Cons: Irish Spring Soap as Mice Control


  • Safe for pets, kids, and the environment. It’s soap!
  • Affordable preventative solution to a costly problem
  • Easy to obtain and administer


  • Doesn’t always work
  • Not a guaranteed, permanent solution
  • Unsightly soap shavings, residue
  • Must be repeatedly administered

How to Use Irish Spring Soap to Stop Mice

Step 1. Purchase Irish Spring Soap

It must be Irish Spring Soap! No one knows exactly why, but the perfumes and minty scent are likely to be unpleasant for these sensitive smellers.

Step 2. Identify points of entry & habitation

The first points of entry to consider would be the corners of attics and basements as well as crawl spaces. Mice can fit in holes as small as a dime, so don’t rule out cracks in the foundation or small holes in the wall. 

Identify hiding places

Mice are known to take up occupancy in drawers, furniture etc. Definitely include your garage, shed or other outdoor spaces where you may not notice them as often. If you know where the mice are hiding, even better. Consider your car as well, especially if you have vehicles that stay garaged over the winter. Mice are known to nest in cars and this could prove costly and ultimately dangerous to drive.

Step 3. Get your cheese grater and soap bars, and start grating!

Think of it as a protective barrier. Some go as far as grating around the perimeter of their property. Whether or not this is overkill, it can be unsightly and requires high upkeep to be effective. We recommend sticking to the major points of entry and habitation.

How much Irish Spring Soap do I need to repel mice?

A couple of bars total and just a handful or two per treatment area should suffice. Understandably, the messy unsightliness of grated soap everywhere is a major turnoff of this DIY solution. Some DIYers have suggested neater solutions such as placing dishes of grated soap at entry points. Another solution to the messiness is putting the soap in a mesh-sealed bag. A third solution we’ve seen is mixing liquid Irish Spring Soap with water in a spray bottle and spraying it into crevices. We would not recommend this, though, because it will leave serious soap residue over time and even cause water damage.

Why doesn’t Irish Spring Soap always work to repel mice?

Our hunch is that it depends on the species of mice and how desperate they are. Some people report mice actually taking bites out of their Irish Spring Soap. Mice are fast learners and at this point, they won’t be afraid of the scent anymore. In the same way that mice will eventually learn to avoid new traps you put out, they will realize the scent is nothing to be afraid of. So, if they are desperate enough they will put up with the scent and burrow deeper into your property. This is why this DIY solution may be too good to be true and only works as a temporary solution. The only proven way to be gone with mice for good is professional pest control treatment with ongoing monitoring & treatment.

Irish Spring Soap half-eaten by mice

Shawn Woods put this DIY myth to the test in this video. When mice came into contact with the Irish Spring Soap, they were less than deterred. In fact, they do what curious mice do, and that is to taste it. 

Is Irish Spring Soap harmful to mice?

The University of California tested mice against the main chemical agent found in the soap, triclosan, for 6 months. They found that exposure “disrupted liver integrity and compromised liver function.” This was, of course, in a controlled setting with an unrealistic level of exposure to the chemical. (Equivalent to 18 years of exposure in humans.) All in all, the soap is not lethal to mice and generally well tolerated. 

Don’t Waste Your Time & Energy on DIY Solutions

A1 Exterminator’s Pest Prevention Plan covers not only mice but rats, cockroaches & virtually any other pest known to New England. The plan includes (3) additional visits by certified technicians at no additional cost! We use the most effective mice control methods available, and the safety of you and your family or personnel is our top priority. Learn more about our Pest Prevention Plan here before you dive down the DIY pest control rabbit hole and a minor pest problem becomes a major infestation.

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