Thursday, November 30, 2023


You dirty rat! Do mice REALLY hate soap?

By Chris Dougherty
Chris Dougherty is a certified RV technician. Here is a letter he received from a reader while he was serving as’s technical editor.

Dear Chris,
We purchased a 2004 Gulf Stream B+ motorhome in 2010 from a private owner. We live in southwest Ohio in a rural area. Soon after we bought it, we learned that one thing that will keep mice out is none other than Irish Spring bar soap. We bought a multipack and dispersed them throughout the motorhome and have been rodent free since then!! It does a great job and the odor is pleasant, plus when you run out of soap you have a good supply!! Hope this information will help others. Thanks. —Jim and Donna

Dear Jim and Donna,
Thanks for the tip. I have worked on eliminating rodents from RVs for years and have personally debunked dryer sheets, sonar devices, predator urine crystals, and more. Frankly, I have had mice chew into Irish Spring boxes, and start chewing the bars, but that’s it. They never consume much more than that … could have been a sign!

Aside from this, a company called Mouse Free has developed a spray-on undercoating that is supposed to deter mice. Coaches with current infestations must first be completely rid of mice, otherwise the infestation will continue. It’s a pricey product, but if it works, it’s well worth the investment.

Follow this link to a “talking heads” video, where Chris chats up Jonathan Del Grande of Mouse Free as he describes his product.

##RVT785 ##RVDT1302

Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.



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Alvin (@guest_70378)
3 years ago

We have used Irish Spring soap for years and have never once had a problem, or a sign of one since using it. Maybe the difference is in how we use it.
The lady here has about six dollar store plastic dishes she fills with the soap after cutting it into fine slices.
Can’t help those who hate the smell of Irish Spring, we love it the mice hate it.

I have to wonder about the claim that mice are eating the soap. Any living thing with a digestive system eating soap will very shortly be in for a BIG surprise – one which would probably kill the mouse.

If mice are actually nibbling at Irish Spring or any other brand of soap I hope they don’t have their problem inside someones RV.

Lauren Baker (@guest_70373)
3 years ago

A freind tried using a bucket trap. Yes it got mice but then the eagles and hawks wanted the mice and stole the bucket. lol

DW/ND (@guest_70350)
3 years ago

I’ve tried Irish Spring also and they love it! I have three ultra-sonic devices and have not had a problem since – and we live in a rural area. The motor home is stored outside for 5-6 months too. Additionally there is a stray cat that roams the area on occasion and I suspect that is perhaps a large deterrent also. We do not have any pets of our own – except for three great-grand kids! Take care – be well and listen to the warnings….. and don’t hoard! This too will pass!

Sink Jaxon (@guest_70320)
3 years ago

I moved to the country 3 years ago…I immediately found myself in a war with rodents. Both Deer Mice and Wood Rats (aka pack rats) . Deer mice are dangerous because they can carry Hantavirus. I tried every natural product at first including peppermint oil on cotton balls (joke!). They never invaded my house proper, but they would nest in my car garage, and my RV garage, once even getting into my 5’er. I was complaining about them to a neighbor, and he told me the ultrasonic repellers was what he used and never has a problem. So I bought three, one for each garage and one for my crawl space and have not had a problem for two years now. THEY WORK. They repell and I don’t have to worry about disposing of dead mice in traps anymore. The pack rats? that’s a different story, but they like it outside!

PennyPA (@guest_70317)
3 years ago

When we bought our fiver, the previous owners had closed all the openings with the expanding foam. We’ve NEVER had a “mouse in the house” in our 11 years of full-timing or when the fiver was stationary at our farm. Pack rats are a different thing. I live with a pack rat!

Larry H Lee (@guest_70304)
3 years ago

So from the hundreds of comments on this topic over the last 2 years, it appears that nothing consistently repels mice, but old-fashioned spring traps kill them if they show up.

Jeff Arthur (@guest_70302)
3 years ago

I’ve done everything here and I do mean everything. Best results are bucket traps ( for me) but they have their limitations. These traps need water and water freezes . Other than that sticky or old spring traps work. There’s a guy on YouTube that has videos on mouse traps and other traps. Interesting to see so many different traps throughout history.

Gene Bjerke (@guest_70307)
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Arthur

Is the world beating a path to his door?

Gloria Sluder (@guest_70273)
3 years ago

We use Irish Spring soap and 4 cats

littleleftie (@guest_70263)
3 years ago

We have used Mouse Free for 3 years on our fifth wheel that remains stationary all summer on our recreational lot. Yes, it is a bit pricey but worth it. It has been an excellent product and works well.
Irish Spring soap, although leaving a nice smell in the trailer, was chewed heartily by the mice, who “deposited” their leftovers right beside it in a nice little pile….after that winter, we switched to Mouse Free!!!

Fox (@guest_70261)
3 years ago

LIGHT!!!! Mice hate light… I put solar flood lights under my RV when boondocking and have not had a problem since.
PS the stench from Irish Spring will keep me out of the RV too.

Richard Mansell (@guest_70259)
3 years ago

Regarding Irish Spring Soap and mice: I had them eat the soap over the years when placed in vintage vehicles, They left area without any damage to the vehicle.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_5743)
6 years ago

While we’ve never had a rodent problem (knock on wood), I would rely on the old standby – MOUSETRAPS. And not the ‘humane’ plastic type. I like the tried and true wood based spring ones that cut them in half.

Seann Fox (@guest_5405)
6 years ago

Irish Spring works well at keeping ME out of the RV. Triggers an allergy attack. I do like using the cab fresh but really have no idea of how well it works.. Just because you have no mouse in the house does not mean its working.. You may be in a mouse free area.

Diane (@guest_5341)
6 years ago

We have used both Irish Spring soap and moth balls. Neither worked. I guess our mice are just too smart!!!

Wayne (@guest_5335)
6 years ago

Sorry, misspelled website. Should be

Wayne (@guest_5323)
6 years ago

I use a product Fresh Cab. It has a pleasant smell and really does the job. A few years ago I had a mice in the fifth wheel. Had trapped a few but still had droppings after trapping. Put the pouches around inside and within a day or two, no more mice. The website is I have no affiliation with this company, just a happy camper/customer. I have used the product for several years.

Bruce Winget (@guest_5299)
6 years ago

BW We used irish spring one year .It worked great. The next wear
they chewed on the bar of soap .I have better luck running a trap

J French (@guest_5296)
6 years ago

Mice & rats are actually attracted to soap regardless of its odor.
What will work is moth balls.

K. R. V. (@guest_5257)
6 years ago

I’ve heard moth balls work, but only in the off season due to the smell.

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