Steel Wool to Control Mice: Does It Really Work?

Written by Susan Olayode
Published: August 30, 2022

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Mice in a home can be very harmful. They cause damage to important materials that could be very expensive to fix or replace. Mice could also open up your home to other pests by creating passages and holes.

Mice can also be very harmful to your health. Coming in contact with their droppings and even the mice themselves might land you in the hospital. These pests are responsible for some very dangerous diseases.

One of the best ways to fix a mice problem is through prevention. This could mean clogging up holes to prevent new rodents from coming in while you try to eliminate the ones you already have in your home. This is where steel wool comes in. Many claim that steel wool of a particular grade can seal mice out.

Is there any truth to this claim? Can you use steel wool to prevent mice from coming into your home? Does it really work? We answer questions like these and more in the paragraphs below.

  1. Pestplug 100% Stainless Steel Wool
  2. Pestplug 100% Stainless Steel Wool
    • Made from rust-resistant stainless steel so it will protect your home longer
    • Features long, thin strands for flexibility
    • Easy to mold into crevices and holes
    • Long strands are impenetrable to mice
    • Come with scissors and gloves
    Check Amazon
  3. Rhodes American Steel Wool, 12 pad, Medium Grade #1
  4. Rhodes American Steel Wool, 12 pad, Medium Grade #1
    • Budget-friendly
    • 12 pads included
    • Flexible, so it molds to fit mouse access points easily
    • Made of high-quality steel
    • Some users advise caulking it in place so mice can't circumvent it
    Check Amazon
  5. Xcluder Rodent-Proof Stainless Steel Wool DIY Kit
  6. Xcluder Rodent-Proof Stainless Steel Wool DIY Kit
    • Designed specifically to create an impenetrable barrier to keep mice out
    • Made from stainless steel
    • Eco-friendly and non-corrosive
    • No harsh pesticides or chemicals
    • Kit includes scissors and gloves
    Check Amazon
  7. 2-Pack Steel Wool Mice Control Fill Fabric DIY Kit
  8. 2-Pack Steel Wool Mice Control Fill Fabric DIY Kit
    • DIY kit includes steel wool, gloves, and scissors
    • Features sharp stainless wool fibers that mice can't chew through without being injured
    • Rust resistant, so it will keep mice out longer
    • Great for use around pipes and other areas that tend to be wet
    • Flexible and easy to apply to crevices and holes
    Check Amazon
  9. 434 Stainless Steel Wool (8 pad Pack) - Medium Grade
  10. 434 Stainless Steel Wool (8 pad Pack) - Medium Grade
    • Will not rust or crumble when used
    • Effectively keeps mice out
    • Medium-grade steel made in the US
    • Oil-free, so it's up to 2 to 3 times more durable than some steel wool
    • Safe for use around pipes and other damp areas
    Check Amazon

Does It Really Work?

Steel wool is actually an effective way to prevent mice from entering your home. It, however, depends on the kind of steel wool that you use. In general, steel wool comes in fine, medium, and coarse grades.

The best kind of steel wool to use to repel mice is either fine or medium steel wool. Mice like to chew everything and so can chew through fine steel wool. Coarse steel wool, on the other hand, can be too hard to manipulate. You need something malleable that you can mold to plug holes and passageways.

Medium steel wool plays this role perfectly because it isn’t as hard as coarse steel wool. Mice cannot chew through it either because it isn’t as soft as fine steel wool. Most people who use medium steel wool to prevent mice use it along with silicone caulking. This helps to seal the wool in place so that mice cannot push it out of the way.

1. Best Overall: Pestplug Stainless Steel Wool

Pestplug Stainless Steel Wool is our best overall steel wool. You’ll love this steel wool because it is made from stainless steel, which means it won’t rust easily. It is also non-flammable, so you can stuff it into places like the baseboard of your heater.

While this stainless-steel wool is actually coarse grade, it has long, thin strands that make it flexible. You can easily mold these into crevices and holes created by mice. These long strands also make it impenetrable to mice.

Users love Pestplug because it comes with scissors for cutting the wool and gloves too. The gloves will protect your hands against injuries as you cut the wool. Some, however, advise that you do the cutting outside as cutting will distribute fine stainless-steel fibers, which could be bad for you, your family, and your pets.

Best Overall
Pestplug 100% Stainless Steel Wool
  • Made from rust-resistant stainless steel so it will protect your home longer
  • Features long, thin strands for flexibility
  • Easy to mold into crevices and holes
  • Long strands are impenetrable to mice
  • Come with scissors and gloves
Check Amazon

2. Best for Affordability: Rhodes American Medium Grade Steel Wool

Buying the Rhodes American Steel Wool for mice won’t make a huge hole in your budget. This wool comes at a fabulous price and contains 12 pads. You can easily use it to plug up any holes and crevices around your home.

Purchasers say that this steel wool was very effective in keeping out mice from their home. Since it is medium grade, this wool is easy to stuff into crevices and holes. It is flexible, so you can easily mold it to fit whatever space you are trying to clog.

You’ll love that this steel wool is made of high-quality steel in the US. With this, you don’t have to worry about mice chewing through it like most fine-grade steel wool. Some testers advise using this wool with caulking to keep it in place.

Best for Affordability
Rhodes American Steel Wool, 12 pad, Medium Grade #1
  • Budget-friendly
  • 12 pads included
  • Flexible, so it molds to fit mouse access points easily
  • Made of high-quality steel
  • Some users advise caulking it in place so mice can't circumvent it
Check Amazon

3. Best Premium: Xcluder Rodent Proof Fill Fabric

If you want an impenetrable barrier to keep mice out of your home, Xcluder Rodent Proof Fabric is the answer. This steel wool might be pricey, but it comes with features that make it worth your money. It is also specifically made to keep the mice away.

You’ll love that this steel wool is eco-friendly and uses non-corrosive material. You won’t find any harsh pesticides or chemicals on this material. This wool is also made from stainless steel, which will help prevent it from rusting easily. So it’s a durable solution against mice in your home.

Purchasers love that this steel wool package comes with scissors and gloves. The gloves are sturdy and do a good job of protecting the hands while cutting the wool to fit. The included scissors are also strong enough to cut the steel wool without any issues.

Best Premium
Xcluder Rodent-Proof Stainless Steel Wool DIY Kit
  • Designed specifically to create an impenetrable barrier to keep mice out
  • Made from stainless steel
  • Eco-friendly and non-corrosive
  • No harsh pesticides or chemicals
  • Kit includes scissors and gloves
Check Amazon

4. Best Deal: Wanqueen Steel Wool Mice Control

Wanqueen Steel Wool is our best deal because it comes with scissors, gloves, and great wool at an excellent price. You won’t find many other brands offering these at a price that’s even close. And verified buyers report that the wool is effective against mice too.

This steel wool is made from sharp stainless wool fiber that mice cannot chew through without getting injured. The stainless steel means that this wool will not rust easily, thus protecting your home for longer. This product works even when used close to piping and other areas that tend to be damp.

Wanqueen steel wool is easy to cut and flexible enough to stuff in crevices and holes. Users, however, advise wearing gloves when cutting since you will get injured otherwise. You can also use this wool outdoors but watch and be ready to replace it if it’s destroyed by other stronger animals.

Best Deal
2-Pack Steel Wool Mice Control Fill Fabric DIY Kit
  • DIY kit includes steel wool, gloves, and scissors
  • Features sharp stainless wool fibers that mice can't chew through without being injured
  • Rust resistant, so it will keep mice out longer
  • Great for use around pipes and other areas that tend to be wet
  • Flexible and easy to apply to crevices and holes
Check Amazon

5. Best Rust-Proof: 434 Stainless Steel Wool

434 stainless steel is high-quality steel wool that will not rust or crumble when used. It is also very effective in keeping mice out of homes. This steel wool is made in the USA and is medium-grade steel. This makes it flexible enough for use in crevices, holes, and around piping.

Buyers love this steel wool because it is made in the US and will not crumble when used. It is also free of oil, which makes it more durable than other steel wool. This wool will last 2 to 3 times longer than others.

We especially recommend this steel wool for holes around piping, your sink, bathroom, and other wet places. You do not have to worry about rust with the 434 stainless steel wool. Purchasers, however, recommend that you use strong gloves and be careful when cutting in order to avoid injuries.

Best Rust-Proof
434 Stainless Steel Wool (8 pad Pack) - Medium Grade
  • Will not rust or crumble when used
  • Effectively keeps mice out
  • Medium-grade steel made in the US
  • Oil-free, so it's up to 2 to 3 times more durable than some steel wool
  • Safe for use around pipes and other damp areas
Check Amazon

How to Choose the Right Steel Wool for Mice?

Using steel wool to clog holes and keep mice from your home is an effective strategy. You just have to make sure that you use the right kind of wool. Here are some important criteria to keep in mind when choosing:

  • Location of Infestation
  • Price
  • Material
  • Durability

Let’s look at these criterion in detail.

Location of Infestation

Where are most of the holes you intend to clog in your home? If they are around wet areas, rust-proof stainless-steel wool is the option to go for. You don’t want your steel wool becoming compromised because it has rusted away. Rusting would also mean you have to replace the wool more frequently.

Material

As we said before, steel wool comes in fine, medium, and coarse grades. For the flexibility you need to clog up the holes and passageways that mice create, medium grade is best. You can, however, find some coarse-grade steel wool that has been engineered to be flexible.

Durability

Durable steel wool is important because you want something that will actually deter mice from coming in. Stainless steel is the best to use when it comes to steel wool. You should avoid steel wool that has been treated with pesticides and oil too.

Price

Steel wool tends to be very affordable. Some products also give you great deals that include scissors and gloves that you can use to cut the wool. For this review, we picked some of the best steel wool with unbelievable prices. Mice already cause considerable damage that you might have to spend to fix; getting rid of them should not wipe out your finances.  

Why Do Mice Enter Our Homes?

Many homes will experience some form of mice infestation at some point. It depends on the environment where your home is too. For example, mice tend to get into country homes more easily.

Mice come into our homes for three reasons mainly: food, water, and shelter. They also need warmth, which is why many infestations tend to happen in the colder months. One of the ways to get rid of mice includes limiting and completely removing their access to these three things.

This could include making sure all your food is safely put away, dealing with scraps effectively, and making sure there is no access to garbage bins. You should also fix and deal with leaking pipes, faucets, and other sources of water.

How to Use Steel Wool to Stop Mice

Medium-grade steel pads are very useful when it comes to getting rid of mice. To use these to stop mice, follow the steps below:

  1. Take many pieces of the steel wool and cut as needed.
  2. If necessary, pull some of the fibers apart to loosen them up a bit. Remember to use gloves at this point to prevent splinters and slivers.
  3. Look for the areas around your home where mice are nesting and coming in. Places to check include your foundation, ceiling, cracks in the concrete, windows, and vents.
  4. Press the steel wool into these holes and spaces. Make sure that you pack it tightly.

If done well enough, you can say goodbye to mice in your home. Some buyers also used the steel wool with caulking to anchor it into place. You could also spray natural mouse repellents as an additional deterrent.

Natural Ways to Repel Mice

Experts often advise a combination of methods to eliminate mice from your home. You could use traps to deal with the mice you already have and use deterrents like steel wool to keep new one’s out. You could also supplement these with natural repellents to ensure a completely mouse-free home.

Most natural ways to repel mice include the use of substances with smells that mice cannot stand. These substances often smell pleasant to humans. Mice who are very sensitive to smell can, however, not stand their fragrance.

There are, however, others with smells that you might not like, but they still work. Here is a list of some natural ways to repel mice:

  • Onions: Mice cannot stand the smell of onions because it’s too strong for them. To use onions as a repellent, cut them into large pieces and place them in areas that mice frequent. Please keep in mind that you’ll have to watch, remove and replace them when they go bad. Garlic also works this way.
  • Black/Cayenne Peppers: Sprinkling black or cayenne peppers could also serve as a repellent for mice in your home. The key is to put this in tight spaces where there is almost no ventilation. The smell will choke the mice out.
  • Essential Oils: Essential oils like peppermint oil, mint oil, citronella, and lemon oil have also been proven to repel mice. These also come with the advantage of smelling awesome. So you can spray them around your house as much as possible. You can also spray some of it with the steel wool when placing them, but only if your steel wool isn’t susceptible to rust.

Up Next:

Steel Wool to Control Mice: Does It Really Work? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Do mice stay away from steel wool?

Steel wool is an effective way of keeping mice away from your home. When you use the wool to clog holes and spaces that mice use, they are not able to chew through the wool. This makes steel wool an effective repellent. This review lists some effective steel wool options you can use to protect your home.

Can mice push through steel wool?

When applied correctly, mice cannot push through steel wool. They’ll end up with too many injuries, and chewing through the wool would also cause them problems. However, some mice can be very determined. This is why some testers used caulking alongside the steel wool to keep it in place.

How is steel wool used against mice?

This review lists a step-by-step way to use steel wool against mice in your home. In summary, securely plug the steel wool into spaces that mice use to gain entrance into your home. This will stop the mice from coming in, thereby effectively getting rid of them.

Which steel wool is best for mice?

Medium-grade steel wool that is made of stainless steel is the best to use to repel mice. This is because medium-grade steel wool is flexible, so you can easily fold it into small spaces. It is also not so soft that mice can chew through it. Stainless steel wool does not rust easily, ensuring that your home will be protected for much longer.

What material can mice not chew through?

Mice cannot chew through medium-grade steel wool or coarse steel wool. This makes it an effective repellent for mice in your home. Use the steel wool to plug any holes or cracks that mice use to get into your home for maximum effect.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.