eliminate odors (and mice?) with peppermint oil

peppermint oil

Not to boast, but when it comes to dealing with odors, you won’t find a sharper shooter with a bottle of Febreze. I’ve got fabrics covered, but hadn’t found a suitable solution to dealing with atmospheric odors until my mom shared this all natural trick. Simply add three or four drops of peppermint oil to a few cotton balls, place them in a small bowl and leave the dish to sit in a problem area. Not only does the oil replace the smell with an energizing peppermint aroma, it also eliminates it, absorbing odor as it dissipates over time. As the proud sibling of a college-aged brother, I’m thrilled to report that we use this often to fumigate his car (a tall order, what with all the punky ultimate frisbee clothing and half-eaten hamburgers), with awe-inspiring results.

I like Aura Cacia’s certified-organic options but any 100% essential peppermint oil will do. I’ve even heard that a similar strategy helps get rid of mice. Anyone care to weigh in? – Sarah C.

From our partners

Peppermint oil has soooo many uses! It is great to keep ants and other bugs out of the house. Just put a small line of it (using a q-tip) along the door jam or any other place they are coming in. They won’t cross it! Peppermint oil is also great for sore muscles (or other types of pain) and wonderful for stomach issues. You can put it on the bottom of the feet or rub over the stomach. Oh, and it also helps with fevers, used on the bottom of the feet. Definitely an indispensable oil!

That’s a great tip and I will have my son test it in his frat house :p I’ll let you know what happens. Lynne I will try the oil for fevers, etc :)

One thing to be careful of though- peppermint oil can be very toxic to cats. So don’t use it in areas cats are likely to get at.


..and if you put a few drops on a bit of cotton wool, and then hoover/vacuum this up, your hoover/vacuum and the bag will smell lovely and transfer the aroma to the rooms when you hoover/vacuum!


I made a natural febreeze by putting a few drops of lavender and peppermint into a spray bottle full of water. Nice smelling couch and pillows without chemicals!


Seconding Jessie Mae, all essential oils are potentially extremely toxic to cats – they can cause major liver damage because cats are unable to metabolize some of the compounds in essential oils. This goes for ingestion, inhalation, or topical exposure.


Don’t forget that if you are going to ingest oils, they need to be *food* grade. So peppermint is lovely for you tummy, but make sure the stuff you get is meant to be eaten.
I have a bunch of the Aura Cacia oils. I put a few drops in a bowl of vinegar to take care of smells. I also have a spray bottle of vinegar/water/oils that I use on the couch. Righ now it’s a mix of tea tree and lemon.
Oh and I use vinegar as my fabric softener, and essential oils (just a couple drops will do for a load) can be used if you want a scent. I’ve been experimenting with citronella oil in our laundry to help keep mosquitos away.


This is wonderful news! I love the scents of essential oils, but never know what to do with them. These are awesome — more suggestions, please!

does it have to be peppermint oil or any scented oil will do? i like other aromas better than peppermint.


I love peppermint (I’ve been using Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap for years) and have been looking for an excuse to buy some essential oil…this is the clincher!

Thanks for your advise with mice because I don’t like use chemicals products.. now I will use Pepper mint oil!

shelterrific » Blog Archive » five things we learned last week

[…] and the bag will smell lovely and transfer the aroma to the rooms when you hoover/vacuum!” Click here for more simple peppermint oil solutions; just remember to keep it away from your […]


Vanilla extract on a cotton ball will also remove odors from a room.


Seems Micky & Minnie and some of their friends were finding my A/C a lot more comfortable than the hot steamy weather we’ve been having .. after setting numerous live-traps (only to have the dogs investigate and knock them over, since they had peanut butter in them!) I read your post about peppermint oil.. Went to Whole Fds yesterday and got some, and have put it in a few “obvious” places. Will let you know if it works (I’m keeping my fingers crossed)!

Thanks for the tips!

shelterrific » Blog Archive » five things we learned last week

[…] Stargazer lilies are a fragrant option, but keep them away from cats! Like our peppermint oil quick fix, these lilies freshen up a room, but are not feline-friendly. Heidi says, “I love lilies and this […]


The peppermint oil has done a lovely job of making the house smell fresh and crisp, but unfortunately Mickey and Minnie and their buddies apparently like it, too, and decided to make themselves at home :- (

I think between the A/C and the nice fresh smell of peppermint, they’ve pulled up some lawn chairs and just hanging out! Aauugh! What to do now? Guess it’s back to the (humane) mouse traps..

Anyone have any other suggestions?


I had electrical problems last month and pretty much just moved back home due to that fact I have a house odor that I cannot seem to get rid of. I have bleached everything possible, then ammonia, then bleach again. I have even even went as far as a little bleach and fabaloso in a pot and boiled i for a little while. A couple hours later the smell was back. So now I am going to try peppermint oil. Thanks for the tips, I will going to purchase some peppermint oil today! I will let you all know how it works. (Fingers crossed!)

urandi davis

Hello Maggy the peppermint oil should be sprayed on the outside of house and enter points that you believe the mice are coming in at. You should also go back a week later and re-spray the same areas. Using the oil along with other methods will eventually be a success. We must give the methods time to work. Nothing happens over night. Hope this helps!