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Mouse in the oven!

Our tenant's oven was home to a mouse/mice for a short period, before they were caught. Now the oven stinks to high heaven when it's turned on. There is no longer a mouse in there -- I'm convinced, as are all the others who have searched for a dead mouse, including an expensive appliance repairman.

But unlike when my own oven stank of mice briefly, the smell will not burn off, even at 400 degrees for hours! We've tried everything, including some fancy auto deodorizer. Any ideas before we have to buy a new oven?

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  1. Coffee is supposedl to be a good agent for removing smells. Maybe try filling a roasting pan or two with coffee beans or ground coffee and leaving it in the oven for a few hours (at a safe temperature so it wouldn't burn and leave its own nasty smell).

    1. Im guessing the mouse urine had dripped down into places that are not going to be cleaned or burned off without pulling the stove out, possibly turning it over etc and scrubbing like crazy.

      1. Well, I wonder if the repairman replaced the oven insulation, or if that even is an option on that brand of oven? I highly suspect the critter has nested itself very deep into the oven shell. (Most ovens are made with an inner box, a layer of glass insulation, then an outer box. That is what I call, the oven shell.)

        I would have not wasted any money on deodorizers because you are dealing with animal decomposition, of which heat of any kind will likely burn the stench right in. Unless, of course, you can reach the ultra high temperatures to that of cremation levels for roughly 24 hours, but that would destroy most household ovens.

        3 Replies
        1. re: RShea78

          I think you are right about the insulation, but I couldn't find any appliance repairperson who was willing to replace the insulation. So instead, we have to replace the whole oven!

          1. re: RShea78

            Agreed. I would bet that it is the indulation ... but you should be able to see that when the oven has been pulled out.

            1. re: jlawrence01

              Not necessarily, if the critter dug toward the front of the oven. Our neighbor had one dig all the way to the front where the oven door light switch is located.

          2. Well when you get a mouse caught in the ventilation of an automobile, you usually have the expensive option or tearing apart the dash to remove the critter, or let nature take its coarse with decomposition. it may take a few months for it to decompose . . .

            1 Reply
            1. re: Rick

              You maybe right (guessing wise), but we can be talking as much as 6 months in the extreme desert like conditions. Or around 6 months 24/7 at 200 degrees.

            2. I suggest you phone a fire and water restoration company. I used to work as an insurance adjuster and these companies' are skilled at cleaning anything and everything, including appliances. Look under fire & water restoration in the yellow pages.

              1. Let us know if you solve the problem without having to replace the oven somerville. When I saw the title to your post i was like, well how is he posting if his mouse is melting in the oven? Sorry, lame joke about a really annoying problem but I couldn't resist.

                1. Well, I know as a previous tenant, now homeowner, I have never had an oven unit worth over $300 in a rental unit. So, it is not like you have to replace a Duel Fuel $3000 stove like I have at home. You are better off sucking up the $300 cost, and not making your new tenants smell roasted mouse poop from now on.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: gryphonskeeper

                    I doubt that $300 would replace an oven at today's expenses. I have an antique Frigidaire oven that my Landlord is trying to put off in replacing, as he already has estimated roughly $600 in overall costs. Installation and disposal expenses add nearly $200 easily even if he does it himself, with a $400 oven in mind.

                    Of course he is likely waiting as long as he has because "'tis the season" that he may be able to find a better deal this time of the year. ;-)

                    1. re: RShea78

                      Saw one today at Sears, even better than the ones I had when I was living in an apartment, and it was $325.

                      1. re: gryphonskeeper

                        Mine is now - officially shot, trying to make a late breakfast, that went zap/ping/poof with a mild sizzle! It is an electric.

                        Just after lunch today, my landlord went shopping. The ones he came across, on such short notice, was nothing but junk with a scent of being new. Oh, that was his words, not mine. Apartment 24 inch models or standard 30 inch models all with only 1 big burner/3 small. He insists on 30 inch - 2 big/2small burners that fits in the cabinet area. Price was in the ball park but nothing worth parting any money on.

                        Gotta wait till tomorrow or Monday... Bum-mer!

                        1. re: RShea78

                          Tell him you will look for him, and ask him to give you a price range. I am telling you right now you can get a decent "apartment" stove for cheap. I am grateful every day that I now Own my own home and have a range that I always wanted.

                          PS, your landlord MUST provide you with a stove within a certain time frame (I think it is 5 days) or you can withhold rent. I know I was without a refrigerator for over a week, and I was able to withhold my rent for the month. Check your lease.

                          1. re: gryphonskeeper

                            ""Tell him you will look for him, and ask him to give you a price range.""

                            Earlier, his idea was in the $400-475 range. It is just our silly town doesn't carry mid-tier, heavy duty, stoves to his liking. He is willing to go $700 if need be.

                            ""I am telling you right now you can get a decent "apartment" stove for cheap.""

                            My landlord has already suffered enough with "cheap stoves", owning roughly 350 apartments. Heck, his garage around back, has 15 deceased stoves just making it out of warranty, he is kicking himself over.

                            ""MUST provide you with a stove..."

                            We have an arrangement...

                            1. re: RShea78

                              Well, then let him get you a better than avereage stove and go to 700. Sounds like it's going to save everyone time and money in the long run.

                              1. re: RShea78

                                In case it helps - I have a 24" gas stove/oven by Premier that I'm quite happy with. My landlady replaced the older stove a couple of years ago, and I suspect this wasn't too expensive, It has a nice stainless steel front on the oven/broiler door. I think it might be the 2nd one here:


                                Edit - did some googling, and apparently it's more expensive than I realized - $910.

                            2. re: RShea78

                              We got the new Frigidaire glass top in today.

                            3. re: gryphonskeeper

                              I love Sears/Kenmore appliances. That sounds like a great price. And, they usually have sales.

                        2. I would agree with disposing of the oven. I rented for years before buying my home, and only one rental had a decent range. Back in February, I was forced to buy a new dryer. While at the appliance store, I took a look at gas ranges there and they had one cheap unit for $250. I asked the salesman who buys an oven like that, and he told me people with rentals!!
                          If you don't want to go new, try craigslist. I see people selling fairly new ranges for well less than $300.

                          1. I can't imagine a worse problem than an oven that smells like crap. Get rid of that sucker and put in a modestly-priced stove. I keep thinking that I've heard it all, but I am very wrong.

                            1. p.s. why are there mice coming into this unit to begin with? sounds like that problem has to be addressed as well.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Bite Me

                                We knew we had a problem with mice in the bottom of our cupboard and running through our oven storage drawer but our cats were keeping them under control. When we remodeled the kitchen we discovered that the hole in the floor to allow the gas lines through was simply cut too large and that's how the mice were getting in. Floor got fixed, no more mice, now cats chase insects.

                              2. We had the same problem. You cannot burn off the stench with heat. We contacted J.E.S. Enterprises, Inc. 805-643-3532. They carry all the hard to find stove insulations thank God. It was easy to cut. We cleaned the stove at the same time. Now it's perfect again. Glad we didn't have to buy a new stove. They sent us a tip sheet on how to keep those rats out too! Good luck.

                                1. Just a thought--my inlaws had a rental unit, and had a terrible stench coming from the oven. They cleaned it, to no avail, til someone thought to look in the broiler pan under the oven. Someone had cooked something on it and never cleaned it--rotting meat smell.

                                  1. My father had to buy a new car because of mice in the ductwork. In college, we turned over the toaster to shake out the crumbs and a perfectly charcoaled mouse fell out.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Veggo

                                      o.O I would have gagged for an hour…

                                      1. re: Veggo

                                        They ruin everything, Veggo. A few years ago, after a period of heavy rains, there was a neighborhood-wide infestation of mice. They came in through small tears in the crawl spaces. Over a period of time I killed over 50 of them but, in the meantime, they destroyed everything. The baby grand we've had since the 40's would have cost a few thousand to restore. I was able to use the gas burners on the stove but the ovens were beyond use. Cabinets, drawers; total devastation. We had to throw almost everything out when we moved. New owner gutted the place to upgrade it before flipping it. I would be amazed if there's not some trace of what happened still left.

                                        1. re: mucho gordo

                                          Rats/mice can get through the smallest spaces. It's worth the money to have a person who specializes in sealing homes to erradicate the problem once and for all. After that...an exterminator to keep the perimeter of the house rat / mouse free. Those critters belong outside not inside.

                                          1. re: latindancer

                                            At the time, we were already getting a monthly bug service, mainly to keep the dogs flea free. For an extra 300, we had him close up all exterior openings. That, plus a load of glue pads finally eliminated them but you can never clean up their mess.

                                      2. Have you pulled out the broiler pan and cleaned out behind the oven? (I grew up in the country) We had a mouse once when I was a kid and it had stored dog food underneath the broiler pan and behind the stove itself. After we had vacumed it all out, the stove was a lot better.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: adventuresinbaking

                                          I'm currently dealing with this dog food problem - it stored dog food in the insulation, on the broiler plate, in every damned crevice of the oven, it seems. Even after dismantling and vacuuming it all out (after a scary, horrifically stinky dog food fire under the oven floor of my gas oven) if I turn my oven on over 400 or so we can still smell burning/baking dog food. It's awful!

                                          We generally still on-demand feed our dog, but now use one of these http://www.amazon.com/Iris-MP-12-NAVY... to store the dog's food.

                                        2. I can relate to this. I once worked in a neighborhood where a favorite prank was peeing through the grille on the front of parked cars. After that, turning on the ignition filled the car with a strong aroma of pee. You'd think that biological smell would burn off after a while but it doesn't.

                                          1. If the mouse is pretty lean, and med-well done, then all should be OK, so long as Aunt Martha is not dining with us.