Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

We've had mice work their way into the oven insulation of our standalone range and now it stinks when we turn the oven on.

Looking around on the web suggests that replacing the oven is the most common solution, but that seems extreme! Any suggestions?

(In this case the oven is a "Viking Professional" (bottom of the line) 4 burner + oven freestanding range. I haven't yet been able to pull it out enough to check if it has removable panels or been able to find a manual online.)

I'm guessing the answer will be something like:

  • locate the manual for your appliance
  • remove access panels
  • remove insulation while being careful about ??
  • remove insulation that is "stuck" by doing ??
  • replace with new insulation from ??
  • put it all back together and test as follows
  • in general be careful of ??

And, perhaps this is too specific to the brand of appliance? It would be useful to know which brands are more amenable to DIY repairs of this type than others.

share|improve this question
It is so disgusting I am going through this issue... I suggest turn the gas line off, pull all the insulation crap out, excess food, & clean it up real good... You might not be able to use the stove for a few days until you seal up hoes windows, etc in the house... It would be a bad idea to buy insulation for the stove i would wait until all the mouse or mice are out!! UGh still fighting for this!!! Good luck and were gloves!!! :( – user8966 Oct 31 '12 at 1:26

I'm so sorry for your loss. A Viking is a terrible thing to waste. Disassembling a Viking oven/range is not a job for a DIYer. Look for a restaurant supplier in your area or a Viking dealer to get a competent tech to do the work and bite the bullet and have it fixed right. The insulation is not something you can buy at the local Home Depot. It uses a specialty high temp spun fabric insulation . If the job is not done properly, it will be a FIRE HAZARD!!!! This is a safety issue not worth saving a few bucks on. The Viking is worth saving if you can.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the sad news :-(. I'm guessing this is not a cheap endeavor. I have a tech coming soon to look at it and will see. Yes, I agree that it is definitely worth saving if possible. I hate seeing things wasted in this throwaway society. I'm not familiar with the Viking gear in particular, but I gather its better quality than most (it is certainly expensive, which is sometimes, but not always, a good guide!) – mm2001 Jan 4 '11 at 4:11
The only problem I have with the first answer is that a few droppings is not usually the overwhelming cause of smell. Rodent urine can be scattered throughout the trail and the partial fix of replacing some obviously disturbed insulation may not fix your problem. Glad you decided to get a pro to look at this one. good luck. – shirlock homes Jan 5 '11 at 3:56
You can run an oven cleaning cycle to 'roast' some of the smell out. Do this on a nice day with fans running. – Bryce Dec 26 '13 at 20:09

Sadly enough, I had the exact same thing happen to me in the past.

If your mice were anything like mine, they are likely stockpiling food in the nest they have made inside the insulation (which, along with the droppings, is the source of the smell). More likely than not, they have made their home in the space directly underneath the burners, on top of the oven box.

When it happened to me, this was how I went about fixing the problem:

  • Shut off the gas line / unplug the unit from the wall.
  • Remove the cooktop portion of the range, exposing the insulated oven box
  • Remove the affected insulation (in my case, only about a fist sized chunk was affected).
  • Replace the cooktop, and hook the gas/electric back up (use a new flexible gas line if applicable).

In my case, the affected area was so small that I did not replace the removed insulation. To my knowledge, the only function of the insulation in that portion of the oven is to reduce heat loss. Since the area was so small, I decided that the heat loss would be negligible. If the area is relatively large, or you are paranoid about the exposed area, then you can buy some material online to patch the hole (here, for example).

The bigger issue, however, is dealing with the mice infestation in your house. As long as the mice are there, they will come back and ruin your freshly refurbished oven (trust me, I ended up doing this twice to my oven before getting rid of all the mice for good). Set traps, remove sources of food, and attempt to find and seal the places where the mice are entering the home.

share|improve this answer
Good point re the mice. I have traps set but so far nothing. The sad part is that we have a cat that likes to bring mice in for us as presents. I suspect that is the primary entry route, but cleaning out the cupboards, sweeping behind the fridge, etc is long overdue also. – mm2001 Jan 4 '11 at 4:12
If you have snap traps, make sure that they are set perpendicular to the wall, a couple of inches away from the baseboard. Also, get several styles of trap (electronic, traditional snap trap, multiple catch traps, etc). – James Van Huis Jan 4 '11 at 15:32
many thanks. I'll go and move the trap I have sitting in the middle of the under oven space which has caught nothing despite seeing some new insulation on the floor under the oven that suggests the mice are still active. – mm2001 Jan 5 '11 at 5:58
Just a note: try and avoid moving the oven repeatedly. Every time you move the oven out and back, it fatigues the metal in the flexible gas line, eventually resulting in a gas leak. When I had traps set behind the oven, I attached them to a string so I could remove and replace them without pulling the oven out. – James Van Huis Jan 5 '11 at 15:32

protected by Niall C. Aug 8 '14 at 15:12

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.