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.

  • 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
    Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 1:26
  • Hi, @mm2001. Did you end up resolving this? If so, an update on what worked (or didn't) would be helpful. Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 12:23
  • 1
    @DanielGriscom I ended up getting rid of it and replaced it with a cheaper stove. Very reluctantly. I couldn't find anyone who would attempt to repair it. I did get it outside and remove some panels and it was riddled with mouse droppings. Fortunately the mice did not return, perhaps because we stopped leaving the cat food out.
    – mm2001
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 21:04
  • Probably a good choice. The mice pee in the insulation, and then you're getting that good old "burnt pee smell" that any Boy Scout will tell you about. Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 1:14

3 Answers 3


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.

  • 1
    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
    Commented Jan 4, 2011 at 4:11
  • 1
    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. Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 3:56
  • 1
    You can run an oven cleaning cycle to 'roast' some of the smell out. Do this on a nice day with fans running.
    – Bryce
    Commented Dec 26, 2013 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.

  • 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
    Commented Jan 4, 2011 at 4:12
  • 1
    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). Commented Jan 4, 2011 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
    Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 5:58
  • 2
    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. Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 15:32

Realizing this is very old: I'm going through this with a brand new stove that was kept in storage for a while. I've had to remove all of the insulation and clean all of the sheet metal that had urine on it. Definitely not a 1 hour task, I'm up to 2 days on and off.

The insulation I'd recommend is either the OEM (repair clinic or similar) or a ceramic 2400F insulating fireproof. The latter is not likely to be easily eaten and, should you choose to, you could wet it with 'rigidizer' making it practically impossible for the mice to get into.

When removing the OLD stove to replace, I found out mice had made a nest on top of the oven insulation- filled it with chocolate and butter scotch chip. They were all intact, never melted, despite loads of high temperature cooking.

Take your time, take photos, and keep the screws organized. Modern stoves use pretty much all the same screw both size and length to keep manufacturing costs down, and 'finish' screws are unique to their look/area.

Also consider spot-blasting the surface where the urine was; that'll clean it quickly and get rid of any rusting/rusty spots. Use an cheap spot blaster out doors, wear a mask (should be easy now), and use 70 grit (Fast cutting). Hit it with high temp primer/acid etch if you want to protect it, but it should be good.

Future Mice Removers, Rejoice!

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