If you are somebody who wishes to lead a healthy lifestyle, then your kitchen is the one place that needs to be clean at all times. Cleaning all cooking gadgets and utensils is the first step in maintaining good kitchen hygiene and yes that includes the oven. You probably already know how to clean your oven and oven’s glass door and which one is the best oven cleaner. But now, here is the thing: what would you do if you happened to find some mouse droppings in the oven?
For many homeowners, it is something that can be very irritating and upsetting. Mice are known to carry disease-causing microorganisms. In quest of food and nesting places, they will squirm into small holes around the house, including the oven. As such, we will show you how to clean and disinfect your oven in a safe and healthy way, so let’s dive in!
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Why you should disinfect your oven
Cleaning and disinfecting an oven that has been touched by mice is vital before you make any direct contact. The accumulation of mouse droppings and urine can pollute the environment, food, and anyone who comes into contact with them can become ill.
It may make you more susceptible to diseases and infections, which can be dangerous if not treated properly. Pick up the droppings from the oven with a glove or toilet paper as soon as you notice one. Picking up the droppings that are wet in mouse urine, on the other hand, will not destroy the bacteria.
It’s highly recommended that you turn the oven on for at least 5 minutes before turning it off. When you do so, the heat will gradually kill any bacteria left behind from the mouse excrement.
Potential health risks
Hantavirus is a mouse-borne disease. The dust you breathe in when cleaning up a mouse dropping from the oven, microwave, or drawers can be polluted.
Your health may well be jeopardised thanks to this. Hantavirus is a contagious disease that cannot be passed from one person to another but it is a serious illness that can swiftly worsen. Even with extensive therapy, problems, such as lung and heart failure, can persist for a long period of time.
The fatality rate of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is estimated to be around 36%. Salmonellosis can be contracted by transferring bacteria from mouse droppings or urine to meals. This is a kind of food poisoning that naturally occurs in mice and is excreted through their faeces.
How to disinfect your oven after a mouse infestation step-by-step
Ovens are generally considered delicate kitchen appliances so you need to be sure how to give them a proper cleaning. In addition, how you clean one oven or another is sometimes dependent upon the brand itself. Follow these steps to get it right:
Step 1: Ventilate the kitchen for about 30 minutes before you start cleaning
You should make sure that all of the doors and windows are open. Leave the house and let the room air for 30 to 45 minutes after doing this.
Step 2: Soak the mice droppings in a disinfectant
You should use a DIY disinfectant to spray all of the areas affected by the excrement. To do so, combine one cup of bleach with ten cups of water to make the solution.
Allow 5 minutes for the spray to settle once you’ve doused all of the affected areas. Once the soaking process is complete, wait at least another 5 to 10 minutes before handling the droppings.
Step 3: Make sure to use latex or rubber gloves
Make sure you don’t come into contact with the mouse poop or a dead mouse with your bare hands. Look for a rag to mop up the wet droppings while wearing the gloves.
Paper towels can also be used to pick them up. Once you collect all of them, put them in a rubbish bag right away and then carefully place the bag in a rubbish bin with a tight-fitting cover.
Step 4: Clean the drawers of the oven to get rid of any bad smell
The next step is to boil some water with vinegar and baking soda and clean your oven drawers and oven surface with it. The main reason you’re doing this is to get rid of the microorganisms and the odour that emanates from the oven. You can also make an alcohol solution (70%) to clean the oven.
If the oven still smells at this point, turn on the broiler for a few hours. Raise the temperature to 180 degrees Celsius until the odour disappears. All germs should be killed by this high temperature. Following that, use a fragrance to add a pleasant aroma.
Step 5: Wash the gloves thoroughly before you remove them
To avoid transmitting dirt and potentially disease-causing bacteria into other parts of your body, make sure you wash your gloved hands after collecting the excrement. Then, remove the gloves with care and place them in the tightly closed rubbish bin.
Step 6: Now wash your hands
Hands should be washed with warm water and plenty of soap, then dried with a clean towel before applying a topical disinfectant.
Preventive tips to keep mice at bay
1. Try to eliminate their food source
In the kitchen, mice can be your biggest nightmare. They love to congregate there because of the warmth, the presence of food, and the excellent mating opportunities.
Keeping food in a sealed container is a great way to keep mice out of the kitchen. To keep cereals, sugary foods, and carbohydrates safe, use airtight containers. This would eliminate any pleasant odours that might tempt them.
Leave no food crumbs on the kitchen counters. To prevent them from having access to crumbs, the waste should be locked and bagged in a container with a tight top.
After each meal, wash the dishes and wipe the hob clean to remove any food odours. You will drastically minimise the chance of mice in your kitchen by doing this simple and practical procedure.
2. Maintain a clean and orderly kitchen
Cleaning on a daily basis is quite beneficial. It is essential to keep your kitchen clean and tidy. Mice will look for alternative housing if there’s no mess to get into.
Cleaning the kitchen floor and brushing the walls to eliminate stains are all essential. Good hygiene standards will quickly and effectively drive them away. Another important step in keeping mice out of your kitchen is to provide adequate ventilation.
3. Use peppermint as a natural mice repellent
It causes an allergic reaction in all rodents, especially mice. They will almost certainly leave any room where peppermint oils are detected. Using a few drops of peppermint oil in your oven will greatly minimise the number of mice.
To clean the surfaces of your kitchen appliances and countertops, make a DIY spray bottle with hot water, vinegar, and a few drops of peppermint oil.
Just to be on the safe side, you can use a few drops in any holes where you think mice might be able to squeeze through. Peppermint plants are also a good choice. This will significantly discourage mice from coming over.
4. Try to block any potential entry points
Mice can pass through the tiniest of spaces. They can get into the kitchen through holes. You want to make sure there aren’t any so you can be sure that they won’t have an entry. From the plumbing under your sink to behind your cupboards, cover every tiny hole in your house. When stuffing steel wool into the holes, wear protective gloves to avoid disease contamination.
Things to avoid
- When cleaning the rat poop, never use a vacuum cleaner. The majority of people are tempted to use a vacuum cleaner, but this does not appear to be appropriate and should be avoided at all costs. This is because using a vacuum cleaner to blow the droppings away increases your chances of inhaling them.
- Never start the process of disinfection unless the whole kitchen has been ventilated for at least 30 minutes.
- It’s important to remember that you should never handle the mouse poop with your bare hands since you risk contracting an infection.
- Don’t immediately toss out the droppings. You would need to place them first in a sealed bag and then dispose of them properly after you have collected them.
To sum up, cleaning up your oven after a mouse infestation is a necessary task. Please make sure to follow all of the recommended tips outlined in this article so that you can clean up the mess that those mice have left behind in a clean and hygienic way. Above all, remember that prevention will always be better than cure!