How To Keep Rats Away From Washing Machine [Top 16 Tips]

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Rats and mice love to chew on wires, they find their way into your washing machine and cause a lot of damage which can cause severe fire hazards. It’s best to avoid this by preventing them from gaining access to your appliances.

Here’s a guide that will help how to keep rats away from washing machine.

  • Use Steel Net
  • Buy a washing machine with a rat protection panel
  • Keep Your Washing Machine Area Clean
  • Organize cords and cables properly
  • Use peppermint oil
  • Properly close the lid of the machine
  • Try ultrasonic devices
  • Ammonia
  • Use cloves
  • Fill up the holes or openings
  • Call the professional pest control
  • Check for gnawing and chattering sounds
  • Place rat traps near the washing machine
  • Check your washing machine regularly
  • Securely tighten electrical switch plates
  • Store your pet food securely

Rats look for warm places during winter to avoid the worst of the cold, and the washing machine is warm enough to keep them safe during the harsh weather. If you are searching to keep rats away from the washing machine, here are some helpful tips that help you keep them away.

How To Keep Rats Away From Washing Machine
How To Keep Rats Away From Washing Machines

How Can I Protect My Washing Machine from Rats?

Rats are attracted to wire insulations and can destroy your washing machine by chewing its wires. Here’s how to keep rats away from your washing machine.

Use Steel Net

Use Steel Net

Steel net is the most durable and strong net available. It is mostly used in homes, gardens, agriculture, industrial, transportation, horticultural, and food procuring sectors to protect from pests, including rats, raccoons, possums, etc. A good-quality steel mesh makes it very difficult for rats to chew through it.

Cover all the washing machines and buttons with a steel net, cable tire, and cutting tool. Tire it with cable ties and connect it with steel nets at the switch. The rat cannot get inside your washing machine.

Buy a Washing Machine With a Rat Protection Panel

Nowadays, many washing machines come with an anti-rat cover. So you don’t need to worry about rats damaging your washing machine by chewing the wires, which in turn affects its durability & performance.

Due to their growing population all around the world, you can’t protect your washing machine all the time. Buying this washing machine can be an excellent investment. So get yours now!

Keep The Area Around Your Machine Clean

Keep The Area Around Your Machine Clean

Rats love to live in dirty places. They make a nest in messy places with easy access to food and a place that provides them with easy cover. If your area around the washing machine is dirty, or there are food particles on the floor, it is an open invitation to rats. Make sure to clean the area around the washing machine regularly.

Dirty places are a favorite hiding spot for rats because it protects them from larger animals like cats and dogs, and it is easier for them to get food from filthy places.

Organize Cords and Cables Properly

Organize Cords and Cables

Rats love to chew on cords and cables. They find them very appealing. They can even shut down an entire household’s electric system by chewing the wires.

Messy and unorganized cords and cables of your washing machine are a welcome sign for rats to come and chew them. So, please don’t leave the wires of the washing machine unorganized to keep them away from the reach of rats.

Use Peppermint Oil

Peppermint Oil

Rats hate peppermint oil because of its strong smell. Although its smell is unpleasant for rats, it is entirely safe and chemical-free for humans.

Soak a few cotton balls in the peppermint oil and place them near the washing machine. Rats deter the smell of peppermint oil, so they will not come near where they smell it. Change the cotton balls with fresh ones after the scent fades.

You can mix water and peppermint oil and spray it in your washing area to repel rats.

Properly Close the Lid of The Machine

Close the Lid of The Machine

After every use, prevent rats from entering the washing machine and causing any damage. Closing the washing machine’s lid is very important if not in use. If you have a front-loading washer, ensure the door is tightly closed after every use.

Once they get into your washing machine, they will chew onto your clothes, make holes in there, and even get trapped. Trust me; keeping them out of the machine is tough and gross.

Try Ultrasonic Devices

Ultrasonic Devices

Sounds created by ultrasonic devices irritate rats because of their sensitive hearing. You can find this device at your nearest hardware store and online.

Place ultrasonic rat-repellent devices near your washing machine. It emits the beeping sounds and high-intensity waves they hate. It is an effective way to keep them away from your washing machine. It is also safe for your kids and pets.

Use Ammonia

Ammonia Solution

The pungent smell of ammonia makes it a good rat repellent. It is also very toxic to rats and can damage their respiratory system.

Place ammonia in caps under the sink or near your washing machine. Rats don’t like the smell of ammonia because it smells like the urine of their predators. Make sure to place them out of reach of kids and pets.

Make a mixture by pouring one-quarter of water, two tsp of detergent, and two cups of ammonia and spraying it around the washing area to deter rats.

Use Cloves


Rats deter the strong smell and overpowering taste of clove. Leave some clove pieces near the washing machine area or place a bunch of cloves in a few muslin clothes and place them around your house to keep them away.

You can also use clove oil to repel them. Soak cotton balls in clove essential oil and place them near the washing area.

Fill Up the Holes or Openings

Fill Up the Holes or Openings

Rats can enter your house through the tiniest holes and openings. Fill all the spaces in your home and gaps with steel wool, rubber, or foam. Use lath screen, metal, cement, hardware cloth, or metal sheeting to fix large holes. You can easily find all these items at your nearest hardware store.

Check For Gnawing and Chattering Sounds

If you hear gnawing and chattering sounds around the area of your washing machine. Then this is a sign that a rat is inside the machine, and you must follow the steps to save your machine from getting damaged.

Please turn off the machine and unplug it from the power outlet post and check carefully inside the machine. If you see a rat, take it out with hand gloves to protect yourself from a harmful disease that rats spread, known as hantavirus.

Place Rat Traps Near the Washing Machine Area

Rat traps are considered very effective in catching rats. They have been used for years for catching rodents. But there is one thing you should know: rats are very curious about their surroundings. If they see something new, they don’t usually go to it until they are satisfied. That’s where baiting comes in.

Placing a trap near the machine area can be an effective method to keep them away. Try baiting the trap with food like tomato, cheese, and peanut butter to lure rats into the trap. Once the rat is in the trap, dispose of it immediately away from your house so it can’t come back again.

Check Your Washing Machine Regularly

Check your washing machine for any signs of rats, including rat droppings or chewed wires.Call a professional mechanic once a month to check it in detail. Servicing your washing machine can help you avoid breakdown and see if there is a rat in your machine. How much damage has been done to your washing machine if it’s already there? Frequent servicing of your washing machine can also save you from many hazards, including fires and electric shocks.

Securely Tighten Electrical Switch Plates

Securely Tighten Electrical Switch Plates

Electrical switches are made from metal and plastic and can break or become loose over time due to normal wear and tear. Rats can enter your house through these switches.

Make sure to pull your home’s electrical switch plates and outlet covers securely. The walls, ceiling, and floor opening allow rats to get into your house and chew the wiring.

Store Pet Food Securely

Store Pet Food

Rats are opportunistic eaters, which means they can eat anything, including your pet food. Pet food contains many nutrients for rats, so they love to eat pet food. With their strong sense of smell, they can easily get to your pet’s food and keep coming back for more.

Place your pet’s food securely because rats love to eat pet food. Avoid placing them in your garden, especially at night or where rodents can access them easily. Put your pet food inside an airtight container to lock the food aromas inside not to attract the rats.

Call Professional Pest Control

If you see rats around the washing machine area, try placing them somewhere else. Make sure there are no food crumbs near the washing machine area but if you still face problems with rats around your washing machine, then take measures to get rid of them before they reproduce and multiply and trouble you even more with their presence.

Call a professional pest consultant company right now. They can help you get rid of them permanently. They can also look for holes and openings from rats entering your house and block them.


Where there are food scraps and food, rats will be present. They may inhabit your attic or walls, but the most likely place for rats to be found in your washing machine. They love the warmth and the food.

We hope this article will help you protect washing machines from rats easily. The following tips discussed in this article can keep your washing machine safe from these pesky rodents.

Frequently Asked Questions

The teeth of rats continuously grow throughout their lives. That’s why they need to chew on wires and onto different surfaces to keep their size in control. Your washing machine provides a safe place to hide from predators or harsh weather. They chew onto the wires of your washing machine because of their natural habit of chewing on different things.
Rats can find their way into your washing machine through holes and openings, chew away at the insulation, and cause your machine a lot of damage. Check the wires of your washing machine frequently to check for rat presence.

Rats have a very strong sense of smell. They are repellent by many different scents that are completely safe for kids and pets. You can use these smells to keep them away from your washing machine.
Put lemon, garlic, and plants like rosemary, eucalyptus, daffodils, and lavender near your washing machine. Rats will not come near these smells.

Rats have scent glands on their flanks which they use to rub their scent onto disputed territory. Rats have a pungent, musky odor, which is the first sign homeowners notice in their houses. Check carefully in your washing machine for a rat.
Rats often get stuck in the cogs, drum, or even the engine of your machine and die while you use it. So maybe this is why your washing machine smells like a dead rat because it has a dead rat in it.

Rats can get into your washing machines through tiny holes, drain hoses, dryer vents, and other tubes and pipes connecting your household to the water and sewer system. You may have a rat problem if you hear gnawing sounds near your washing machine.
Check for gaps around door frames, tiny holes in your house, utility or air conditioning lines, or water pipes to find their centering point and block them completely to stop them from entering.

No, it would be best never to use rat poison in your washing machine. Using rat poison might kill the rat, but it can be hazardous for you when you wash clothes in it every time.
Although it is an effective method to kill rats with poison, they slowly die from internal bleeding when they consume poison. Sometimes after consuming rat poison, they don’t die immediately. So, it can be dangerous for your family if a poisonous rat is in your house.

Yes, Rats like to hide in the washing machine because they are humid and warm and provide excellent comfort during the winter. It is easier to get food from there. They can also easily enter your washing machine through your house’s pipes, hoses, and vents.
Hiding in a washing machine gives them a sense of protection and safety from predators, including cats and dogs.

Yes, Rats can destroy everything they can find. Once they enter your washing machine, they will ruin your clothes. Because of these pesky rodents, you must say goodbye to your favorite cloth items.
Rats are scavengers, and because of their natural habitat, they find food by tearing through different materials such as bags, walls, clothes, and boxes. Rats like clutter; they will also love your pile of dirty laundry if you give them a chance.

Rats can find their way into your washing machine because they like hot and humid spaces and because of their constantly growing teeth, they chew up your washing machine’s wiring and sometimes even get trapped inside the drum.
Rats are slender and extremely flexible. They can fit through holes slightly smaller than their body width. They are also extremely excellent climbers. They will find cracks and weak points in ventilation systems and gaps around the walls and the attic and easily get into your washing machine.

Remove the dead rat with hand gloves if the dead rat is in one piece and no rat fluids are leaking onto your clothes. Then wash all the clothes with boiling water, put them in the dryer on the hottest setting, and then put them in the sunlight for a few minutes to ensure that all the germs are Killed.
If you are still not unsatisfied and you know you won’t wear them again, bow them away. You can also wash the clothes with bleach, soap, and laundry sanitizer to kill the germs.

Rats chew the cords and wires of your washing machine, which can cause fire hazards.
– Their droppings can spread a lot of diseases.
Rats can climb and get inside your washing machine, which can damage your washing machine, ruin your clothes, and even get killed sometimes.
– Their sharp teeth can make holes in your washing machine, causing water leakage.
– Rats are very noisy. Their continuous chattering is very annoying.

List of sources

“Insight” in rats. Edward Chace Tolman, Charles H Honzik