How to Get Rid of Skunk Odor
There isn't anything that smells quite as bad as skunk odor. If you don’t get rid of the smell correctly, the odor can take as long as two weeks or more to subside. Below, I’ll fill you in on some secrets to get rid of the smell.
Let your children know when they are young that skunks are something to stay away from. Explain to them that they spray. If the spray gets in their eyes, it hurts and can cause temporary blindness.
First Get the Odor off Your Pet
Most skunk attacks begin with a dog barking at the skunk. Once they chase the skunk, the odor starts. Our Siamese cat would sit on top of our garbage can with the neighborhood skunk.They were the best of friends. It is usually a dog involved when a skunk sprays a pet.
The Pomeranian we had years ago was sprayed. At that time everyone said to use a tomato juice bath. It only removed half of the odor. You can get a special shampoo from your veterinarian that will work, but you can make your own which is less expensive.
Add ¼ cup of baking soda to 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide (the type you use for medicinal purposes). While it is still foaming, add a couple of large squirts of dish soap or 2 tablespoons of laundry soap. This will cause a chemical reaction and it would be a good idea to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes while you mix the solution, Be sure to use an open container. The baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can actually explode if you store it in a closed container. Discard any leftovers when you are finished. This solution should not be stored.
Get the pet into a tub. Rub into every area of the pet’s fur. Afterwards be sure to totally rinse all of the mixture out of the fur. Dry the pet off well. This should take away the odor and works the first time in most cases. If it doesn’t work repeat the process.
Removing Skunk Smell From People
An adult can accidentally startle a skunk. They like to eat pet food and can be on your deck at night or just leisurely walking through your yard. If a skunk does spray you, run for the shower. Lather well with soap and shampoo your hair. Use a vinegar rinse on your hair to get out the smell.
Removing Skunk Smell From Clothing
Launder the clothing as soon as possible. If you can't, place them on a garbage bag or newspaper, because the odors can get onto other surfaces. These articles can be disposed of later.
After placing in the washing machine, add white vinegar to the load after adding the laundry soap. About 1/2 cup should be enough. If you don't have vinegar, use baking soda. The baking soda won't work as well though. Both vinegar and baking soda will help absorb the odor.
If the odor is strong, you may need to wash the clothes a second time with the vinegar. Hang on a clothes line after washing if you have one. Otherwise, dry as usual.
Removing Skunk Odor From the Home
Unless your dog rubbed the skunk odor on the carpeting or a skunk sprayed through a door, the odor is just in the air. The best thing that you can do is air out your home by keeping windows open.Then spray an air freshener.
If the spray did get on any furniture or carpeting in the house, use the same mixture used for cleaning your dog. Be sure to spot check the carpet first to be sure it doesn't remove any color. Add ¼ cup of baking soda to 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide. While it is still foaming, add a couple of large squirts of dish soap or 2 tablespoons of laundry soap. Use this mixture and scrub the surface.
It may help to clean all surfaces in the home. Keeping the windows open and airing out the house is the best antidote. Professional services are also available.
Are skunks a problem in your area?
How to Get Rid of Skunks
- Don't leave pet food outdoors. This will attract everything from skunks, possums and even rats. All of these are nocturnal animals.
- Keep a lid on your garbage cans. If you don't and you take your garbage out at night, you may get an unpleasant surprise.Skunks love garbage. Never leave bags of garbage sit around.
- Get grubs out of your yard. The last couple of years, our neighborhood has had a problem with skunks digging up our yards. It almost looks like a rototiller has gone over it. They will eat earthworms, grubs and other things in the ground. You really don't want to get rid of the earthworms. They keep the ground aerated and their casings fertilize it. So, how do you get rid of the grubs. Check for eco-friendly sprays for your yard.
- We kept our lights on since my son worked third shift. This attracted June bugs. The bugs then laid their eggs in the ground and those hatched into grubs.The skunk did a real job on the area where the light shined. It may be a good idea not to leave single lights on like we did. Flood lights will keep the skunks out, because they don't like bright lights. Dim lights don't work.
- At Garden Web, someone suggested that placing moth balls in a tight coffee can will work. You'll need to poke holes in the top of it. Do not touch the mothballs or breath in the vapors. Use rubber gloves and a mask to cover your nose and mouth. Don't breathe the scent. Mothballs can cause health problems. Place it in areas that the skunk might be interested in digging. Dogs and cats won't get into it, because they won't like the smell. Just be sure the lid is good and tight. Using ammonia is also suggested and is safer than mothballs.
- Others suggest human urine. The skunks here don't go where are dogs run, so dog urine might work too. It won't be good for your yard, but not as hard on it as the skunks digging it up or putting up with the odor they create.
- I've also read that orange and lemon peels will discourage them. I'll have to try this myself. We haven't had any skunks since they ate all of the June Bug grubs. If they arrive in our yard again, I'll have to give it a try. It sounds like the safest fix.