Removing Skunk Odor with a Homemade Deodorizing Cleaner

Removing Skunk Odors with a Homemade Deodorizing Cleaner

About the only effective thing a skunk can do to defend themselves is to spray a liquid that stinks to the high heavens. It is a very effective defense.

This spray contains a sulfuric based chemical that comes from their anal glands. The terrible odor is unmistakable, a combination of rotten eggs, garlic, and burnt rubber. So if you see a skunk hissing, stomping it’s feet, raises his tail and pointing his rear at you – start running!

Being “skunked” is not a pleasant experience for animals or people. I’ve been “skunked” too. And I know just how to fix you all up..

So let’s get right to it, the faster you clean it up, the faster you get rid of the odor. We’ll clean the terrible smell up fast with a homemade cleaning deodorizer.

General Odor Removal Tips

  • If you were skunked, wash yourself and all clothing washed immediately- The sooner the better.
  • If a pet was sprayed by a skunk, try to bath them outside to avoid further “spray” from the skunk being tracked inside your home.
  • Skunk odor is very persistent so don’t get discouraged if it does not come out immediately at first. Bathing and laundering may have to be done more than one time.
  • If you have skunks around your home keep the lids tightly on any garbage cans and feed the dog indoors.

Homemade Skunk Odor Remover

Here is a recipe that is safe for pets or humans to use. This will help to remove the skunk odor – not just mask it. If a skunk has sprayed you, it’s safe to use this cleaning solution to wash with, you can also use this to wash your dog and your clothes.

All of the ingredients below should be mixed at the time you need it, in an open container and not bottled. The hydrogen peroxide and baking soda produce copious amounts of oxygen and it’s the same chemical action that is creating the oxygen that will neutralize the skunk odor.

Whatever cleaning solution you have left over that you don’t use should be poured down the drain.

  • One quart of hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
  • A teaspoon or two of gentle liquid soap like soft soap or ivory liquid

Removing Skunk Odor from Clothing

If you can actually bear to wear your clothes long enough to get to a washing machine, you’ll need to wash them in the hottest water possible. Use the strongest laundry detergent you can find and don’t be shy about using it.

Don’t use so much that the machine over-suds and leaks all over the laundry room floor like a bad Brady Bunch episode. It should also go without saying that you’ll want to wash the skunk clothes separately.

Because the skunk spray will permeate the fibers of your clothes and might be a bit tougher to remove, another method for laundering clothes that have been skunked is below. You may need to repeat the process until the smell is completely gone.

  • Laundry detergent, use liberally
  • Use the hottest water possible
  • Vinegar, 4 cups per load
  • Baking soda, 1 cup per load

Using the hottest water your washable clothes can tolerate, fill the tub with water and add the vinegar, then add your clothes and wash.

Keep in mind you don’t want to put your clothes in the dryer until the smell is gone. You may have to repeat washing your clothes.

If you notice after the first washing the smell is dissipating, try adding the baking soda to the second wash without the vinegar. Baking soda is a great deodorizer.

If you do put them in the dryer and the smell hasn’t been removed, the cloths may be permanently “skunky” smelling and will need to be tossed out.

If it is a sunny day, you can also hang the clothes in the sun to dry.

Removing Skunk Odor from Your Dog

If your dog has been sprayed, the sooner you try and bathe him, the better. If possible, don’t let him loose in the house. You don’t want him to jump up on any of the furniture or come into contact with the kids.

This solution should not irritate your dog’s skin unless it has open wounds. Do not get it in your animal’s eyes.

Skunk Remover Recipe for Dogs

In a wide-mouth plastic container, mix the following ingredients:

  • One quart of hydrogen peroxide
  • ¼ cup of baking soda
  • A teaspoon or two of gentle liquid soap like soft soap or ivory liquid

Washing Your Dog

Many a family pet has found a skunk while sniffing around in the bushes, and if your dog was sprayed in the face, it can be especially painful. Wipe his eyes with a cool, wet cloth to eliminate any spray that might be still in his eyes be careful not to get the cleaning solution in them to avoid further irritation.

  1. Stir the cleaning mixture gently but don’t put it into a spray bottle. (Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda put off oxygen that will create an enormous amount of pressure.
  2. Work the mixture into your dog’s coat immediately while the solution is still bubbling. You might want to wear rubber gloves to avoid getting the skunk smell on your hands.
  3. Keep your pet still (as much as possible) and leave the deodorizer on for five to 10 minutes while the solution works its magic.
  4. Rinse your pet well with warm water.
  5. Dry your dog’s coat with a towel if possible.

How to Remove Skunk Odors from Your Car

There’s a commercial product called Skunk-Off that works well. If you can’t find it, use a commercial tire cleaner to at least scrub the tires. If the smell has permeated the inside of the car, spray upholstered seats and the carpet with distilled white vinegar. Remove the car mats and spray them as well.

You’ll also need to replace the air filter as soon as you can. Any of the skunk oil that’s under the hood will make its way into the car as long as it’s there. Don’t waste your money on air fresheners that hang from the mirror. They will cover the bad odor, but they won’t be any good at removing skunk smell.

Removing the Skunk Smell from Your Home

If your pet ran through your house after being skunked, you might be living with the residual odor and it’s not pleasant. Right after you have opened up all the windows to let fresh air in, you should clean any upholstery or carpet that your pet came in contact with, using the same recipe above that you used on their fur. Just mix up a new batch and get to work.

Because peroxide might lighten dark fabrics, you should test it first on an inconspicuous spot. If you are concerned, you can buy an enzyme cleaner that will eliminate the smell.

How to Avoid Getting Sprayed by a Skunk

It’s a little late now, but if you live in an area that has skunks, it’s best to avoid being sprayed in the first place.

Skunks are nocturnal (they sleep in the day) and are out and about at night foraging for a variety of food. They are omnivore, which means that they eat both plant and animals, with insects a being a favorite choice.

If you have to go outside in the evening where a skunk might be about, bring a flashlight to avoid startling it if you happen upon each other- Or at least give you a chance to run if you see that you are about to become a target again.

  • Remove food sources and and any possible sources of shelter.
  • Put trash out in morning instead of the evening, if possible, or keep it in a protected area.
  • Skunk-proof garbage can with a tight fitting lid, or secure it with straps.
  • Don’t leave pet food or their food bowls out at night.
  • Treat lawns to reduce grub populations.
  • Keep the mice population low. Skunks eat mice, and will go inside buildings looking for them.
  • Remove brush piles and debris.
  • Close the garage door at night.
  • Cover window wells. There are readily available commercial window well covers that are inexpensive.
  • Close basement windows at night, and keep them in good repair.