There are very few things that are hard to get used to when maintaining a yard or household. Skunks are one of those misfortunes that you may encounter while doing your chores. If it’s been scavenging your property for some time, the critter may have left an extremely unpleasant smell around that can be a real bummer.
Here, I’d like to give you some tips on how to get rid of skunk smell. Also, I’ve prepared a short but useful list of products that will come in handy should you find yourself face to face with the pests. Shall we?
Getting Rid of Skunk Smell: What to Do and How to Do It
Skunks are known to be innocuous to people and vegetation. They pose no danger and mean no harm, but the trace they leave behind is a real disaster. There is an array of things and approaches that can assist you in eliminating skunk odors. First, let’s learn a little more about dealing with skunks and odor abatement.
Is a skunk spray dangerous?
No, it isn’t, if you follow all the instructions properly. You see, every skunk spray remover is normally composed of natural extracts, like garlic, for example. When used moderately, the elements are completely harmless to humans and animals. They create a miasma that skunks simply cannot stand, thus forcing them to flee and avoid the area.
However, if there is a high concentration of it in an enclosed area, some issues may occur. Generally, a spray can cause minor eye and nasal irritation, redness, or coughing. To prevent any unfortunate occasions, make sure to follow the instructions, and wear protective gear if it’s recommended.
What does a skunk spray smell like?
As much as the spray is harmless, it can be nasty. It has quite a lot of sulfur, thus making skunk smell removal rather complicated. The element gives off the smell that is very close to the one spoilt eggs have. Interestingly, the smell is rather neutral at first.
But after some time in the fresh air, it worsens and becomes less and less pleasant. The effect wears off shortly afterward, but if it has got onto clothes or hair, it can stay longer and be somewhat difficult to get rid of.
How to get rid of skunk smell?
The best way to remove skunk smell is to combine different methods to ensure effectiveness. Cleaning only the polluted area won’t make much difference in the long run, since the smell is rather sticky and can easily transfer from one place to another.
However, approaching the problem from different sides and using prevention methods can help you clear your household from the smell for good.
Step 1: Ventilating the area with fresh air
If a skunk has left a smelly print in an enclosed area, letting in some freshness is a must. Open up every window and door in the room to improve the in-room air circulation. Also, the sun can accelerate the smell particles’ decomposition, which speeds up the refreshment.
The same should be applied to contaminated fabrics. After washing the items, put them outside under direct sunlight and in the draught to get the skunk smell out more naturally. Drying items in a machine won’t be as effective as it is in the open air because dryers use the same air over and over again, providing no circulation.
On the other hand, you may have a contaminated area outside the house. Then, opening the windows won’t do the trick but rather drag the smell inside, polluting the furniture, carpets, and clothes. On the contrary, you had better seal everything off to prevent further contamination.
Step 2: Deodorizing your home
Use a set of freshers to cover the smell and neutralize the skunk odor indoors. Depending on the scale of the problem, you can choose:
Special air fresheners. They come in a variety of formulas that can suit specific cases of contamination. For instance, a spray freshener should be on hand when the smell has soaked into the walls and furniture. It covers a larger area and provides additional protection against the odor’s spreading.
Also, there are granules that you can scatter around under the furniture or in places that are difficult to reach with a spray.
Natural remedies. Vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and others can be used for such purposes. Get a bowl full of water and combine it with some white vinegar. Place the bowl in the contaminated room and keep the window open. This skunk removal recipe is also great for dealing with other kinds of unpleasant odors, like mold, dampness, or even urine.
Step 3: Clean the source of the smell
If you know the exact spot contaminated by a skunk, you should get to it promptly before it will deposit and be impossible to clean up.
Carpets. Use cleaning powders for fabrics and apply them to carpets and mats. When the treatment has absorbed the odor, you can vacuum-clean it or rub it out with a wet brush. Also, it’s advised to use a steam-based dryer and go through the carpets a couple of times to let the smell evaporate.
Furniture and floors. Mix ¼ of a liter of bleach with 3-4 liters of water. Make sure that the water is warm but not too hot since it can harm the wood. Also, use natural detergents because chemicals can leave residues. Apply this mixture to hard surfaces a couple of times and rub it in well.
Step 4: Removing skunk odor from clothes
Getting rid of the smell out of clothes is unlikely to be effective using natural remedies because fabrics tend to trap the particles. Here, you can do a few things:
Mix laundry detergent with ½ cup of baking soda and combine the mixture with warm water. Put the clothes in and let them soak for about 2 hours. While it’s soaking, you can rub the clothes together and add some dish soap for a better effect. Later, run the clothes through a cycle of machine-washing and, again, add some soda.
Instead of detergent, you can use hydrogen peroxide. This way, make a solution of hydrogen peroxide and soda (1:6). It can also come in handy for cleaning carpets and animal fur. When the solution is applied, run it through a washing cycle and hang the clothes to dry in the sun.
Step 5: Clean pets and yourself
What absorbs skunk odor from human skin and pet fur the best is hydrogen peroxide and simple dish soap.
Use 1 liter of low-concentration hydrogen peroxide and 4 full tablespoons of baking soda until you have a bubbling reaction. If the stench is too extreme, add more soda.
Combine it with dish soap (1 tablespoon) in a big bowl. Cover the contaminated areas with a thick layer of the solution. Rub it in the fur or skin and leave it for about 10 minutes. Afterward, wash out the substance with warm water a couple of times. If needed, repeat the process once more.
Also, you can use de-skunk shampoo. It doesn’t require any additional ingredients and is completely friendly to the skin and fur. Apply it to the contaminated areas, rub it in thoroughly, and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then, rinse it down with water once or twice.
Top 4 Best Skunk Odor Treatments: Fast and Easy Solutions
Apart from natural skunk smell removal remedies, there are special products, designed to rid you of the smell professionally. Here, I have some of them for your consideration, compiled in short reviews that can save you a lot of time. Take a look!
1. Skunk-Off Liquid Soaker Spray — Best Skunk Odor Removing Spray
- Safe To Use Around Children & Pets
- Item Form: Spray
- Item Volume: 32 fl oz
- Item Weight: 2 Pounds
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 10.3 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches
This product is the ultimate treatment for refreshing your house, vehicle, and even pets. It comes into effect within minutes and purifies surfaces from any skunk odor without leaving stains. The product consists of active natural ingredients that are completely harmless to people and animals.
Instead of researching how to clean the skunk smell with natural remedies, you can apply the spray to any fabric, wood, or plastic surfaces. While drying, the solution dissolves particles and leaves no residues behind. The quantity is sufficient to conduct a thorough cleaning of the whole house.
2. Harvard Chemical Research Skunk Out Eliminator — Best Skunk Odor Remover for House
- Nontoxic, Nonirritating, Biodegradable
- Contains No Oxidizers, Enzymes or Desensitizers
- Item Form: Liquid
- Item Weight: 35.65 Pounds
- Package Dimensions LxWxH: 17.6 x 14.5 x 14.5 inches
If your property is badly contaminated, this solution is perfect for neutralizing any kind of smell, including skunk odors. It combines a variety of elements that capture the smell particles and release them into the air. Also, it works as a disinfectant that eliminates bacteria and sanitizes it for safety.
It’s a fit for cleaning fabrics, carpets, and even clothes and doesn’t harm the material. The product has to be diluted with fresh water, which helps cover a larger area. When cleaning, the solution is harmless to vegetation and animals thanks to its non-chemical formula.
3. Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover — Best for Pets Contaminated by Skunk Smell
- Safe To Use Around Children & Pets
- Style: Original
- Item Volume: 32 fl oz
- Item Weight: 2.2 Pounds
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 3.38 x 3.38 x 9.19 inches
You should use this product if it’s been more than 2-3 hours after contamination. The solution gets rid of even old skunk-caused odors and works more like a detergent than a masking perfume. It’s rather multi-purpose and can be applied to fabrics, solid surfaces, people, and animals.
The solution is perfect for pets and domestic animals. Simply, spill some of it onto the fur and, preferably, rub it in a little. It doesn’t take longer than 15 minutes for the product to do its job.
4. Big D Odor Control Fogger — Best Odor Control Fogger for In and Out of Doors
- Fragrance: Mountain Air
- 5 oz. can provides up to 6000 cu. ft.
- Item Form: Spray
- Net Weight: 5 oz
- Item Dimensions LxWxH: 9 x 6.75 x 6 inches
This one is designed to clean different smells, including the skunk stench. It covers more than 5,000 cubic feet of an area and doesn’t leave any marks behind. The product is safe, organic, and very effective for small and medium-sized places.
Spray the solution onto and around the contaminated area and give it a good 10 minutes to sit in. The fresh smell will mask any unpleasant odor and keep the effect for days. It’s also great for smoke, musty, and damp smells.
Have you got any more questions about skunk smell elimination? You may find the answers here!
Does tomato juice get rid of the skunk smell?
No, it doesn’t. It may mask the smell for some time, but in the long run, tomato juice doesn’t trap the smell particles. Consequently, the smell can return after some time when the juice wears off and be as unpleasant as before.
How long does skunk smell last in the house?
When a skunk leaves its mark, it contains high levels of sulfur, which makes it long-lasting and very hard to eliminate. Generally, the skunk smell is at its highest for around 2-3 weeks before it starts to wear off.
Removing skunk odor from home or premises is important to happen within this time frame. The reason is wearing off doesn’t mean vanishing, since a faint scent is always left behind, causing a disturbance and discomfort.
How to identify a source of skunk smell?
It should be too difficult considering how strong the smell is. Also, there can be a distinct yellowish spot that doesn’t go away with time. Besides this, dogs and cats can come to help thanks to their strong senses.
Avoid a Disaster Before It’s Too Late — Get Rid of the Smell Right Away
If a skunk has left something behind before leaving, your life might never be safe. The smell is extremely disturbing and somewhat hard to get rid of. However, there is hope if you act quickly and efficiently. Use natural remedies to cover the smell, whereas you should apply sprays and solutions to eliminate the contamination for good.
With this being said, I hope the article has been helpful. Tell me what kind of cleaning treatment have you used? How did your pet’s fur react to a de-skunking shampoo? Leave the comments below!
- Skunks (City of Albuquerque):
- Dealing With Skunks and Odor Abatement (University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture):
- Removing Skunk Odor (University of Nebraska – Lincoln Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources):
- 1 Getting Rid of Skunk Smell: What to Do and How to Do It
- 2 How to get rid of skunk smell?
- 3 Top 4 Best Skunk Odor Treatments: Fast and Easy Solutions
- 3.1 1. Skunk-Off Liquid Soaker Spray — Best Skunk Odor Removing Spray
- 3.2 2. Harvard Chemical Research Skunk Out Eliminator — Best Skunk Odor Remover for House
- 3.3 3. Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover — Best for Pets Contaminated by Skunk Smell
- 3.4 4. Big D Odor Control Fogger — Best Odor Control Fogger for In and Out of Doors
- 4 FAQs
- 5 Avoid a Disaster Before It’s Too Late — Get Rid of the Smell Right Away
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