Cleaning and Maintenance

How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell

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Similar to tear gas, skunk spray is a lachrymator that irritates your eyes and nose, but might also have some more serious consequences, such as nausea. While skunks are nocturnal animals that will not simply go around spraying pets and people, they might sense danger and quickly discard the oily spray. This liquid can reach up to three feet and can permeate any surfaces. It is important to act as quickly as possible if this happens, so the next sections cover several methods you can use to get rid of skunk odor efficiently.

1. What to Do If You’ve Been Sprayed Outside

It is best not to go indoors if you’ve been sprayed. Instead, ask someone else to go and take out the necessary supplies to clean yourself: 1/2 cup baking soda, a quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, and a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid. Use a cloth or a rag to dip in the solution and rub it on yourself. This also works for pets, but make sure the solution doesn’t reach any sensitive areas, such as the eyes. Discard the mixture after you are done.

Hydrogen peroxide can be diluted and used to clean your clothing as well. Mix 1/6 hydrogen peroxide with 5/6 water and leave your clothes in this solution for up to 2 hours. If the fabrics are very sensitive, you can use vinegar instead, although it might be a bit less effective. Combine four parts of water with one part of vinegar and soak the clothes for up to 3 hours. After this, wash your clothes as usual and add half a cup of baking soda. Dry your clothes outside as the sunlight helps to remove any traces of skunk smell.

2. How to Clean Skunk Smell Indoors

If you, your kids, or your pets carried the skunk odor indoors, you don’t need to worry about washing everything they came in contact with. In some cases, the odor dissipates if you boil some vinegar in a pot. This will make your home smell like vinegar, but it should also soak the unpleasant skunk smell.

For highly affected areas, you can scrub stone or tile areas with bleach. The solution must be first diluted according to the instructions on its label. In the case of wood surfaces, the smell can be eliminated by using a mix of water and ammonia. If you have a steam cleaner, you can also wash curtains or carpets; alternatively, you can simply hire a professional cleaning service.

3. Natural Alternatives

If you do not have hydrogen peroxide to clean your home or yourself, you can use natural products. White vinegar is a great solution to eliminate the skunk odor from different surfaces, or you can use warm water and baking soda. Avoid using tomato juice as all it does is mask the skunk odor, making it more difficult to clean afterward.


The quicker you start the cleaning process, the higher chance you have to completely get rid of it. The odor can last for up to several days if you don’t act quickly, so make sure you choose the right products and get rid of the stench!

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