The odor released by a skunk can cause a reaction that makes your nasal passages close, similar to the effects of getting pepper sprayed. With this in mind, it’s no wonder why we try to rid ourselves and our possessions of the awful stink as soon as possible.
If you do indeed get sprayed by a skunk and you need to get skunk smell out of your house, here are a few different methods to try:
- Take a bath or shower immediately. The spray easily soaks into your skin, giving you a body odor no deodorant can tackle.
- Use liberal amounts of soap. If you can, use dawn dishwashing soap (or equivalent) which is the best grease cutter available
- Sulfur is neutralized by chlorine bleach. Chlorine is used in small quantities in swimming pools and hot tubs. If you have access to the powder or chlorine tablets that are used in pools or hot tub, get your bathtub set up with the proper (adjusted to the small amount of water in the tub) and have a bath for a good 15 minutes or so.
- Shower thoroughly to rinse after your bath.
- Note: Please don’t think of using the chlorine bleach we use in the laundry. It’s very concentrated, highly alkaline, not to mention NOT SAFE to bathe in, or get on your skin. It will completely dissolve hair. Chlorine bleach is caustic and toxic.
- The next best thing is baking soda. It is also alkaline, but not caustic or toxic. Baking soda is also a great deodorizer because it is alkaline. Run your bath and toss in 4 cups of baking soda. Make sure the baking soda has dissolved completely.
- Have a good soak for 15 minutes. It won’t hurt NOT to rinse after the baking soda bath. As long as you don’t feel itchy or uncomfortable, the baking soda will still be deodorizing.
- You should be feeling and smelling better.
- You can repeat this process if needed the next day.
Run fans. Turn on electric ceiling fans and desk fans to keep the air circulating in your home.
- If you allow the air to remain still and stagnant, the skunk smell will only sink deeper into your fabrics. Turning on all the fans in your home as soon as possible helps to keep the air in your house moving, thereby preventing the odor from settling into anything too deeply.
- This works especially well when used in conjunction with opened windows.
Change out your filters
- Change out your air conditioner and heater filters before and after you treat the rest of your home for skunk odor.
- The skunk smell can cling to these filters, and as a result, you may end up smelling skunk through your air vents for months. The only way to remedy this is by changing out your air filters.
- Changing the air filters before treating the rest of your home minimizes the amount of stink coming through your vents and re-contaminating the rest of your home.
- Do sniff tests after you clean the rest of your home. Smell the air filters. If they do not smell like skunk, you may not need to change them again. If they do smell like skunk, however, you should replace them once more to prevent the filters from re-contaminating the rest of your home.
Place bowls of vinegar around the house
If you cannot pinpoint the exact source of the smell, fill small bowls with a little white vinegar and place them around the house.
- Focus on the worst smelling rooms of the house, since the source of the stench most likely originates there.
- If you have pets or small children, you may want to consider putting the vinegar high up on shelves to prevent them from ingesting it.
- The vinegar should absorb much of the smell after 24 hours. In most cases, the smell of vinegar should not be too potent, either.
Removing the smell from your clothes
Skunk spray has the tendency to soak into the fibers of clothing, lasting for a very long time. Unless the clothing is a cherished piece- toss it, because the smell is hard to get rid of. If the oily part of the skunk spray is not removed from the clothing, the stink will remain.
- If you want to try to clean it, washing with your regular detergent may not get the smell completely. Hot water, liberal amounts of detergent and 4 cups of vinegar in the wash water. Otherwise the scent will soak into the fabric permanently.
- You can try adding some baking soda alternating with vinegar is the wash on alternate loads to get that entire stink out.
One note here: be sure to smell your clothes before putting them in the dryer. If the odor remains, try washing them again. If you put them in the dryer before the entire odor is gone, you will actually seal it into the fabric.
Anyone who has ever come in contact with a skunk knows how hard it can be to get rid of that smell once and for all. By using some of the tips above, you should be able to free yourself and your pets from the stinky remains.
If you think you have a skunk problem, call Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control today. 1-888-592-0387. Proudly serving: Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, Brampton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Sudbury, St. Catharine’s, Cambridge and the Niagara Region.