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How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell in and Around the House

Jennifer L. Betts
Striped skunk spraying

There is a reason that people are leery of skunks. They stink! Now imagine that skunky smell permeating through your house. Rather than panic, grab the peroxide and get to work. Learn some of the best home remedies and commercial cleaners to get rid of skunk smell from your house, yard and car.

Homemade Skunk Cleaning Recipe That Works

When putrid skunk aroma has made it into your house, you might wonder how you will ever get rid of that horrible skunky smell. Unlike most odors, there isn't much in your pantry that will do it. However, if you add the oxygen power of peroxide with odor neutralizing baking soda, then you just might have a chance of getting rid of that gag-nasty skunk spray.

Supplies

For this tried-and-true skunk fighting cocktail that works, you'll need:

Directions

  1. In a large bucket, you are going to mix:
    • 1 quart of peroxide
    • 4 tablespoons of baking soda
    • a few squirts of Dawn
  2. Since this mixture can become unstable, you'll want to use it right away.

While this can be used for cleaning your furniture and floors, it's also safe for your dog or even your cat. However, your cat might not like it too much.

The Tomato Juice Myth

You might have heard over and over to try tomato juice for skunk spray. However, the carotenoids and lycopene in the tomato juice aren't enough to take on the thiols in skunk spray. Rather than getting rid of the smell, you'll have an olfactory overload of a skunky tomato juice cocktail. Nobody wants that.

Get Rid of Skunk Odor Indoors

It happens to the best of us. You let your dog in the door and realize a little too late that the pungent aroma is coming from them. You're chasing them around the house, but your couch, clothing and house are reeking of skunk. Before you contemplate burning it all down, give these tricks a try.

Skunk-Free Furniture

When it comes to your furniture, grab a rag and your peroxide mix and follow these steps.

  1. In a bucket, combine:
    • 1 quart peroxide
    • 4 tablespoons baking soda
    • 2 drops dish soap
    • 2 quarts of water
  2. Thoroughly mix the concoction gently.
  3. Use a dish rag or old towel to gently wipe down your furniture. For a colored fabric couch or delicate material, try the mixture on a small area first.
  4. Allow the concoction to sit for about 15 minutes.
  5. Rinse with water.
  6. Repeat until the smell is gone.
cleaning leather sofa at home

De-Smelling Your Clothing

In your mad dash to try to detain your dog, he has covered you and your entire family in skunk. For your clothing, you'll need to grab:

  • 1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon laundry detergent
  • Bathtub

Before you do anything, you are going to fill the bathtub with water. You'll then:

  1. Throw all your laundry in the tub.
  2. Combine the hydrogen peroxide, laundry soap and baking soda.
  3. Pour the solution into the tub.
  4. Allow the clothing to soak for at least 2-3 hours, overnight is best.
  5. Wash normally.
  6. Repeat as needed.

Removing Odor From Air

To help remove the skunk smell from the air in your house, it is important to open windows. You can also grab the white vinegar and a saucepan to give this trick a try:

  1. Combine equal parts white vinegar and water into a saucepan.
  2. Allow it to boil until the liquid is gone.

Cleaning Skunk Smell Outside

When a skunk sprays your dog, it doesn't just spray your dog. It also sprays your patio, patio furniture, your grass and even our bushes. If you are not willing to wait for it to naturally diminish, try these outdoor hacks.

De-Skunking Your Patio and Furniture

To get rid of skunk smell on your patio and patio furniture, you can use the peroxide method. This is typically safe for most furniture. You can also grab oxygen bleach or Oxiclean.

  1. Use the hose to spray down your patio and furniture.
  2. Mix 1 part bleach with 9 parts water in a bucket.
  3. Use a rag or towel to wipe down the patio and furniture.
  4. Spray the area down with straight water.
  5. Repeat as you need to.

Note: Test out a small area of your furniture and wood to make sure that the bleach does not cause an issue.

cleaning with high pressure water jet

Cleaning Grass or Bushes

When it comes to your grass and bushes, you need to be sure to remove the smell but not kill your plants. Since the hydrogen peroxide mixture is safe for most plants, this is going to be your best bet.

  1. Add the solution to a yard sprayer that attaches to your hose or pour it from the bucket on to the affected areas.
  2. Use your hose to rinse the area.

Getting Skunk Odor Out of Your Car

When it comes to getting rid of skunk smell out of your car, you'll want to open all your doors. You'll then need to use something to neutralize the odor on the fabric of the seats and the interior.

Supplies

  • Peroxide mixture in the homemade recipe
  • Car wash
  • Dawn
  • Bucket
  • Towel

What to Do

Now that you have your material for car cleaning, it's time to get moving.

  1. Wash the outside of the car to remove any exterior smell that might be seeping into the inside.
  2. Remove the mats and any other parts and air them out.
  3. Use the peroxide cleaner to wash down the seats, carpets, etc.
  4. Mix Dawn and water to clean the dash, doors, arm rests, etc.
  5. Rinse and repeat as needed.
  6. Keep the windows open for as long as possible to dry and air out.
Close-Up Of Car Wash

Commercial Cleaners for Skunk Spray

If homemade isn't your cup of tea, there are a lot of different products out there designed to neutralize skunk spray. A few of the top ones include:

The Smell of Skunk

There isn't much in this world that is more smelly that getting sprayed by a skunk. The key to getting the smell out quickly is to move fast. Rather than grabbing for the tomato juice, grab the peroxide and run.

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How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell in and Around the House