How To Get Rid Of Skunk Odor
Oh No! Do I Smell A Skunk?
It was a warm, pleasant evening. A slight breeze wafted across the yard, and the stars were shining brightly. The crickets were chirping, letting me know it was time to head for bed. I was looking forward to getting a good nights' sleep.
The dogs waited at the back door, wanting to go out one last time before retiring. I opened the door, and they headed out into the back yard. I walked down the hall to the bathroom to brush my teeth, knowing the dogs would come in when they were ready.
Normally, I close the door while they are out, and wait for them to let me know when they are ready to come back in. This one time, I decided to leave it open. After all, how long does it take to brush your teeth?
Yes, they did come back in, with the heavy scent of skunk odor all over! My youngest dog proceeded to jump up on the couch and rub her head on the cushions. She then smeared the scent on the carpet and recliners. What a horrible stench!
Immediately, I shooed them back outside, grabbed the flashlight, and proceeded to look for the offender. The skunk had escaped, but left its scent behind.
Skunk Scent Glands & Their Spray
Skunks have two scent glands underneath their tails that contain the spray. When the skunk encounters an animal - or human - that it perceives as a threat, it will lift it's tail and spray the scent up to 10 feet. This is quite an effective maneuver, as not only is the odor terrible, but the spray can cause a burning sensation and temporary blindness. If you come across a skunk - such as in this video - stay as far away as possible!
First Things First
The scent was overwhelming inside the house. After opening all the windows, I took immediate action to remove the odor from the dogs and the house. I wish I could say I this is the first time I've encountered skunk spray, but there are many skunks out here in the country!
1. I removed all the cushions from the couch, and laid them outside on the picnic table to air out.
2. I made a "skunk odor removal" solution, and sponged off the dogs. They were none too pleased about it! It took two applications to remove most of the smell.
3. I called a friend, and begged a night on the couch! The smell inside the house was so overwhelming that my eyes were burning.
Removing Skunk Odor From Your Pets
My Skunk Odor Removal Solution
This is a simple recipe using ingredients you should have in your kitchen cabinets. I always make certain to have these on hand for emergencies such as this.
- Hydrogen Peroxide (3%)
- Baking Soda
- Liquid Dishwashing Soap
- Rubber or Latex gloves
- In a bowl or bucket, combine 1 quart of peroxide with 1/4 cup of baking soda. Mix thoroughly.
- Add 2 teaspoons of dish washing soap to the mixture. I prefer Dawn, but just about any brand will work. However, DO NOT use one with bleach!
- Put on gloves to keep your hands from absorbing the skunk smell. Dip a rag or sponge into the mixture, then wipe it onto your pet's fur, starting with the face. Be careful not to get the mixture in its eyes. Continue cleaning its coat from head to tail. Thoroughly coat the fur until wet.
- Let the mixture stay on your pet for 5-10 minutes, then rinse.
- ** If the smell still lingers, go through the steps again as needed**
The next morning I returned to find the house still reeked of skunk. I started a load of laundry, and while it was washing, I began cleaning the carpets and recliners. I used my sister's Bissell carpet cleaner, and it took only a few minutes to remove the odor.
Next came the sofa cushions. Using the upholstery tool on the carpet cleaner was a great help! It simply sprays a cleaning solution, then sucks it back up. The dirty water smelled almost as bad as the skunk itself, but it was easy to dump down the drain.
While the carpets & cushions dried, I began cleaning the furniture and floors with Murphy’s soap. Although it didn't remove all the smell, it made a big difference!
Most of the smell was gone at this point, but I could still smell it on my clothes. I ended up washing all the clothing in my closets and drawers, and the sheets on all the beds. What scent was left faded as the days passed by.
Removing Skunk Stink From Your House
Depending on the strength of the odor and what came into contact with the spray, you'll need to deodorize almost everything in your house. Following are some tips:
- Open all the windows as soon as possible. Depending on the amount of the odor, you can get sick from breathing it into your lungs.
- Take all furniture, cushions and movable objects outside to air out. It is best to let them sit in the sun and fresh air for 12-24 hours, if possible.
- Spray extra strength Febreeze on the drapes and furniture.
- Wash your clothing using soapy water and white vinegar.
- Change the air filter in your air-conditioner, and add a dryer sheet to the outflow vent.
- If you have wood or laminate floors, mop them with Murphy’s Wood Soap.
- Carpets should be steam-cleaned, either by yourself, or a professional carpet cleaner
- Set small bowls of apple cider or white vinegar in each room of your house to absorb the odors. Bowls of activated charcoal will also help to rid the scent in your home.
I've heard that tomato juice is a great way to get rid of skunk odor. It is not an item I keep in my house, so I have not tried this method.
Best Carpet Cleaner to Get Rid of the Stench!
I used this Bissell ProHeat Carpet Cleaner on my carpets, couch and recliners. It is difficult to rid your carpets and furniture of the skunk odor. Since it is an oily spray, it seems to cling to fabric fibers. However, this rug cleaner not only got rid of the smell, but also got rid of ground-in dirt!
It is easy to use - just add water and the cleaning solution, and you're ready to go!
After you spend time and money getting rid of the skunk stink, the last thing you’ll want is another skunk around your house! However, this is a cute video of a pet skunk playing with a cat, and might just bring back a smile to your face after all of that cleaning!.
© 2014 Country Sunshine