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How to Treat Skunk Odor

By Kirsten O'Hara | Updated September 26, 2017

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Items you will need

  • Three percent hydrogen peroxide

  • Baking soda

  • Dish soap

  • Tomato juice

  • Vinegar

  • Soap

  • Peppermint or spearmint oil

  • Air freshener

Skunks present a rather odiferous problem to humans and animals alike. When threatened, they defend themselves by spraying horrible smelling oil on the attacker. The disorienting effect of the stench generally gives the skunk a chance to get away. The problem gets worse if you are the perceived predator. Getting skunk smell out of your clothes or even your furniture if the skunk gets loose inside the house, can be a difficult process if you do not know what to do.

Use a combination of ingredients that, according to chemist Paul Krebaum, actually neutralizes skunk odor. Combine 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide from a fresh bottle, ¼ cup of baking soda and 1-2 teaspoons of dish soap. You can wash your skin with this solution, as well as bathe a pet or wash your hair to remove the smell. Leave it in on hair or fur for about five minutes before rinsing it out.

Air out fabric that cannot be washed or dry-cleaned, such as silk clothes or some types of shoes. Hang them outside, in a place where they cannot be re-exposed to skunk scent. This will take time, but the smell will eventually dissipate.

Use home remedies to get rid of the smell. These include scrubbing the affected person or animal in tomato juice or a combination of 50 percent each of vinegar and water. Simple remedies like soap and water can also help to remove the odor. Be aware that tomato juice can stain the fur of a lightly colored dog.

Use peppermint or spearmint oil to combat the odor. Place it on a cotton swab, apply it to the skin or mix it with water and pour the mixture into a spray bottle for larger areas.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images


Kirsten O'Hara started freelance writing in 2010. She wrote for her university newspaper "Lion's Roar" and won several collegiate writing contests. O'Hara earned a Bachelor of Arts in speech communication and a minor in English from Southeastern Louisiana University.