Has your household been one of the recent victims of annoyingly stinky skunks in the neighborhood? Has any one of those skunks visited your house? Or has one of your kids decided to domesticate a skunk, because it appears so cute to them and they won’t be responsible for cleaning up after the mess? If your answer is “yes” to at least one, welcome to the stinky world of skunks!
A skunk is an animal about the size of a dog or cat (usually black, white, brown, or a combination of colors) that sprays an offensive smelling liquid with a strong odor. These anal scent glands are their defenses against whatever they think is a danger or a threat to them. Because this substance contains “thiol” and is sulfur-like in nature, it does not go away for a long time, at least a month.
As with all other household problems, there are of course, several ways to get rid of skunk smell. Read up and good luck!
# 1Let the fresh air come in!
Open your windows/doors and let the sunlight and fresh air in! This is definitely the cheapest and most practical way to eliminate odor in the house, may it be skunk or not. This alone will not get rid of the odor, but it will introduce new air into house while you’re working on the other skunk odor removal steps. It will also help to ventilate your house by using your electric fans around the house. Do not use your air conditioner yet if the skunk odor lingers in your house. The odor will stick to the filters and that will spread the odor around.
# 2Combat the odor with white vinegar!
Spray and wipe the area with white vinegar. Vinegar is about 90% water and 10% acetic acid. The acid alters the molecular composition in the air, getting rid of those particles that do not naturally belong in the air. Skunk smell is definitely not welcome in the air! After spraying white vinegar, leave a bowl or two of white vinegar around the area. Allow the vinegar to vaporize and neutralize the air.
# 3Welcome a new scent!
Spray the area with tomato juice. This method and the theory behind it isn’t as scientific as that of white vinegar. Some even consider this a trick for the nose. Because your nose is “tired” of the skunk smell, the tomato juice, when sprayed, introduces a new scent and cancels out the skunk. This will most likely not work though if you have newcomers arriving as they are not accustomed to the smell, so be sure to combine this method with other suggested here, especially opening the windows and other skunk odor eliminating methods mentioned here.
# 4Bleach those fabrics!
Treat contaminated fabrics and materials with bleach. Spraying bleach to the affected area like vinegar and tomato juice isn’t such a good idea as it might damage your furniture and is dangerous to the eyes, but treating contaminated clothes and fabrics (carpet and curtains) with bleach can diminish that stinky smell. Imagine putting on newly washed linen in your bedroom. Doesn’t that make your room smell really good and relaxing? In a way, putting on newly washed fabrics around the house will neutralize the smell.
# 5Combine the power of H2O2, Baking Soda and Shampoo!
Wipe the affected area with a mixture of Hydrogen Peroxide, Baking Soda, and Liquid Hand Soap or Shampoo. Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda both break down the odor causing molecules in the air, whereas shampoo or liquid hand soap get rid of the oil skunk and introduce good smell.
# 6Smell the coffee aroma!
Put used coffee grounds on a plate at the affected area. You do know that when shopping around for perfume, you have to have a coffee bean or two to set your smell to zero after sniffing different scents, right? The same concept applies here. The anti-oxidant properties (plus the aromatic smell) of coffee aids in removing the odor of skunk. If you don’t drink that much coffee in the house, you can go around your neighborhood cafes and ask for the used coffee grounds. (They’ll just throw it out anyway!)
# 7Give your air-conditioner a clean feel!
Clean your air conditioner filters. Odors, good or bad, but especially skunk, will definitely stick to your air conditioner filters, so make sure to treat this one too.
1. Soak your filters in warm water with detergent for around an hour, rinse, and dry well.
2. While drying the filters, take this time to turn your air con on without filters and attach air fresheners to the air way. This removes the skunk smell that stuck to the airway and will also spread some good smell around the house.
3. Once your filters are dry, put them back in the air con unit and don’t turn it on if the skunk smell is still strong.
# 8 Use citrus fruit peels!
Wipe the area with lemon peels or orange peels. Like vinegar, these are acidic fruits and will have the same effect as vinegar, only this time, you are applying them directly on the affected area rather than spraying them.
# 9Bring out your scented candles!
Time to bring out your magical scented candles. We often think of our scented candles as just decorations and “nice to have.” But times like these when skunk odor hunts you, you got to put those scented candles to maximum use! Turn on as many candles as you can but make sure to fire proof the area.
# 10 Mix a drink with washing powder!
In a bucket, mix a can of regular Coca-Cola or any carbonated soft drinks to two equal parts of powdered laundry soap dissolved in warm water and leave the bucket at the smelly area. This will not totally remove the odor permanently but it will lessen the odor.
The methods listed are DIYs and some of them make use of household chemicals so please take caution and extra care to protect yourself against skin reactions, eye irritation, and intoxicating odor. If all else fails, you might have to eventually call in the professionals to help solve your problem. There are companies who specialize in this, not to mention the dry cleaners who can take your problem off of your skunk odor infested clothes or fabrics.
Using a combination of these methods (or all if possible) will eradicate the skunk odor in your house. However, as with all problems, prevention is better than cure, so better skunk-proof your house and don’tlet any in. Not having skunks in the house is of course, the best way to prevent skunk odor in your house.