Skunk odor on you, your pet, or frankly anywhere can leave you gasping for air. When it comes to getting rid of the smell, most people will give you a generic “take a shower” or “bathe in tomato juice” solution. But those suggestions, while unfortunately mainstream, won’t solve the problem.
Those myths likely became popular because they do at least mask the smell to you – and you alone. But the people around you will not be so happy. Here are other popular busted myths:
- Immediate shower with regular soap
- Dousing yourself in beer
- Tomato or citrus bath
- Covering yourself with perfume or Febreze
Treating Skunk Odor
So, what actually works? Believe it or not, a homemade solution developed in 1993 by chemist Paul Krebaum. He created the concoction with items you likely already have on hand, or can easily grab at a store. His solution, which truly neutralizes the scent, consists of:
- 1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide (a mild antiseptic used on cuts, scrapes, and burns)
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- One teaspoon liquid detergent
- One pair of latex gloves
To create, mix the ingredients in a large bowl, and use immediately on you or your pet with covered hands. Keep it away from you or your pet’s eyes. Before rinsing it off, let the mixture stay on you or your pet for around ten minutes, After, rinse the area with lukewarm tap water.
When getting rid of any leftover solution, it’s important not to store it. Due to the active ingredients, saving it with a lid can cause minor explosions. You’ve already dealt with a skunk, so you probably don’t want any mishaps. Dilute the mixture with a substantial amount of water and pour it slowly down your drain to prevent this. If you live in an area where skunks are common, pet stores sell products with neutroleum alpha that remove these odors. Having this on hand can prevent you hastily making a homemade solution, and potentially getting rid of it incorrectly.
If you didn’t act quickly enough and the odor spread to surfaces in your home, you can clean them with Krebaum’s solution. If the stench is looming in the air, boil a large pot of vinegar in the kitchen. After the vinegar stench is gone, your home will return to its usual scent. If a skunk sprayed you while you were on your patio or wooden deck, you could clean it with a gallon of water mixed with one cup of liquid bleach. Due to the bleach, be cautious and test a small spot first.
Other de-skunking tips that can help remove the smell from yourself, pet, and home include:
- Cleaning any infected area as quickly as possible – the longer the odor remains, the harder it is to remove
- Cleaning yourself or pet outside, so the smells don’t transfer to your home
- Showering with Krebaum’s solution with hot water
- Discarding the clothing you were wearing
- Throwing away the collar your pet was wearing
To avoid skunks entirely, you can take precautions around your home that include:
- Keeping any pet food indoors
- Securing your outdoor garbage cans, or bringing them into your garage
- Removing any fallen fruit from any fruit trees you may have
- Ensuring there is no food source whatsoever outside (skunks are drawn to food)
- Remove any brush that a skunk may use as a home
- Consulting with pest control specialists to double check your home
No one wants to be sprayed by a skunk and have to deal with the smell. But should it happen, there are solutions to remove the odor. Many have been tested and debunked over the years – but products sold in pet stores or the Krebaum’s homemade solution have proven true. To prevent ever coming in contact with a skunk in the first place, contact us at Cypress Creek Pest Control today to check your home.