When dealing with the aftermath of a skunk encounter removing skunk odor becomes the top priority. Skunk families often move close to their food supplies, making spots like your chicken coop, sheds, or barns their favorite haunts. With these pungent creatures so close, it’s only a matter of time before the family dog falls victim to their spray, or worse yet, the person who startles them. Forget about lemon juice and tomato juice – I’ve got two tried-and-true old-fashioned methods for effectively removing skunk odor that truly get the job done!
Removing Skunk Odor From Buddy
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen skunks just leaving the chicken yard or barn as I was going out to do chores in the early morning. I’m always careful to give them plenty of space to escape, however, the dogs just don’t seem to see the same value in this as I do!
Many years ago, we had a chocolate lab named Buddy. Bless his heart, he loved everything and everybody. We often found him loving on and protecting fawns, calves, and rabbits. He even tried to love a skunk…once.
He saw it leaving the barn and went to check it out. Maybe he thought it was a cat? Anyway, he did his best “let’s be friends” routine only to be rewarded with stinky stanky skunk spray.
Since Buddy slept indoors, waiting for the stinky skunk odor to wear off was not an option. If your dog is sprayed by a skunk, lemon juice and tomato juice won’t work. We knew to use our family’s favorite tool to remove skunk odor.
Raw, organic apple cider vinegar is used on our homestead for all kinds of things. This was the first time in many, many years it was needed to remove skunk odor. We were glad we always have large amounts on hand for just such an emergency. Yes, it was an emergency for us!
This is the best brand of ACV we’ve ever found. It’s not diluted so at 25% acidity, it works great and takes less to do the job. You can read about the many ways we use apple cider vinegar on the homestead in our dedicated article.
Using Apple Cider Vinegar to Remove Skunk Odor
You can use straight ACV to wash your dog as long as you rinse it well immediately. Be aware ACV may burn sensitive skin. If your dog has this problem, then you should use an ACV solution.
- ACV Solution for sensitive skin: 2 parts water to one part ACV.
- Be careful around the face because it will burn their eyes and noses.
Before we touched the dog, we made sure we had on clothes we didn’t mind getting icky. After treating the dog, the clothes can be soaked in white vinegar or ACV for a few hours and then washed in hot water to remove the skunk odor. You may have to soak them more than once depending on how strong the oils from the spray are. Throwing them away is always an option as well.
- Wet your dog thoroughly with water then pour on ACV or the ACV solution.
- Massage it through the hair to saturate its coat and skin.
- Let it sit on the dog for at least 5 minutes before rinsing well.
- If the dog was close enough for the oils to be extremely concentrated in the spray, you may have to repeat a second time.
Removing Skunk Odor Using Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda
I like to learn everything I can from old-timers. I could sit and sip coffee all day while they share their experiences with me. I was doing just this with one of my favorite old-timers, Mr. Ted, when I shared with him about Buddy’s skunk episode. He shared what his family did to remove skunk odor.
Mix thoroughly in a jug or bucket:
- 1-quart hydrogen peroxide – 3% or higher
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap
Again, be sure you don’t mind about your clothes.
- Wet your dog thoroughly with water then apply the mixture.
- Massage to saturate the coat and skin.
- Let it sit for at least 5 minutes and rinse well.
- If the oils are strongly concentrated, you may have to repeat.
- As with ACV, be careful of the face.
- This solution has to be mixed just before you use it. It can not be kept in storage so discard any unused portion.
Removing Skunk Odor From Yourself
Both of these “recipes” will work for removing skunk odor from people and clothing as well. I’ve never been sprayed and hope never to be. If I were to be so unfortunate, I’m glad I know at least two effective ways of removing skunk odor.
I’m sure you’ve heard of using tomato juice or lemon juice. These don’t work. Tomato juice may be slightly effective, but it would take several soakings to be thoroughly rid of the odor. That’s a lot of tomato juice to soak a dog’s coat several times, not to mention covering a human body several times.
While I hope you never have cause to need either of these two effective ways of removing skunk odor, at least you’ll be prepared. Who knows, maybe you’ll need it just to help out a neighbor!
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- How We Use Coconut Oil on the Homestead
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FAQs About Removing Skunk Odor
- How does apple cider vinegar (ACV) help in removing skunk odor?
- ACV is acidic and helps to neutralize the odor molecules left by skunk spray. It can be used as a rinse for dogs and people to help eliminate the smell.
- What is the recipe for the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap solution?
- The typical recipe for this solution involves mixing 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup of baking soda, and 1-2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap. Be sure to use this mixture immediately after combining the ingredients, as it can lose effectiveness over time.
- How does the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap solution work to remove skunk odor?
- Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizing agent that helps break down the compounds of the oils in skunk spray while baking soda helps to neutralize odors and absorb oils. Dish soap acts as a surfactant to help the solution penetrate and remove the odor-causing oils.
- Can this solution be used on both dogs and people?
- Yes, the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap solution can be used on both dogs and people to remove skunk odor. However, be cautious when using it on people, especially around sensitive areas like the eyes and mucous membranes.
- Are there any precautions to take when using these methods?
- When using ACV, be mindful that it may irritate sensitive skin or burn if applied directly. In this case, use the ACV solution shared in the article.
- For the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap solution, use it immediately after mixing and avoid contact with the eyes and mucous membranes. Rinse thoroughly after application.
- Can I use these methods on clothing or other items that have been sprayed by a skunk?
- Yes, the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap solution can also be used to remove skunk odor from clothing and other washable items. Follow the same mixing and application instructions, and launder the items as usual afterward.
Removing skunk odor can be a daunting task, but with the right methods and precautions, it’s entirely manageable. By utilizing the natural properties of apple cider vinegar and the powerful combination of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap, you can effectively neutralize even the strongest skunk odors from both pets and humans. Remember to approach the process with care, keeping safety in mind at all times. With these simple yet effective solutions at your disposal, you can bid farewell to skunk odor and restore freshness to your home and furry friends.