Bad smell or odor from air conditioner

How to Remove Skunk Scent from Your Home

Few odors are as offensive as skunk spray, but that’s the whole point. Any animal that encounters a skunk and gets sprayed is highly unlikely to approach it a second time!

Despite its effectiveness, skunk spray can also make it into your home if a pet or human gets sprayed or a family of skunks decides to invade your property. Our guide will help you remove skunk spray smell for good.

Why Is Skunk Smell So Long-Lasting?

You may have tried to remove skunk smell from your home before and found it quite difficult. This is because skunk oil is made to last. For example, the longer the scent is allowed to linger on clothing or in an area, the longer it will last. In fact, it’s been scientifically proven that the scent can linger for up to 21 days if nothing is done about it!

Skunk spray is also oily; water alone will only cause the liquid to spread, making the problem even worse.

Steps for Skunk Spray Removal Indoors

Despite the strong long-lasting odor of skunk smell, following the steps below will help you get rid of it.

Step 1. Find the Source of the Smell

This can be the most difficult step, simply because skunk spray in your home can seem to be everywhere. To clear your scent palate, inhale the scent of coffee beans or ground coffee. Once you’ve located either the spot that was sprayed or the place where the odor is strongest, follow the steps below.

Step 2. Remove Affected Items

Anything sprayed by the skunk, directly or indirectly, should be placed outside. This includes, but is not limited to, pets and their bedding. Keep these outside until the odor is gone.

Step 3. Get Air Moving and Let Sunlight In

hand open white plastic pvc window at home

Airing out your home is one of the simplest and most effective ways to get rid of the skunk smell. Whether you open the windows, run the air conditioner or fan, or all of these, moving air will help dissipate the smell.

Sunlight can help neutralize skunk spray through the process of oxidation, so open the curtains and allow light to enter the room.

Step 4. Wash Affected Items

It’s important to get any washable items like clothing into the machine as soon as possible. Use antibacterial detergent, and wash in cold water only. Why? Because washing in hot water will intensify the odor and cause the liquid to be more easily spread through the fabric.

Also, it’s important not to dry anything you wash, as this can cause any remaining smell to be sealed in the fabric, making it all the more difficult to remove. You can also throw affected items into a trash bag and dispose of them entirely.

Step 5. Wash Yourself and Any Pets

Jack russell terrier dog having a bath

If anyone was sprayed directly, it’s important to get them cleaned. Humans can take a baking soda bath for 20 minutes or shower with an odor-neutralizing soap. If washing pets, ensure that you use a shampoo that’s been specially formulated for removing skunk scent from animal fur.

If you don’t have pet shampoo on hand, you can always make your own solution. Combine ¼ cup of baking soda with a teaspoon of grease-cutting dish soap and a quart of hydrogen peroxide.

Step 6. Tackle the Surfaces in Your Home

You’ll once again have to put your olfactories to work by sniffing around your home for areas of skunk odor. If you decide they need to be cleaned, throw anything you can into the washing machine and clean furniture and carpets with a shampoo machine. Again, it’s important to use cold water only when shampooing to avoid spreading the smell!

For hard surfaces like kitchen floors, you can spray walls and floors with a solution of one part bleach to 9 parts water. If you prefer not to use bleach, substitute the same amount of cleaning vinegar as bleach.

Step 7. Continuous Odor Elimination

Speaking of vinegar, this amazing natural cleaner and degreaser is also one of the best skunk odor removers.  Place bowls of vinegar around your home for up to 48 hours. If you prefer not to do this, you can bring a few cups of vinegar to a boil in a pot, and then simmer for fast odor elimination.

Step 8. Swap Out Air Filters

Once all your cleaning and airing out is complete, you won’t want to forget your air conditioning unit or furnace filters, because these can also hold onto skunk oil odor. Replacing old filters with new ones, even the ones for units you didn’t use, will ensure there’s nothing left behind.

Steps for Skunk Spray Removal Outdoors

Skunks often choose the spaces under sheds and porches for their homes and nurseries. What’s worse, skunks will often spray when they are mating. This can mean an extra-smelly resident skunk, but that’s not all; skunks return to where they were born to have their own babies!

Of course, the best thing to do is to first call a professional wildlife removal service to humanely capture and transport the skunk to a new home. Then it’ll be time to remove the odor left behind.

Step 1. Get Your Supplies

Home cleaning service concept with supplies. Close up of cleaning supplies in front of livingroom.

You’ll need the following for outdoor skunk odor removal:

  • Bucket
  • Paint stick
  • Spray bottle or garden sprayer
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Clean cloth, scrubber or sponge
  • Rubber gloves
  • Old clothing or rain gear

Step 2. Make Your Cleaning Solution

Fill the bucket with a gallon of water. Then add a quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide, one cup of baking soda, and a teaspoon of dish soap. Mix the solution with the paint stick until the baking soda dissolves completely.

Step 3. Spray the Area, Scrub, and Rinse

Using a spray bottle or garden sprayer, spray everywhere that skunk odor lurks, paying extra attention to direct spots of spray. Your solution can be used safely on plants, grass, furniture, and the majority of structures, but you can perform a test for colorfastness before using if desired.

Leave the solution to sit for several minutes before scrubbing sprayed surfaces. Wipe off the residue and rinse with clean water.

Be Ready to Repeat the Process

You’re already aware of how strong it really is. While every homeowner would love to only have to go through the odor removal process once, the reality is that it may take a few times before you’re finally rid of the scent, both indoors and out.

Is There a Skunk Living on Your Property?

Skunk in Backyard Patio

Skunks are common across the United States. If you notice skunk odor around your property, that’s a sure sign that they’re living close by. Your dog or cat may have also had more than one run-in with a skunk. Skunks also carry fleas, which can rapidly infest your pet and your home.

Animal Capture Wildlife Control specializes in humane skunk removal. With over two decades of experience, we can remove skunks from your property, as well as conduct thorough inspections and repairs of any property they may be damaged.

Discover why we are the choice for safe wildlife removal in Los Angeles and surrounding areas; visit us or call today: 310-551-0901