How to Remove Dead-Skunk Odors

Serena DeLorenzo

One of the most easily recognizable smells on the planet is that of the odiferous skunk. Dead or alive, the skunk is one unpleasantly stinky animal. The odor of the skunk lies mainly in its oil, which is incredibly hard to get out of furniture, clothing and pet fur.

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The skunk oil's pervasive nature allows it to cling to fibers and hair, making it nearly impossible to eradicate. Commonly used cleaning methods can actually intensify the smell of skunk oil, unfortunately, and will spread the stinky liquid to surrounding surfaces.

Deodorizing Pets

  1. Mix 1 bottle of hydrogen peroxide with 1/2 cup of baking soda in an open container (the mixture will bubble) such as a mixing bowl.

  2. Pour the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda mixture into a spray bottle.

  3. Spray the fur of your pet evenly with the mixture while wearing gloves, an apron and protective eye glasses. Rub it into your pet's fur and allow it to sit for five minutes. Rinse your pet thoroughly with lukewarm water.

  4. Spray the fur of your pet again with the hydrogen peroxide/baking soda mixture and apply a few drops of dish soap. Shampoo your pet and really work the combination into the fur. Be sure throughout this process that you don't get this in your pets eyes, nose or mouth. Rinse your pet thoroughly with lukewarm water and dry with a towel.

Deodorizing the Inside of Your Home

  1. Put drapes, pillows, throws and any items that can be laundered in a washing machine. Wash the items you removed with a heavy-duty laundry detergent (OdorKlenz or similar) and a degreaser (Krud Cutter or similar). Ensure that you use cool to slightly warm water as opposed to hot or very warm water, as the smell will be released in the steam produced. A degreaser is essential to removing the odor from fabric, as the oil cannot be removed with soap alone. You will also use this method to launder any articles of clothing that have come into contact with the skunk oil.

  2. Hang the laundered items on a clothes line instead of machine-drying them, until you are sure all of the odor has been removed from the fabric. You can rewash everything, if necessary, after you've ensured the smell is removed completely.

  3. Open all of your windows and doors to allow your home to air out as much as possible. If the outside of your home has been sprayed or if a skunk has been killed nearby, wait until you have treated the outside of your home before opening your windows and doors.

  4. Mix 3 parts water with 1 part vinegar in a plastic bucket or large spray bottle. Use this mixture to wipe down your walls and to mop your floors. The acetic acid in the vinegar will help break down the skunk oil and will remove much of the odor from those surfaces. Wear protective eye glasses, rubber gloves and an apron while deodorizing.

  5. Set up a Room Shocker in each room of your house that carries the skunk smell. Follow the directions on the package and allow the treatment to work for at least 24 hours. A smell of chlorine will linger for a few days but should dissipate rather quickly. One to two treatments may be necessary depending on the odor concentration. Use a deodorizer such as Febreeze as an added odor neutralizing measure.

Deodorize the Outside of Your Home

  1. Dress in a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and heavy-duty shoes. Make sure you wear protective eye glasses, gloves and an apron before handling the chemicals necessary to treat the outside of your home.

  2. Wash the affected areas with chlorinated lime water and follow the directions on the package very carefully. Chlorinated lime water is highly caustic. It will burn your skin and any vegetation it comes in contact with. Ensure that your pets do not consume the lime water and that the lime water doesn't come into contact with their skin.

  3. Mix 1 cup of agricultural lime with 1 gallon of chlorine bleach if you are unable to find chlorinated lime water. You will use this mixture in exactly the same way as the chlorinated lime water, and it will have a similar result if it comes into contact with exposed skin.

  4. Tip

    Wear gloves, protective eye goggles and something to protect your clothing during all cleaning processes involving chemicals. If you have sensitive airways, wear a protective face mask as well. If you are unable to get the skunk smell out of your house, enlist the help of a professional cleaning service.


    Do not allow children to handle chemicals.