How to Remove a Skunk Odor From Clothes

Living in or around cities does not mean you are immune to occasional encounters with skunks.

Keeping a safe distance is the best defense from having your clothes drenched with their memorable perfume. There are times when the dreaded act will happen. Skunks are easily startled when hanging around decks, porches, steps brush, garage openings or abandoned cars. The slight raise in the tail is all it takes to know that the onslaught of noxious spray is heading your way.

Dig a hole in a cordoned off portion of your yard using a shovel. It should be large enough to accommodate any clothing that has been directly sprayed by a skunk.

Place the clothes in the hole and cover them with soil. Leave them to sit for three to five days.

Mix 1 gallon of white vinegar with 2 gallons of warm water in a large bucket. Remove the clothes from the hole, shake them out to remove the dirt and place them in the water and vinegar mixture. Let them soak for 24 hours.

Wring the clothes out and place them in the washing machine. Add 1 cup of standard laundry detergent. Add 1 cup of borax once water has filled the drum.

Run the clothes through a regular laundry cycle. Remove them from the washing machine and hang them outdoors to dry. Once dry they should be free of skunk odor.

Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • White vinegar
  • Large bucket
  • Laundry detergent
  • Borax


  • Avoid using stronger commercial cleaners as they can be detrimental to the fabrics.


  • Do not approach wild animals, such as skunks. Their bite can cause serious illness or injury.