Removing Skunk Smell From House

How do you remove skunk smell from inside a house?

Karen from Farmington, Maine

Lemon Juice

Removing skunk odor from a room: I don't know why it works but, simmer some lemon juice right in the room for about an hour. I use my crock pot without the lid on and it works like magic. Also, a great thing to get the smell out of a pet is a product called TKO. It's a orange citrus cleaning product.

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By Peggy

Coffee

I came home from work and walked into the house, a skunk had climbed under my mobile home and sprayed. I read all the entries, and didn't have any of the other ingredients, except coffee and lots of it. I dusted my entire house with coffee and in seconds the smell was almost gone. At least I can breath. I would rather clean up coffee from the floor than live with that smell.

By Kelly

Thank You

THANK YOU for this site! I feel like I just joined a club I never wanted to become a member of.

2 days ago one our dogs (thankfully only one) got sprayed in the face by a skunk. He came barreling through the door and before we knew what happened, he flopped down and wiped himself all over our carpet, throw rugs, etc. Once we realized what happened, we immediately ran for paper towels and wiped the dogs eyes in case any of the spray got in them. Then (still in panic mode) my brother ran to the market and bought large quantities of tomato juice, dog shampoo and dawn dish soap (he called a friend on the way for a recommendation). Meanwhile, recovering from bronchitis, I stood outside in the freezing cold with the dog because I couldn't take the smell in the house nor did I want him to spread anymore of the "wealth" (ugh!!)

After several large cans of tomato juice, dawn and shampoo we got the bulk of the smell out of the dog, but not the house!! (No one ever mentioned the house odor when I've heard dog-skunk tales). Late into the night we steam cleaned the carpets, washed clothes and blankets and despite our best efforts, the house still smelled AWFUL. Yesterday we found this site and I set off to the market and bought gallons of cider vinegar, baking soda, carpet freshener with baking soda, peroxide, etc. The vinegar bowls seem to help (I still have them out), I'm not thrilled by that smell either, but it beats that burnt tire/skunk smell that permeated nearly every room of our house. The carpet freshener with the baking soda (I used at least 6 of them over the course of several hours yesterday) also seems to help, though I think it's important to clean the oils out of the carpet first.

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Now that the lab has had a day to recover from the skunk and bathing traumas, we're going to try the remedies mentioned on this site to get rid of the faint smell that remains on his muzzle.

I think I've done at least 12 or 13 loads of laundry since this whole ordeal began. I used bleach on the whites and though it's risky, I poured a small amount of bleach into the cap from the clorox container (a little less than full) on the dark loads (it was a risk I was more than willing to take). I also used 2 fabric softener sheets for each dryer load. Everything came out smelling great and my darks were not damaged at all, but again, it is risky to put bleach on darks. I waited until the water was filling in the washer before adding the cap full of bleach.

Thanks to all for sharing their stories and remedies. It really does help to know how others dealt with this horrible experience. Whoever said "If it hasn't happened to you, it's impossible to convey the horror!" was right on the money. Good luck to anyone else who is unfortunate enough to go through this experience. (10/17/2006)

By Sandy

Day One

Oh my goodness! We got skunked last night! My husband let the dog out and she no sooner got outside when he saw the skunk. My husband called the dog in, but too late. Poor little Misty! Poor little house! The skunk sprayed right by the BBQ grill on the patio. Misty ran in and straight to me. I bathed her in Scope (which I had heard to do) and it helped a little. My house is another story. We barely got any sleep last night because of the smell. I have Misty on the sunporch while I'm at work, so at least she won't spread the smell that remains on her. I took a shower this AM, but I still smell awful! I had to take my jacket out to the car as it was stinking up the office.

I can barely stand myself. My husband said he isn't smelling too much better, and I have a feeling my kids stink too. I didn't notice this morning cuz everything stunk. I am going to try the vinegar in bowls when I get home. Any idea how to get the smell out of the clothes? I think every single item of clothing and bedding must stink! I think I'm going to just take everything I can fit in the car to the Laundromat and do it all there at one time. Just fill up every washer. I just hope I don't stink up the washers for everyone else. But, I could never do that much at home. We've had problems before, but nothing like this. I opened the windows before I left the house this morning, and it's only around 50 degrees. I can just imagine the heating bill I'll have. We're so busy at work that I can't take off to get home and take care of this. Help!

By Lori

Day Two

A day has gone by and things are getting better. I'm no longer in panic mode. I'm feeling much more optimistic. My husband rented a couple of electronic room deodorizers. They produce ozone. They weren't terribly expensive (38.00 each per day) and they helped a lot. We put one each on the first and second floors - the basement wasn't too bad, so we just put vinegar bowls out and some carpet deodorizer on the area rug we have there. One tip on the electronic air cleaners - DO NOT turn it up to "high" unless you plan on getting out for the night. We were warned about that by the rental company. The air cleaners can give you some grief if you are prone to headaches or sinus trouble. We kept it low enough that we were OK. But, do be careful if you use one.

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Vinegar helped so much too. I was sure glad to read that tip. We put bowls out everywhere. I also wiped down the counters and sinks and my purse and other objects that picked up the smell with it. It became my new best friend - that and baking soda for the couches and chairs. Just sprinkle on, wait about 15 minutes and vacuum. Also, another product that helped is Downy Febreze fabric softener. We have many afghans and throws so using that in the rinse cycle sure helped get those smelling better. It's also great for sheets, towels, etc. I sure am glad I saw the tips about the peroxide, baking soda and dish soap for Misty, our dog. I was doubtful so I tried some expensive stuff I picked up from the vet first. It barely helped. The inexpensive method seems to have worked much better. Another product that helped is Carpet Fresh No Vacuum Foam Carpet Refresher. But, use sparingly - it has a strong smell. The best advice I can give to anyone who is going through this is that it will get better. You can get the smell out. It's no fun, and I wouldn't wish getting skunked on my worst enemy, but it can be done.

Also, unless you can afford it, don't bother calling one of those professional cleaners. My husband called one and they wanted $1,200.00 to get the smell out of our house. We could have put it through our insurance, but still, it would be way too much. With the help of this website we're just about odor free around here. This website is wonderful! It sure helped to know that others had gone through this and survived. Thank you so much to everyone who has posted here.

By Lori

Vinegar

We had just moved into our new home and did not have a fence up yet. Your two dogs had gotten sprayed by a skunk. We panic'd and brought the dogs into the house and put them in the basement. Before we knew it our whole house smelled. I put bowls of vinegar everywhere and that seemed to work. I also took a pot (you can throw out) and put coffee grounds in it. Do not added water or any liquid. Cook the grounds on the stove until it starts to give off a smoky scent. Then take the pot into every room and let the room take in the incense. (10/20/2006)

By Gia

It Happened Again

I don't believe this! It happened again! You know what they say, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me." Well shame on me. I thought what happened a few days ago would never happen again, but it did. The skunk seemed to have left. We had no sightings or trouble, so I didn't think too much of it when I let Misty out the back porch door again. She was begging to go out and since it was a little after 9PM, I thought I'd better let her out one more time for the night. I let her out and then saw her look towards the BBQ grill and as soon as I realized the skunk must be there, it was too late. Here we go again.

This time I did not let her into the house. I have her on the back sunporch. I immediately put out vinegar and some coffee in every room. We are doing better this time I think. Unfortunately though, my vacuum cleaner is out on the porch as I was vacuuming it when Misty wanted out. I think the vacuum cleaner is toast. It's plastic and probably really absorbed the stink. I called Misty in and immediately closed the door to the porch so she didn't get in the house. But then my son was worried that she could die of skunk smell, and I started to worry too, so I went out there and opened a few windows for her and sprayed Odor Off around.

It seems to be getting a bit worse in here after that, even though I was so careful to open the door just enough for me to get on the porch to open the windows. Maybe I just got such a strong whiff of it, that I notice it more. I did change clothes since I went out there. On Monday we will make phone calls to see if there is a humane way to trap the skunk, or at least keep him or her out of our yard. I may try putting moth balls around. I don't understand why it's hanging around the BBQ grill. Tomorrow morning I am going to have to make up some of the stuff to bathe her in and bathe her outside. At least this time I do have a plan of action. Does anyone know of some skunk-free place where we can all pack up and move to? Maybe a no-skunk zone somewhere? (10/21/2006)

By Lori

Keep Peroxide Out of Eyes

Do not allow Hydrogen Peroxide in your animals eyes, nor your own for that matter. It is toxic and quite painful. (I am an Ophthalmologist.) Our dogs get sprayed from time to time, the little boneheads never learn! It always happens late at night on that that last trip outside, doesn't it!? You're really tired and ready for bed and it's 30 or 40 or 50 degrees outside. Now the house smells like holy hell, you open all the windows, freeze your a.. off, can't sleep, the dog is rolling all that stink into the rug, or worse your couch or bed, what a nightmare! You can't decide whether to put him back out and maybe get sprayed again or keep him in. You can't win! Stay up half the night shampooing the dog and trying to de-stink the house, or just roll over in bed and suffer. After so many times, we just go to sleep and worry about it the next day. (10/24/2006)

By Michael Guerra

Happened to Me Too

Second times a charm. Dog came in stinking to high heaven and rolled around on the carpet. Of course it's late at night. Came here after trying incense, house sprays, baking soda, essential oils. What really seems to remove the odor from the house is the dishes of vinegar and sprinkling coffee all over the house. Now my house smells like a coffee shop instead of a skunk house!! Much, much better. Wonder what the husband will think in the morning seeing ground coffee all over the carpet. And that's the way you use it, just sprinkle ground coffee all over areas that smell. And my heart goes out to all that are reading these hints. Welcome to the club. (11/01/2006)

By Jocelyn

My Experience

My cockapoo got skunked yesterday morning. Like many others, I didn't know until I let her in and got blasted by the smell when she ran past me through the house. I put her in the garage while I searched for the cure, not remembering my car was in the garage! My dog, my house, and my car smelled like skunk! Fortunately, it wasn't too cold and I opened doors & windows to "air out" the house some. I bathed the dog first in the dishsoap, peroxide, baking soda mix and it helped some. Next I went to the petstore and got Natures Way and rubbed it into her face as best as I could and gave her bath #2. Still smelling in her face, I doused her head in vinegar. She still smells a bit, I admit I'm not great at bathing her. We had to go to a hotel and take the dog to the kennel @ our vets office. Today, our carpets were cleaned and it is quite a bit better but still smells some in the house. (11/07/2006)

By Melissa

Peroxide Solution

Our Westie got sprayed by a skunk last night. Her whole side was a bullseye for that skunk spray! I was in a panic. I immediately got on the internet to find a solution. No way could I wait till morning with that smell! I found this site and the peroxide solution worked wonders. No more smell at all on her. It was after midnight and I had to get up for work at 3:30 am. The odor was still in my house and it made it impossible to sleep. I put vinegar in bowls and somehow managed to get a couple of hours sleep. When I woke up the smell was mostly gone. Thank You so much for this site! (11/26/2006)

By Debbee

My Experience

Our boston terrier got into it with a skunk the night before last. I hollered and stamped my feet like crazy but I couldn't stop that tail from going up and ruining my holidays. I picked her up and put her in the laundry tub but this was after she ran by me, into the house and rubbed her muzzle all over the living room.

We contacted the vet about this and after examine the dog the vet reported the incident to the Disease Control Center. Ripping through the records it showed her rabies vaccination had lapsed. We were told the animal had to be quarantined for 6 months in house with only 1 person to be in contact with her throughout. We're in the process of building a barrier to confine her to one room as per the directions given. The one year we forget and this happens.

Back to the house, we have bowls of cider vinegar out and it seems to be working. It's 5ºC outside and we have all the windows wide open. Our 1year old son is staying with his grandparents. Everything smells like skunk butt.

Things I have learned:

  • Tomato juice to cure skunk smell is a myth.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide and baking soda with dish soap WORK 100%.
  • White vinegar isn't as amazing as cider vinegar.
  • Fresh air is the only cure for a skunky house.
  • Vaccinations must be kept up to date.
  • I love my dog.

My advise to anyone who goes through this.

When your pet gets sprayed don't let it in the house. The hydrogen solution will fix the smell right way, of course if you're reading this it's probably too late.. OMG TIME TO PANIC! No just get anything it touched out of the house !RIGHT NOW!

If you know your pet isn't vaccinated try to capture the skunk. I know this sounds dangerous but going through what I am now,(the prospect of quarantine), I would throw a blanket over the skunk and wrap him up in a jiffy. Rabies can only be ascertained through examination of the suspected animals brain matter. Animals don't live through this so it's either Spot or the damned skunk. Unless you like confining your pet for months on end...

When you prepare the hydrogen solution try to make it in a container that you can handle easily like a water bottle. We used a tupperware bowl and it was kinda messy, had we made it in a bottle it would have been easier to administer. Don't do it in a sealed container as there is a chemical reaction (FIZZES!) when you make it.

Have cotton balls or a small washcloth on hand to work on your pet's face. This solution will harm your pet if it travels into eyes or mouth. If your pet was bugging the skunk it is more than likely the spray is on the muzzle.

And I'm not sure on this but it seems synthetic fabrics are holding the smell more than others. We have a coat rack and some coats stink and others don't. My wife is on the phone with the whole world right now asking about cleaning solutions for everything.. I think it's safe to say we won't be participation in any new years parties this year. (12/29/2006)


By Paulo

Note About Peroxide Bath

One note on the peroxide bath: if you or your scruffy little pal has any cuts or open sores and the peroxide, baking soda and dishsoap mix hits it, it will sting a lot. Something to keep in mind. (01/08/2007)

By Steve

My Experience

My white dog, Maya, took it right between the eyes at close range last night. By the time I got out to the back yard to investigate, my other dog Auggie was chasing the skunk around the yard and got it cornered about 5 feet from the door. There it stood, tail raised and aimed right at me and Auggie. Luckily for us (and unluckily for Maya), it must have been out of "ammo", and amazingly we all got inside without further incident.

Although Maya was squinting, she didn't appear to be blinded. However her beautiful white fur was badly soiled with the yellow substance. I called the emergency vet and got the hydrogen peroxide recipe. Unfortunately I didn't have any HO in the house so I had to go out and find an open store that sold it. It was close to midnight, and it took me a couple of tries. (I will now keep the supplies for skunk odor removal on hand for future late night incidents...). I was actually glad to escape the house and the smell for a while, despite the late hour, but I was rather self conscious in the stores of my perceived "aroma".

When I got home I bathed Maya three times with the solution and the odor was reduced. The problem is that she has a lot of the oil around her eyes. I was afraid to get too close to her eyes with the hydrogen peroxide, so the smell is still very bad in that area. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to treat that very sensitive area?

I dread going home tonight because I'm sure the house still reeks, but I'm going to pick up gallons of cider vinegar on my way home.

It was very entertaining to read the other stories - especially so many that closely resemble our experience. Thanks for the camaraderie! (01/10/2007)

By Lisa M

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