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Removing Skunk Smell from a Car

Category Auto
A skunk getting ready to spray.
If a skunk sprays inside your auto or you've had to transport a smelly pet, it can permeate carpets and upholstery. The odor can be difficult to remove. This is a guide about removing skunk smell from car.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

June 22, 20130 found this helpful

What should I use to wash my car that will help get rid of skunk smell?

By Jessie

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June 25, 20130 found this helpful

Vinegar and baking soda remove skunk smell, as well as urine stains. Spray a 1:1 Mix of vinegar and water, spray area heavily, and swab up as much liquid as possible with a cloth. Sprinkle the wet area with baking soda and wipe then vacuum when dry.

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March 8, 20140 found this helpful

Hi, kumarihpx. That sounds easy enough. A few follow-up questions for you:

1. My dog was skunked, then got in my back seat. Will your solution be strong enough to solve my extreme problem, too?

2. What ratio of water/vinegar do you suggest?

3. My cloth interior has a tan-ish color....does your solution stain?

4. I frequently drive my mother around in my car and she is EXTREMELY sensitive to odors of all kinds. Now, don't get me wrong...I would rather have a vinegar smell in my car than a rancid skunk odor but, I'm wondering, could you tell me if your solution will leave much of a smell after I complete the process?

I know I have a lot of questions, but I would really appreciate any additional comments you would be willing share. Thanks so much for your help!

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By 0 found this helpful
December 16, 2010

How to get the smell of skunk out of my car? The seats are leather.

By Cathey from Huntsville, TX

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December 16, 20100 found this helpful

My husband hit a skunk on the way home last night. This morning he has washed the car with everything he could think of, but nothing helps. Does anyone have some suggestions?

By Miss Penny from Greenwood, Canada


Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

At many Walmart's and Target Stores they sell a special Skunk Remover. You can't miss it, it says Skunk Remover in big letters on the front. I found it in the Cat Litter and pet cleaner area of both Walmart and Target stores. This is an Enzyme product that helps to neutralize and quickly make the smell biodegrade naturally. You'll want to keep this wet after you apply it so it can do it's job. Also, there;a product called "Veterinary strength Outright Stain and Odor Remover" sold at may vets and online. It works the same way, but may be stronger.


After you have used the Enzyme product twice and let it sit for at least 12 hours each time while wet, you can also use Peroxide on the area. Do not use the Peroxide first or it will kill the good bacteria and enzymes in the other products. Always do a spot test for colorfastness before using peroxide. It usually works best on light colors.

Lastly - Follow with 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water if you have any lingering odors. (03/10/2010)

By Cyinda

Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

Also try using activated charcoal pellets that you can get at a hardware store. Put in plastic container. Cut hole in top. It works to absorb odors. Had to use it when hubby brought home mulch in the back of my car that smelled like manure. Took some time but it did absorb the smell. (03/11/2010)

By Amy3e


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March 10, 20100 found this helpful

I ran over a skunk on Saturday night. I thought it was a possum, so I opened up the windows to see if it was a skunk or not by the smell. Of course, it was a skunk, and now my car reeks of skunk. I am unable to drive it, because the smell is so unpleasant that it actually makes me gag.

I know that there are posts on here for removing it from the outside of a car, but does anyone know any ways to get the smell out of the interior of my car? I've had the windows open for the past 2 days, and the smell hasn't dissipated at all.

By Stacey from Paramus, NJ


Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

This sound crazy, but when I was a child living in the country my grandmother used tomato juice. She said that the acid in the tomatoes neutralized the odor.


Carla (11/05/2009)

By nunley10

Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

My husband said to get something called Dead Down Wind Spray. It's an odor neutralizer that hunters use. You can get it at sporting goods stores. (11/07/2009)

By ScGamecockCrew

Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

Try putting coffee (new dry coffee from a can) in a pan (like a kitty litter pan or dish pan) in the car. Close the windows and let it sit in the sun for a couple of days. The coffee should take the smell out. (11/07/2009)

By ahastings7878

Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

Go (or drive) to your local fire station/ambulance station. They have stuff that is used in automobiles that cleans the air out from when people die in their cars and have not been found until they have been in the sweltering heat for a couple of days. I do not know what the name is of the stuff, but they do. So go ask them to help you, after all they are "public servants" in other words they work for you not you work for them, and I am sure they will help you if you ask. Let us know how you turn out on this. (11/07/2009)

By Paula Jo

Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

BON-CC-41. My father-in-law owns a car detailing shop and this is what they use. He also runs it though foggers because it gets the product where they can't physically go, like the cracks of the car, vents, etc. I even use it around the house and I know for a fact that it works on skunk odor from experience.

Good luck. (12/16/2009)

By MelissaF

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November 5, 20090 found this helpful

How do I remove skunk smell from my automobile? I ran over a skunk last night and now my car smells horrid! I took a bath in lemon juice to get the smell off of me, and washed my clothes in lemon juice and Cheer to get the smell out of them, but what do I do about my car?

Right now it's sitting out in the driveway, as far away from the house as possible, in the pouring down rain with 3 bowls of vinegar inside, but if the smell is on the outside how do I get under the car to get the smell off?

Sandy from Demorest, GA


Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

I would take it to a car detailing shop. It may cost $80 or so, but it would be well worth it. Call around and tell them your problem and see if they can remove the smell first. (01/08/2007)

By eyelovecats

Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

This happened to me in high school. Don't spend the money having it cleaned on the outside. The smell will wear off. It may take a good week, but it will wear off. All of the components it hit are metal, plastic or rubber. They will not retain the odor as if it were cloth or carpeting. (01/09/2007)

Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

I would take it to a car wash that has an undercarriage wash cycle to get the underneath cleaned up. (01/09/2007)

By kimmcg

Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

I can only think of masking the smell with bengay cream. We had to do this once after hitting a skunk. We were on vacation and still had an 8 hour drive left. It did help, and eventually the smell went away on its own. (01/09/2007)

By Janene

Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

Thanks for all the info. I had put 3 bowls of vinegar in the car to kill the smell and now it smells like vinegary/skunk, so I've used a room deodorizer and rolled all the windows down while it is pretty outside to hopefully air it out. Once the smell inside is tolerable I'll take it to the car wash just for good measure. It needs a good wash job anyway since it hasn't had one in a while, and I left it out in the rain for 2 days (hoping one of the tornadoes that came through Georgia would take it away!). (01/10/2007)

By Sandy from Demorest, GA

Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

Use tomato juice if you can. I ran over a dead skunk and it was all over the tires and even began to smell inside before I got home. I took a box lid and dumped all the tomato juice I could find in it and ran all the tires back and forth through it until the juice was gone. My husband came home that night and he wondered what the car was doing sitting in the box lid, but couldn't smell a thing! Hope you can do it. (01/10/2007)

By JLEricson

Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

Removing skunk smell is pretty easy with OdorXit Concentrate, is the how to do it (01/22/2007)

By odorxit

Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

I have another idea: I recently read that a bag or bowl of FRESH coffee grounds will remove the odor of anything, anywhere. I haven't had the opportunity to try it yet, but it would certainly be inexpensive to try if you are still having some smell lingering inside. Jean (03/22/2007)

By JLEricson

Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

If you use pine-sol and spray it under your car, it will get rid of the smell on your car. (09/12/2007)

By redneck

Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

Simple Green works very well in removing skunk odor. Just spray on and rinse. It worked for me. And it is non-toxic and biodegradable. (09/21/2008)

By Snake Plisskin

Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

Some doctor, a chemist, developed a recipe using household chemicals to chemically neutralize the skunk odor. It's supposed to break down the molecule chain, hence no more smell. I don't know if it works on a car or not but it worked pretty good on my yellow lab.

1 quart 3 percent hydrogen peroxide (fresh bottle)
1/4 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
1-2 teaspoons liquid dish soap.

Ingredients must be mixed in an open container and used immediately. Never mix the ingredients in advance because oxygen released from hydrogen peroxide may cause a closed container to explode. The solution can be used on people or pets; avoid splashing the product in the eyes or mouth. Allow the solution to remain on hair for five minutes before rinsing with water. Repeat as needed. Do not use this solution on clothing, as it may discolor the fabric.

By danr2013

Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

A couple of weeks ago, I had the same problem. I didn't want to even try the tomato juice or peroxide method on my car because the one would probably dye it red and the other would bleach it.

I found a product called BioWorld who sells an odor neutralizer and special foggers. It took me less than an hour to get the smell completely out, but it worked! I'm going to keep this stuff around the house in case I have other odor issues. Looking around on this site, I have also noticed a lot of dogs getting skunked. I've been lucky and my dog hasn't been skunked but just in case, I am going to have this product close buy! (02/20/2009)

By Daniel

Removing Skunk Smell From a Car

This happened to me this morning. I stopped at Wal-Mart after work and picked up a bottle of Kids-n-Pets instant all-purpose stain and odor remover. I squirted it all over the tires I ran over it with. Once the solution dried, the smell was gone. YAHOO! It was the best $5.25 I have ever spent! (02/24/2009)

By Kim

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