When skunks get into your house the odor can be quite overwhelming. Removing that unbearable smell becomes a top priority. Skunks are not only capable of unleashing a horrible stench, they also carry diseases that can be contracted by humans and pets alike. We put together the top ten ways you can remove the smell of skunk from your house, as well as a few tips to help prevent future encounters with them.
Top 10 Ways To Remove Skunk Smell
1 Determine Where The Smell Is Coming From
One way of finding out where the odor is coming from is by trying to determine where the smell is the strongest. When you eventually find this area, take all necessary steps to clean the area, then move on to other areas that could be affected.
Don’t despair; it will definitely feel like a long and daunting job. This is the only way to ensure the smell won’t spread to other areas over time. Using either diluted bleach, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide will work best. If you do not wish to use any of those, soap and water is advisable.
Remember, if your pets have been sprayed by a skunk, almost everything they come in contact with will pick up the odor as well.
2 Take Your Pet Outside
If your pet has been sprayed, you need to put your pet outside until it can be washed. You want to wash him or her as soon as possible and not let them into the home until the odors are completely gone. The best cleaning solution is mixing 1-liter hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda and a teaspoon of dish-washing liquid.
It’s better to wash skunk odor off your dog or cat outside because you don’t have to worry about the smell spreading anywhere else in the home. Also, you can really soak your furry buddy and not worry about adding to the cleanup effort inside. Removing the smell of a skunk from your pets will take a few hours. A quick wash will not do the trick.
Your pet is much more likely to on the receiving end of a skunks furor than their human handlers. They spent much more time outside digging and sniffing around than we do.
3 Wash Any Clothes That Have Been Sprayed
The only good thing about coming into contact with skunk smell is it will not take much guessing to identify all affected items in your wardrobe. As long as you are breathing, you will know which items to wash. Time is of the essence as the odor molecules attach themselves to new items very aggressively. Do not leave soiled items lying around on the floor or in your laundry hamper.
Click on this link to read about how best to get the smell of skunk out off your clothes, but remember to read carefully and take the authors advice seriously – do not mix your washing solution with bleach as the combination of bleach and ammonia will produce a toxic odor that is extremely hazardous.
4 Wash Any Upholstery And Carpets
By using the same solution found above to wash your clothes of the skunk smell, you also need to determine which sections of your carpet and upholstery have been affected by the odor as well and then wash them.
In the same way that a skunk’s spray can be spread from your pets, so can the smell spread from your carpets and furniture to another part of your home, and even onto you or your other pets.
The simple way of determining if skunk smell is on your carpets and/or upholstery is by getting up-close and personal with them; smell every section of all your furniture (even furniture made of wood). As for your carpets, check along high traffic areas and areas where your pets tend to hang out.
5 Wash Regular Pet Stations In Your Home
This is an obvious point and briefly mentioned above, but the importance of washing pet stations cannot be stressed enough.
The majority of the problems with skunk smell lies in the fact your pet has interacted with items in your home after getting sprayed. If you don’t rid these areas of the smell, you’re in danger of allowing the odor to spread rapidly.
The above tips, from tip #1 to tip #6 can generally be followed in any order but should take place before following the next steps which involve removing any last lingering particles from the air or may which still may be attached to areas of your home, clothes or furniture.
6 Make Sure The Windows Are Open
Now that you’ve removed the smell of the skunk from your pets, furniture, clothes, carpets, pets stations and yourself; you need to perform the following tasks which will get the last remnants of skunk smell out of your home permanently.
Make sure to keep your windows open as much as you can, for as long as you can. If it’s the summer then you’re in luck but if you prefer air conditioning you have to weigh out your options as to which you can handle more – the lingering smell or the heat.
If it’s winter, it’s going to be difficult keeping windows and doors open but you can do so for short periods of time. Also, if you have a garage, you can keep the interior door to the garage open which will still slightly circulate the fresh air from the outside to the inside of your home. Just remember to keep the outside garage door closed so you don’t freeze.
Keeping the windows and doors open as much as possible will bring in fresh air and continue recycling the last stubborn particles from the skunk spray out of your house.
7 Turn On Any Fans
Along with circulating the air in your home with the fresh outside wind, you’ll want to keep your ceiling and base fans on as well as they obviously contribute to recycling fresh air in and out of your home. Don’t be afraid to turn on your bathroom vent fans too as they’ll contribute to removing the skunk odor during this process as well.
8 Buy New Air Filters For Heating And Air Conditioning Units
Depending on the severity of the “odor damage” that was done to your home, it would be wise to purchase new filters for your heating and air conditioning units. If you can’t afford new filters at that moment or if there are no open stores that sell them, you can follow these tips on removing the smell from your heating and air conditioner which show you exactly how it can be done effectively with household cleansers.
Take note that sometimes the skunk smell can get so strong and potent that the whole unit may have to be removed to the outside for a thorough cleaning.
9 Regularly Spray Air Deodorizers
Try to use an environmentally friendly air deodorizer on a regular basis until the odor in the air has subsided. Most air deodorizers on the market today will actually destroy these lingering odors rather than simply cover them up.
Although the smell of skunk spray is too strong and pungent for today’s consumer brands of air deodorizers, using them in conjunction with other means of eradicating the skunk odor we have discussed will be most effective.
By the time your carpets and upholstery have been washed, an air deodorizer will go along way to ensure the air smells nice and kills whatever skunk smells are left behind.
Although this will not immediately resolve the issue, it will go along way towards making your living space tolerable.
10 Place Bowls Of Vinegar In Affected Areas
This not an old wive’s tale; it actually works. Vinegar can be used through two methods. One method is to use it when cleaning your carpets, clothes and other upholstery and the other method is by placing a mixture of vinegar and water into bowls and placing these bowls in the areas affected of your home.
At first, the smell of vinegar may seem overwhelming but it will dissipate (or you’ll get used to it). The air born skunk odor particles will be absorbed by the vinegar in the air, and as the air is circulated through your home, all these particles will make they way outside and help restore a fresh smell to the interior o your home.
If you've encountered skunk odor in and around your home, you may need to hire a professional company to humanely remove the skunk for you. Chances are it is living somewhere on your property, most likely under a deck or shed.
Skunks don’t climb so unless there’s easy access to your attic, it’s probably down low.Most common places are under a porch, shed or deck. It could also have just been passing by, and one of your pets had become a target.
If that’s the case, in the future your best bet is to ensure your pets are safe from wild animals like skunks and to keep them on a leash when walking them.
In Ontario, it is mandatory that you keep your pets on a leash while walking them and one of the reasons this law exists is because of the problems that may arise when our pets engage with wildlife.
If you let your pets out in the backyard, you need to ensure it’s completely secured and that there are no small openings skunks or their babies can get through.
That kind of prevention will help prevent your pets from getting sprayed and thus reduce the risk of bringing any odors into the house.