How long does one smell skunk?
August 27, 2008 8:37 PM   Subscribe

How long does one smell skunk? (ain't talkin' 'bout weed)

So, last week I'm crashed at my brother's place way out in the country side in Northern Michigan and around 4:30 in the AM a skunk let's loose with his/her load of smellyness. It must have happened just outside my open window because that smell was horrifying. I've smelled it before, but not this up close 'n personal. I could smell lingering skunk smell for the rest of the day in his house. What's worse, his dog found the place where this occured because he rolled around in it. He still stunk days afterwards.

Now here's my question: how long can one smell skunk blast? It's been about six days now and I still get a passing whiff of skunk multiple times a day. Could the skunk chemical still be lodge in my nose, or is my mind just remembering this (hopefully) once in a lifetime blast and is having fun reminding me?

Im not asking "how does one get rid of skunk smell." I guess I should add that I've been back in North Carolina since Sunday night, so it's not a matter of me still being around the scene of the crime.
posted by NoMich to Science & Nature (13 answers total)
I once had the misfortune of having a bus stop next to where a skunk bit it. I mean, literally, 4 feet away from the bus stop. Guess I should have taken the hit and walked to the next one, but anyways, the smell lasted at least a week and a half. Maybe two.

One day I was so relieved that I couldn't see its' formerly furry form in the bike lane as I approached the stop. Much to my dismay, it was moved onto the grass adjacent to the sidewalk, even CLOSER to where I got the bus.
posted by tremspeed at 9:08 PM on August 27, 2008

a skunk got into our house one night while we were at the movies. It smelled so bad we called the fire dept. thinking it was a gas leak or something. Anyway, Long story short- it took about 4 months for the smell to leave the house, mostly, although it never really did.
posted by Large Marge at 9:12 PM on August 27, 2008

I've had the smell of a skunk linger for the better part of 10 to 12 days around my house if the hit was close enough, though a week or so is probably more common. The pet bringing it in probably isn't helping because it's mobile and therefore keeping the stink moving in the air.
posted by quin at 9:22 PM on August 27, 2008

A few years ago, when I was living at home, my mom's dog got sprayed. Somehow, my mother didn't notice and let the dog go to sleep under her bed. I came home hours later and immediately wanted to vomit. The smell lingered for, I'd say, around 6 weeks. The only remedy I found helpful was spraying white vinegar through the air and on surfaces the dog had touched, and that was pretty temporary, though it might have had a cumulative effect in reducing the odor over time.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:24 PM on August 27, 2008

The problem is that the particular chemical you're smelling, our noses are extremely sensitive to and can smell at concentrations of ten parts per billion.
posted by Class Goat at 9:49 PM on August 27, 2008

I've had a few dogs get skunked, then get it all over a car, or furniture, etc., and can report that, like PhoBWanKenobi, I smelled it for about 6 weeks.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 9:55 PM on August 27, 2008

Couple of weeks if you were near it. Six weeks if the liquid ever actually touched you or your clothing.
posted by rokusan at 10:00 PM on August 27, 2008

Am I the only one who, strangely, secretly, embarrassingly, enjoys the smell of skunks?
posted by randomstriker at 11:06 PM on August 27, 2008

LOL, @randomstriker. I love skunk smell. You are not alone.
posted by zengargoyle at 11:30 PM on August 27, 2008

I was about ten feet away when a skunk sprayed my dog. I brought the dog into the house and washed him down with de-skunking shampoo (don't remember the name) and by the end of the night thought I had kind of got the better of it. The next morning I went to the lawnmower repair shop and apparently the smell was still very very apparent.

On the dog the smell was good for a little more than a month. In the house, about the same. Once the overwhelming part was over, I kind of didn't mind the smell - made me think of begonias.

Three years later I changed out the drain trap of the sink in the bathroom where I had washed the dog. This was a very seldom used sink and the trap had a lot of gunk in it, but still, when I opened the trap up to the air it smelled like skunk!
posted by From Bklyn at 2:23 AM on August 28, 2008

I had a dog get sprayed, and dog came into the house before we realised etc.
I boiled garlic for a couple of days on the stove and that took the small away.

Dog - shampooed, hair shaved, and stayed outside for a while.
posted by dripped at 3:23 AM on August 28, 2008

Catchup cuts the chemical on dog hair; squeeze the whole bottle on your furry pal and rub it in real good. Let sit for awhile, then shampoo.
posted by pranalaxmi at 6:44 AM on August 28, 2008

The problem is that the particular chemical you're smelling, our noses are extremely sensitive to and can smell at concentrations of ten parts per billion.

Does this explain why I could still be getting whiffs of skunk even though the event happened about a week ago and I'm about a thousand miles from the event?
posted by NoMich at 10:07 AM on August 28, 2008

« Older The Teacher of Multiple Translations   |   Help me get my Jack Russell to quit peeing on... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.