How do you get rid of skunk spray smell?
February 5, 2004 1:37 PM   Subscribe

Skunk attack! My friend's house had a large family of skunks living underneath it. Dog went after the skunks, and a nuclear cloud of skunk-stink enveloped their whole house, permeating every single plastic, wood, cloth, or food item. Other than burning the whole thing down and starting over, what can she do?

This happened a couple of days ago, and it's so bad that her makeup stinks, her car smells from being inside the car with skunked clothes in them, and she and her child can't go inside for more than a minute or two. I told her she might need to get her homeowner's insurance involved, given that literally every product in her home is ruined, from the rugs to the mattresses to their clothes, shoes, and food. In terms of destruction, it seems like it's almost like a flood that will never dry out. They are trapping the skunks, but what can she do about the smell? Febreeze doesn't even make a dent. Tomato juice was tried on the dog, but what about everything else?
posted by pomegranate to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Your friend needs the opinion of a professional fumigator (IANAF). And it's not tomato juice you need to use on the dog, but a mixture of baking soda, dishsoap and hydrogen peroxide as detailed here. I've tried resipe #1 and it works very well. Good luck to your friend.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:52 PM on February 5, 2004

I ment ressuppe of corse.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:59 PM on February 5, 2004 [1 favorite]

You need an acid to cut the oil that's the base of the musk. While many of the home remedies sorta-work on pets (toothpaste, vinegar, Listerine, the baking soda recipe, the commercial stuff all sorta-work to more or less the same degree), the sad truth is that you can just get rid of the worst of it, and you'll be smelling skunk for quite a while before it completely dissipates. As for the house, I agree with stupidsexyFlanders, call a professional fumigator and see what they say. Until then, leave the windows open as much as you can. And remember you'll likely have to treat the dog and the house a few times over the next few months.
posted by biscotti at 2:05 PM on February 5, 2004

Best answer: A few years ago our dog did a similar thing, came in the dog door and jumped on the bed. Here is what worked. A product is available that is called an odor nueutralizer, you can buy it in pet shops. Works well, but it needs to be added to with a oil cutting soap of some type. Like Boraxx or dishsoap. Truth is, in the end, SUNLIGHT works the best. I researched this. Take all possibly movable stinky things and put them OUTSIDE after washing to be dried by sunlight. They will still stink somewhat, but passably so. Honestly, skunk smell up close makes a person physically sick, nausiated and just generally smells like death crawled up your nostrils to stay.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 2:47 PM on February 5, 2004

Looks like you're right about the homeowner's insurance. Here's something interesting, from this search.
posted by littlegreenlights at 3:40 PM on February 5, 2004

Hell, shave the dog. It'll grow back.

The bigger problem is with the contents of the house, and likely the house itself. That's gonna be a bugger.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:20 PM on February 5, 2004

I saw on Animal Planet last month a bit about a couple who rescue skunks, and they had four in their house. None of them were de-scented, and occasionally they would spray. The woman of the couple said she used "Lots of bleach" to get rid of the smell.

Incidentally, the man of the couple had absolutely no sense of smell, so it never bothered him at all. Heh.
posted by beth at 6:01 PM on February 5, 2004

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