Cleaning Skunk Spray Off Your Animal or You for $3




Introduction: Cleaning Skunk Spray Off Your Animal or You for $3

It's one thing to drive by a smell of skunk wafting through the window, and a totally other thing to have it up front and personal. There is a moment of instant panic from the strength of the rubber tire smell that's 10Xs worse. Here is a simple, inexpensive solution to de-skunkifying your pet.

Step 1: Been "skunked?!?!"

My dog chased a seemingly dark cat one night, and after a yelp, she came running to me smelling STRONGLY of rubber tires and worse. She'd been skunked. Right in the face, too. UGH. Images of a red-soaked dog resembling a zombie horror movie flashed in my mind.

So, the first thing I did was quarantine her - and NOT inside the house. She was banished to the garage and outdoors, where nothing would pick up the odor, and she stayed until we got a solution. It's a good thing she's a small dog - a 9-pounder soaking wet!

Then it was a trip to the grocery store at 10 pm since the only thing I thought I could do was a tomato juice bath for Pepper (and, of course, I'd JUST gotten home). Picking up the tomato juice bottle - a whopping $7.99 for a quart - I called my daughter to have her find another solution online while I shopped. This is the simple and inexpensive solution she gave me! And it's scale-able for any size dog or animal.

Step 2: The Recipe and What to Do With It

1 bottle of hydrogen peroxide (~$2.99 for a quart vs $7.99 for a quart of tomato juice!)

1/4 cup of baking soda

1 tsp dish soap

Mix together, and pour all over dog.

If you're super nice about all this, you can heat up the hydrogen peroxide a bit before mixing, so it's not such a SHOCK to the dog! The smell is taken care of by the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, and the soap helps distribute it via suds. The recipe amount above easily covered our small 9-pound dog. For a larger dog, scale up the recipe. I haven't tried it, but I suspect that the solution can be diluted with a bit of water if your dog is large and extra furry. The water will help distribute the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

Step 3: Now, Wash the Dog

After rinsing, be sure to give your dog a regular bath. We did and that's when we discovered we'd missed a spot on her nose, which still had an aroma of eau de Pepe Le Pew.

Redo as necessary in spots. We just mixed a quarter of the amount and it worked great!

Step 4: For Less Than $3

We were able to fully clean our dog from skunking!

Versus, $7.99 for a quart of tomato juice at the local Safeway (except for the online $65 juice shown above) - which would have looked like a blood bath, a HUGE mess for everyone, and would have cost more than twice the amount.

Happy, happy clean dog!

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    53 Discussions

    I have to say this really worked for my dog. I just used it. She is a 50 lb Husky / Pit bull mix, she looks like a shaved Husky, lots of fur. I doubled all the ingredients and rubbed it into her coat. Then added a little warm water and work it into a lather.The hardest part was her face, I had to use a cloth for that. I let it sit for about 10 minutes, rinsed it all off and reapplied the solution. I worked into a lather, putting a little more on her face, chest and front legs (that's where the smell was the strongest). I only waited a few minutes and rinsed it off. I then gave her a bath with her usual shampoo. She smells great! She's not totally dry yet, it's 3 am, I'm not drying her any more tonight. She hates the dryer. Thanks for the info!

    1 reply

    Oh, wow! A 3 am bath for a large furry animal - and a skunked one! I'm sure you were thrilled. Glad that worked, and you didn't go the tomato juice route. That would have REALLY made your night!

    Good idea on adding the warm water - sure makes it more palatable for the poor dog! I didn't and Pepper almost jumped out of her skin.


    2 years ago

    As we live in the country, my dog was getting skunked on a regular basis, like 5-6 times a year, for all but the last two years of his life (he died of cancer at the age of 14). I've tried EVERYTHING, even the commercial de-skunk products. The hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, dish soap solution works best, as recommended by my vet, but make sure the dish soap is Dawn - it attacks the oils in the skunk spray on the fur better. Also, dab petroleum jelly around the dog's eyes to better protect them from the bath solution. I also added some oxyclean to the solution to give it a better odor-fighting "kick." Last, but most importantly, I found lathering up my dog and letting the solution sit for 5 minutes, rinse, and repeating that process 5 times in one bathing session provided the best results. By the time the bath was over, I could stand to be near my dog again when he was dry. However, for a few days after, whenever he got wet, there was still a slight skunky ordor that lingered until he dried off. After the bath, spritzing his fur with a little apple cider vinegar made his coat soft and shiny again, and kept the mosquitoes, fleas, ticks and biting horseflies at bay, too.

    3 replies

    Oxyclean is a peroxide type cleaner. Essentially you increased the strength of the peroxide. If you have oxiclean on hand you can probably actually skip the peroxide!

    Wow, your dog is WAY bigger than my "barely a dog" Pepper (9 lbs soaking wet). Sounds like you have the process down! Thanks for the share!

    I should have mentioned, my dog was a cocker-beagle-lab mix that weighed 39 pounds. His coat was very thick, like a lab, and curly when wet, like a cocker.

    Fun fact -- my nephew, who is an expert outdoorsman, catches skunks and drains their scent glands, then sells it to perfumers. Your expensive perfumes that linger stick around because of a minute amount of skunk. Thanks for this great solution!

    1 reply

    OMG! Ha ha! And I still get a kick that skunks think moth balls smell bad! Thanks for sharing!

    Hydrogen Peroxide can damage the cornea of the eye, even in a 1% concentration. Keep it away from the head and face.

    Another note: let the solution sit on the dog a good 10-15 minutes before rinsing. It helps. And, skunks almost always target the eyes and face (how do dogs greet each other? Think about it.) Concentrate on the head, neck and front of the dog. Unless your pet has grabbed the skunk and thrashed it around like a rag toy, or locked onto its neck and gone rolling downhill with it (I've known both to happen), these are the areas most likely to be affected.

    I am a professional dog groomer, and this is the solution we use to help our (usually) panicked clients when Fluffy just can resist playing with the black and white striped kitty. A note: put a drop of mineral oil (food grade) in each eye before using this stuff. It can do damage to eyes. Better yet, get a small tube of artificial tear ointment from your vet (NOT expensive), just to keep on hand for emergencies.

    This is a good solution===we have used it often---but for something to ALWAYS have on hand for almost instant use go to AMAZON and get something called ODOR-MUTE. This is an enzyme powder and you mix what you need with warm water; get the dog/clothing/human SOAKED with it; and rinse off and let dry naturally (no heat). It lasts forever and is not spendy. I buy it by the pound because we have dogs who seem to live to be skunked. You can even use it in your washer. This ALSO works on almost all household/car areas; we had a skunk come on our porch and sprayed the metal front door; we wiped it down with Dawn which pretty much got the smell off but the rubber gaskets on the window glass and weather stripping needed ODOR MUTE treatment. You can use it on almost ANY nasty smell as long as you saturate and blot and then LET DRY NATURALLY---no heat--a fan pointed on it is OK. Rugs; flooring; door mats; shower curtains; towels etc. Other uses are diaper pails; anything that got mildewed---we used it on cage flooring when we did wild animal re-hab.

    For any one washing an animal--or who gets skunked themselves---jewelry has been known to absorb the sulfur stink ==we discovered that a weak solution of acid using in jewelry making will clear that off--you might have to call around for it I think it is a weak hydrochloric but check with some one who knows their chem better than me!

    Just cover the dog in baking soda (powder).
    Then give it a bath, and re-aply the powder after the dog dries out.

    We had a momma skunk and several kits take up residence in the crawl space under our deck. I encouraged them to leave by pushing a lawn sprinkler under the deck within range, and from a safe distance dousing them with water every few hours. After a day or so they left.

    2 replies

    Ah, we had a skunk who thought our house that was being remodeled was his perfect home. He moved in one night, the demo guys scared him in the day, and he sprayed them out of the house immediately.

    Animal Refuge service recommended two things: peanut butter and moth balls. Not together. Peanut butter at the exit, and toss as many moth balls in the direction of the skunk. Worked like a charm. I wrote an Instructable on this, too.

    Be careful using moth balls. My brother peppered the crawl space under his house to prevent the return of a skunk. Several weeks later he was at the doctor's office and was diagnosed as anemic. However they could not figure out why he was sick until my brother mentioned the moth balls. The vapor had seeped up into the house and long term exposure had affected his blood cells.

    I'm glad you found a cheaper, way better solution for your pet. $8 for a can of tomato juice is ridiculous. I've never paid more than $3 at most.

    I had pet skunks a few years back,4 siblings. Their mom was run over by a car so i became their surrogate. Long story short, I never got sprayed the whole time I had them(6 months), why? I learned skunks don't like to be surprised. So I would always be where they could see me so no surprises. I also think it's because I had them from about 4-6weeks old so they saw me as a parent figure. I gave them up to animal control because my one neighbors' cat and other neighbors' K9's got sprayed, BAD, so they called and I had to give them up. I was sad but ok because they went to teach kids about skunks.

    I have a pet skunk. Will this de-skunk the skunk?

    2 replies

    No it wont, in order to de-skunk the skunk you have to turn off your internet router and wait for a couple of years.

    OK Ridwaane, thanks for the advice. I try it and get back to you in 2018 to let you know if it works or whether my skunk still stunk.