You can hardly ever ignore the stench of a skunk as it is very strong and unavoidable. You will immediately recognize the smell as soon as it hits your nostrils, and you will notice that pungent, sulfuric scent that is very hard to get rid of. Usually, skunks do not roam around to spray people and pets.
However, if you are unlucky enough and have an encounter with a skunk, and if the smell is still lingering in your house, it is time to act fast to eliminate it. If you neglect it, you will notice the foul odor lingering for months on textiles, including your bed linens, to the fabric on your furniture.
If you are wondering how to get skunk smell out of house, this article will help with precisely that. So let’s dive right into it!
- 1 Where does the skunk stink come from?
- 2 Reasons why there is a skunk smell in your house.
- 3 How to get skunk smell out of house?
- 3.1 Use an air purifier
- 3.2 Let fresh air flow in and turn on the fan.
- 3.3 Use air fresheners.
- 3.4 Place bowls of vinegar at different spots around the house.
- 3.5 Steam clean the curtains and carpets.
- 3.6 Use a solution of vinegar to wash the fabrics.
- 3.7 Use a solution of hydrogen peroxide.
- 3.8 Use a bleach solution to scrub hard surfaces.
- 3.9 Use a DIY solution how to get rid of the skunk smell from your pets.
- 3.10 Change the filters.
- 3.11 Reach out to professional help.
- 4 Conclusion.
- 5 FAQs.
Where does the skunk stink come from?
Skunks are nocturnal creatures and usually prefer to avoid humans and other animals. But if they sense any danger, they discharge an oily, yellow spray called thiol.
This compound is produced in the anal glands of the skunk, and the primary component is sulfur. Hence, you get the smell of rotten eggs.
And the stench is so strong and intense that it is tough to get rid of it completely. The sooner you act and the more efficient products you use, the better the chances that the odor will be eliminated completely.
Reasons why there is a skunk smell in your house.
You are now well aware of why skunks produce such a revolting smell, and if your house had an encounter with a skunk, likely, you would definitely notice the stench. But what if your house smells like a skunk, but there are no actual skunks around?
Leaving your house and looking around a little is best in such a scenario. If you find a skunk in your yard, you know why the smell is. But if you don’t, you’ll have to investigate the issue. Here are some of the reasons why your house has a foul smell.
Leaking Sewer gas
This is one of the most common reasons why people have experienced a skunk odor in their house. A sewer gas leak needs immediate attention as it is not safe for you or your family members to inhale it.
This smell can be very strong; usually, the kitchen or your bathroom are common sources of the smell. Another issue with sewer gas leaks is that this gas is highly flammable, and if there is even a tiny spark near it, it can lead to a major explosion.
Your pet gets sprayed by a skunk.
If you cannot see a skunk immediately, it does not mean the creature was not around earlier. If you have pet animals living in your home, there is a high chance that a skunk has been sprayed. And the only solution to this is to give your dog a good bath in the backyard.
Presence of skunks in the area.
Maybe you or your pet has not been sprayed by a skunk. But sometimes, you don’t even have to.
The odor lingers on the body of skunks, and even if they pass by your house or are present in the area, you will get a whiff of it. Hence, keeping an eye on your surroundings is recommended to clarify the reason behind the smell.
Rotten food items
Different types of food emit different types of foul odors when they go bad. For example, bad meat, milk, or cheese have different smells, and it is better if you have an idea about what they smell like.
Usually, when it comes to food emitting a skunk-like smell, garlic is the worst culprit. If you have garlic in your home that is starting to sprout, there is a chance that it might smell like skunk.
To avoid the smell of the bad products, it is suggested to deep clean your refrigerator at least once a month and clean out the drawers that contain fruits and vegetables.
These are some common reasons why your house might have a skunk-like smell without the presence of an actual skunk.
Now it’s time to get rid of that smell, and here is how.
How to get skunk smell out of house?
Use an air purifier
Air purifiers cannot only eliminate airborne contaminants and harmful particles, but they can also help absorb unpleasant odors, toxic gas particles, and even volatile organic compounds.
Hence, if you notice a skunk smell in your house, investing in a good-quality air purifier can be an effective solution to remove that stench.
Air purifiers which contain activated carbon filters are especially helpful in absorbing these unwanted smells. And they can actually help in improving the overall air quality in the space around you.
Let fresh air flow in and turn on the fan.
Let the fresh air and natural sunlight into your house to neutralize the unpleasant odor. Keeping the windows and doors closed will only intensify the smell, but opening them will let out some of the stenches and replace it with fresh air.
But do not do this if a skunk has sprayed right outside your home. Turn on the electric ceiling fans and floor fans to maintain the healthy air circulation in the room and prevent the air from remaining still and stagnant.
Use air fresheners.
Deodorizing air fresheners can play a significant role in masking the skunk scent. Look for an option that is specifically strong enough to do this because any random air freshener might not be enough to deal with such a pungent smell.
You might also notice de-skunking sprays in the market that have been formulated especially for these situations. You can also search for auctions online and make a purchase after reading the reviews.
Place bowls of vinegar at different spots around the house.
If you cannot figure out the exact source of the smell, fill up small bowls with approximately one cup of white vinegar in each, and place them at different spots around the house.
Focus more on the rooms which smell the worst, as these can be the source of the stench. If you have pets or children at home, place the bowls on the shelves, so they’re out Of Reach and not prone to spillage or ingestion.
The vinegar will be able to absorb most of the smell within a period of 24 hours, and it will not be overpowering anymore.
Steam clean the curtains and carpets.
If you have curtains or carpets with heavy fabrics, you can hire a steam cleaning service, rent a steam cleaner, or use your own if you have it.
This process really helps to get a thorough cleaning and once you are done, you can open the windows to let in the fresh air.
Use a solution of vinegar to wash the fabrics.
For this, you will have to mix one part vinegar with five parts warm water in a large container, like a bucket.
The quantities will depend on how many fabrics you have that need cleaning, and this solution is suitable for washing clothes, blankets, towels, and any other fabric that can be washed in the machine.
Make sure that you do not include synthetic or delicate fabrics in this, as they might not be able to hold up well when exposed to acidic substances like vinegar.
Use a solution of hydrogen peroxide.
Instead of white vinegar, you can also use hydrogen peroxide as an alternative. For this, you must mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 6 parts warm water.
This DIY solution is safe for use on clothes or any other fabrics. Again, the quantity of the materials will depend on how many fabrics you are thinking of using them on.
Do not use this solution on delicate fabrics or clothes for which only dry cleaning is recommended.
After making the solution, you must soak the clothes in this for at least 2-3 hours. To get better results, scrub the fabric gently with your hands, and doing so will ensure the liquid gets well into the fibers.
After the required time, you can remove your clothes from the solution and wash them in the machine using a standard warm wash cycle.
Add half a cup of baking soda to the machine at the beginning of the wash cycle for some extra deodorizing power. Let the fabrics air dry in the sun if possible.
Use a bleach solution to scrub hard surfaces.
Mix one cup of bleach with one-gallon warm water in an open container. Do not use any other chemical cleaners in this solution, as many might have a chemical reaction with bleach and emit toxic gas.
Keep the room well ventilated as well, and do not work with bleach in a closed space. Dip your tool in this solution and use it to scrub counters, kitchen floors, and other contaminated hard surfaces.
However, avoid using this solution on clothes and fabrics, and always make sure to wear rubber gloves while working with bleach.
Use a clean rag soaked in warm water to rinse off the bleach and repeat the process to remove the smell entirely. Dry the surfaces with a clean cloth after this.
Use a DIY solution how to get rid of the skunk smell from your pets.
To remove the skunk smell from your pets roaming around in the house, make a solution containing 1 liter of 3% hydrogen peroxide, a half cup of baking soda, and a teaspoon of laundry detergent.
Dip a soft cloth or rag into this baking soda bath and rub your pet with it. Make sure that the skin or the fur on your bet is not wet beforehand, as the solution might not absorb well in that case.
Do not apply the baking soda solution near their eyes or any other sensitive areas, and do not leave the solution on for long.
Rinse off the solution thoroughly, and then give them a wash again using regular shampoo. After proper washing, dry your pet with a towel and let them spend some time outdoors in the sun to dry properly.
Change the filters.
After the smell is gone, you need to ensure that it does not return again. So change the air filters on your air conditioners, air purifiers, and heaters to prevent the skunk smell from being reintroduced into your house.
Reach out to professional help.
You will undoubtedly save a lot of money by removing the skunky smell by yourself using DIY methods. But if you notice that an actual skunk has caused the smell and it is still lurking in your home, it is time to reach out to professionals or your local animal removal service to get rid of the source as soon as possible.
You now have a clear idea of how to get skunk smell out of house. The quickest and easiest step is immediately opening all windows and doors to allow proper ventilation.
Remember that addressing the skunk smell immediately and taking up effective methods to get rid of it can save you days of endless house cleaning. It might also be possible that one single solution might not be enough to get rid of the stench entirely.
And in that case, you can try out several methods mentioned above to see what works best according to your scenario.
Why is there a skunk smell in my house?
The skunk smell in your house could be due to the presence of one of these fairy creatures and the fact that maybe they sprayed your pet or one of your other family members.
However, if the smell in your house is not coming from a literal skunk, it can be a sign of a dangerous gas leak, damaged septic system, rotten food, unattended plumbing, etc.
How long does the skunk smell in your house last?
If the skunk smell is mild, it can last for up to three weeks and reduce overtime with proper ventilation.
However, if the scent is very intense and you leave it untreated, it can linger for months or years. Always remember that the longer you leave the smile untreated, the more difficult it will be to eliminate the smell as it will seep deep into the fabrics and furniture.
Can I spray my pet with vinegar?
Since vinegar is a natural ingredient, spraying it on your pet is quite safe. However, it is suggested that you dilute the white vinegar in water to make it even safer. Avoid the eye area, and make sure to rinse it off thoroughly afterward.
How far can a skunk spray?
Coming to the distance that a skunk can emit their spray, the result is more than what you might believe.
When a skunk sprays, it can travel a distance of up to 10 feet from the initial point of emotion. As it travels in the air, a human nose can detect the scent from up to 3.5 miles downwind.
Can I take the help of a professional to eliminate skunk smell?
If you notice that the skunk smell is particularly intense and has bread over a large surface, it can be a good idea to hire a professional odor removal specialist.
Today you will come across various reliable companies specializing in odor removal with the help of deep cleaning using proven Technologies. However, this method may be somewhat costly but very quick.