What Gets Rid of a Skunk Smell in Your House?

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The foul-smelling spray that skunks release when they are threatened can linger for days or even weeks if it's sprayed in or near your house. If any part of your house has been sprayed by skunks, act quickly to neutralize the smell. The more quickly you act, the more effectively you'll be able to remove the odor.

Misconceptions

  • According to North Carolina State University, you cannot remove the odor of skunk spray with tomato juice. Tomato juice has an odor that is similarly strong to skunk spray, so it merely covers it up. Prolonged exposure to skunk spray prevents you from smelling it, and when a similarly strong odor shows up, you pick up on it instead. Bottom line: Tomato juice is not an effective way to remove skunk odor from your home.

Underneath the House

  • If the skunk sprayed underneath the house or close to the foundation, soak up the smell with charcoal. Place a plastic tarp down where the skunk sprayed and load it with about 25 pounds of charcoal. Ventilate the house above the charcoal to keep the airflow fresh. The charcoal soaks up the odor over the period of a few days.

In the Garden

  • If a skunk sprayed your garden, create a neutralizing spray by mixing a gallon of white vinegar with a cup of liquid dish soap. Mix this solution thoroughly and use a backpack sprayer to apply it to the area where the skunk sprayed. A particularly heavy spray is needed in areas where the skunk spray is highly concentrated. Be careful of spraying this solution near more delicate plants, as the vinegar can burn them. Test the solution on a small leaf if you are unsure.

Decks and Buildings

  • When a deck or wall has been sprayed, mix a gallon of water with a cup of liquid laundry bleach. Use a clean cloth to wash down the affected area. Be aware that the bleach may streak the deck or the stone. Test the bleach solution on a small spot before trying to swab the entire area. If you notice undesirable streaking, use a solution of white vinegar and liquid dish soap instead.

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