Scientific Skunk Smell Remedy – hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, soap

September 2, 2009 - 9:06pm — GettingOutside
Skunk (National Park Service)

If you own a dog – a real dog – chances are she’s been sprayed by a skunk! For ages, dog owners have struggled with getting that stink off their dog. Science has come to the rescue!

The old wives’ tale for getting rid of the smell is tomato juice. Don’t do it! You’ll end up with a skunked dog that also smells like tomatoes. And chances are she’ll get that tomato juice all over the place before you can really rinse it all out of her fur. Yuck.

All it takes is some hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and soap. These ingredients neutralize the chemicals in the skunk’s spray. The recommended proportions are below. Of course, it’s best if you do the cleaning right away. So roll up your sleeve, put on some latex gloves and get to it.

Skunk Stink Removal Recipe

In a plastic bucket (not metal), mix the following ingredients thoroughly:

1 quart of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide

1/4 cup of baking soda

1 tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap (Ivory is recommended)

For very large pets you can double the recipe (recommended) or you can add one quart of lukewarm tap water to provide complete coverage.

Wash your dog thoroughly, working the solution deep into the fur. Make sure you really saturate the areas where she took the direct hits. Your nose knows.

Skunks usually aim for the face, but try to keep the solution out of her eyes, as it can sting. Keeping a bottle of pure water nearby to rinse the eyes is a good idea.

Leave the solution on for at least 5 minutes or until the odor is gone. You may need to rinse and repeat with some of the more stinky areas.

After you’re done, thoroughly rinse your pet with lukewarm water.

Pour the remaining solution down the drain while running water.

Precautions for Safe Skunk Smell Neutralization

The reason you cannot buy this solution in the store is that it cannot be stored in closed bottles due to the chemical reaction of the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. The pressure builds up until the container bursts. NEVER store the mixed solution in a closed bottle, sprayer, etc. It’s possible for this to cause severe injury.

Make sure you ONLY use 3% Hydrogen Peroxide. Your drug store should have this. If you have old hydrogen peroxide in your medicine cabinet, forget it. Buy new bottles at the drug store or supermarket.

Use BAKING SODA - NOT baking powder and especially NOT washing soda (Sodium Carbonate). Baking soda is also called: Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Bicarbonate, U.S.P., Bicarbonate of Soda, and Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate.

Soap – Ivory liquid is the best soap for the job… or Softsoap… You’re looking for a gentle cleaning soap. Do not use grease cutting dish soaps or shampoos.

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