Whether your toddler runs outside to pet the striped kitty or you’re stumbling through the woods and not paying attention to where you’re walking, there is a chance that you or your child will get sprayed by a skunk.
Of course, there are other problems that can develop when you’re sprayed by a skunk besides just an overwhelming stench, especially if you’re sprayed in the eyes or nose. If you are experiencing an extreme adverse reaction after being sprayed, or if your child is of course, call your doctor or head to the emergency room immediately.
If minor eye irritation occurs, just flush the eyes with lukewarm water for a couple minutes. This is proper protocol for both children and adults.
Once you realize you’ve been sprayed by a skunk, try not to go in the house if you don’t need to. Of course you’ll probably have to go inside, unless you have an outdoor shower or garden hose you could use. When you go in, do not touch anything, and don’t let your sprayed clothing touch any other clothing or furnishings. If possible, wrap your feet/shoes with plastic grocery bags if they have been skunked to avoid tracking it through the house.
Okay, well you can touch the following things, since you’ll need them for your cleanup:
- Hydrogen peroxide (one quart bottle)
- Baking soda or vinegar
- Dish soap for hand washing
- Large bowl, like a mixing bowl
If you don’t have one of these supplies, please send someone else to get them. You don’t want the stinky oils spreading to the inside of your car.
Mix the Cleaning Solution
The cleaning solution is fairly simple to make. Just take the entire bottle of hydrogen peroxide and pour it in the bowl. Then add a fourth of a cup of baking soda (or vinegar) and about a teaspoon of the dish soap. Mix them together with your hands. (Does it really matter if they smell like peroxide at this point?)
Wash, wash, wash
Once you’ve mixed up the solution, hop in the shower, or put your child in the bath, and lather and scrub away. Concentrate on the area of the body where the spraying occurred, as this area will have the highest amount of oils present. The cleaning solution is safe on skin and hair, as long as you don’t leave it on for more than a couple minutes. Then you might turn out to no longer be a brunette, but a fresh-smelling platinum blonde. Make sure not to get this mixture in your eyes though, as it will likely sting very badly.
Rinse and repeat if needed
After you’ve scrubbed thoroughly, rinse off the solution with lukewarm water.
If this cleaning solution doesn’t get all of the smell out of your body and hair the first time, you can try repeating it, but you’ll have to start over and mix a new solution. The chemical reaction from the ingredients doesn’t last very long. Also, due to this reaction, don’t try to save any leftover solution in a container.
If this still doesn’t work, though it most likely will, you can try a premade commercial deskunking solution. You’re more likely to find one in the pet store than anywhere else. Just make sure to read the safety information on the container.
What About My Clothes?
Skunk odor tends to stick in fabrics very well, so you may think that all of the clothes you were wearing when you got sprayed is destined for the trash bin. In some situations, this is the case, but there are some things that you can try in order to salvage them.
You could try dropping your clothes off at the dry cleaner, though that will probably be the end of your prompt and speedy service.
A Final Note
Skunks are rather docile, not to mention half blind, so they will only spray you if you scare or startle them. In other words, keep calm if you encounter a skunk. Most likely, he will soon go away on his own, which is the best way to avoid getting sprayed. Also, this is a good time to teach your children not to approach wild animals without your permission.