Donald said, “How can I remove the skunk smell from my leather sofa and hard wood floors?? Please help, I can’t stand this much longer!!”
Skunk spray consists of a yellow oil that attaches to surfaces and is difficult to remove. The spray can travel up to 20 feet from the skunk, so removing it is not often a simple task. Thankfully, the oil can be removed with the right cleaner and a little persistence. Use the information in the steps below.
Removing the Smell
You Will Need:
- A fan
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- A cloth
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Dish liquid
- Vanilla extract
- Leather cleaner
- Leather conditioner
- A bucket
Steps to Remove the Smell:
- Ventilate the area well by opening all nearby windows and pointing a fan on the area.¹
- Put on disposable gloves to avoid transferring the skunk oil to your skin.¹
- Mix together some baking soda and water to make a paste that is similar to the consistency of toothpaste.¹
- Spread the paste over the area where the skunk sprayed.¹
- Let the paste dry, then brush it off.¹
- Repeat the process as many times as necessary to remove the smell.
- If the smell is stubborn, wipe the area with white vinegar. Let it sit on the leather for 5-10 minutes, then wipe it off with a damp cloth.¹
- Another option is to use a mixture of 1 cup hydrogen peroxide, 1 tablespoon baking soda and a small squirt of dish liquid.² Apply the mixture on the surface, let it sit for a couple minutes, then wipe it up with a towel.³
- If you can still smell the skunk scent, soak a rag with vanilla extract and put it in a bowl. Set the bowl near the area where the skunk sprayed and let it sit overnight. This can help to remove the remaining smell.¹
- Once the smell is gone, clean the area with a leather cleaner.
- Treat the area with a leather conditioner to restore any moisture to the leather that may have been removed by the baking soda or vinegar.
- When you have finished cleaning, put all towels or rags used for cleaning in a bucket of white vinegar to soak overnight.⁴ If you don’t have enough white vinegar to fill a bucket, you can use a ratio of 1 cup white vinegar to 1 gallon of water.⁵
Additional Tips and Advice
- Skunks can be repelled with perfume scents. Simply put an air freshener in the area where the skunk frequents or around the perimeter of your house to keep them away.⁶
- Oleander is one scent that skunks particularly dislike.¹
- You may need to check the air filters and replace them if they have absorbed the skunk smell.
- Skunk spray is nature’s version of tear gas and prolonged exposure can be irritating to the eyes and skin, as well as nauseating. Take breaks from cleaning as needed to avoid discomfort.
- Joey Green’s Cleaning Magic by Joey Green
- Haley’s Cleaning Hints by Graham and Rosemary Haley
- Clean It Fast, Clean It Right by Jeff Bredenberg
- Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest
- Vinegar by Vicki Lansky
- Practical Problem Solver by Earl Proulx